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Industrial & Organisational : Introduction : Personnel : Organizational psychology : Occupations: Work environment: Index : Outline

NIOSH logo

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (or NIOSH) is the United States federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the US Department of Health and Human Services.

NIOSH is headquartered in Washington, DC, with research laboratories and offices in Cincinnati, OH, Morgantown, WV, Pittsburgh, PA, Spokane, WA and Atlanta, GA. NIOSH is a professionally diverse organization with a staff of over 1,400 people representing a wide range of disciplines including epidemiology, medicine, industrial hygiene, safety, psychology, engineering, chemistry, and statistics.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed by President Richard M. Nixon, on December 29, 1970, created both NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). NIOSH was established to help assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by providing research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health. NIOSH provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability, and death by gathering information, conducting scientific research, and translating the knowledge gained into products and services.

NIOSH Authority[]

Unlike its counterpart, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, NIOSH is not a regulatory agency. It does not issue safety and health standards that are enforceable under US law. Rather, NIOSH's authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act [29 CFR § 671] is to "develop recommendations for health and safety standards", to "develop information on safe levels of exposure to toxic materials and harmful physical agents and substances," and to "conduct research on new safety and health problems." NIOSH may also "conduct on-site investigations (Health Hazard Evaluations) to determine the toxicity of materials used in workplaces" and "fund research by other agencies or private organizations through grants, contracts, and other arrangements."[1]

Also, pursuant to its authority granted to it by the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, NIOSH may "develop recommendations for mine health standards for the Mine Safety and Health Administration", "administer a medical surveillance program for miners, including chest X-rays to detect pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) in coal miners", "conduct on-site investigations in mines similar to those authorized for general industry under the Occupational Safety and Health Act; and "test and certify personal protective equipment and hazard-measurement instruments."[2]

NIOSH Publications[]

Alerts are put out by the agency to request assistance in preventing, solving, and controlling newly identified occupational hazards. They briefly present what is known about the risk for occupational injury, illness, and death.

Criteria Documents contain NIOSH's recommendations for the prevention of occupational diseases and injuries. These documents are submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or the Mine Safety and Health Administration for consideration in their formulation of legally-binding safety and health standards.

Current Intelligence Bulletins analyze new information about occupational health and safety hazards.


In Popular Culture[]

  • In the Iris Alternate Reality Game to hype Halo 3, it is called the NIOSH and is referenced alongside the CDC in helping in a "cleanup".

See also[]

  • Health Hazard Evaluation Program
  • Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program
  • National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System
  • Back injury
  • Ergonomics
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • American Society of Safety Engineers
  • MINER Act

External links[]


  1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (US) About NIOSH
  2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (US) About NIOSH
  3. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (US) NIOSH Publications by Category

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