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NIOSH’s latest research agenda for manufacturing sector looks at new technology

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Washington — NIOSH has published its National Occupational Research Agenda for Manufacturing, intended to spotlight the industry’s most important occupational safety and health research needs for the next decade.

The agenda, released in January, was written by the NORA Manufacturing Sector Council, one of 10 industry sector-based councils that advise NIOSH on NORA, a partnership program created “to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices.”

NORA MSC finalized the agenda after considering public comment on a draft. The agenda provides “guidance to investigators concerning where information is lacking and what gaps need to be addressed in future research and other actions.” It also contains six objectives, mainly focused on changes in the sector brought about by investments in new technology. The objectives are:

  • Reduce the burden of acute and chronic occupational illnesses, injuries and fatalities in manufacturing by enhancing knowledge of occupational safety and health hazards and their effects, and developing effective interventions to reduce exposure to known occupational safety and health hazards.
  • Improve surveillance of work-related hazards, exposures and illnesses in the manufacturing industry.
  • Examine emerging risks from new technologies and explore ways in which new technologies can advance occupational safety and health in manufacturing.
  • Improve occupational safety and health for workers in non-traditional employment arrangements.
  • Advance capacity-building and educational efforts in manufacturing.
  • Develop mechanisms for effective translation of research into practice in the manufacturing sector.

NORA councils comprise people from universities, businesses, professional societies, government agencies and worker organizations.

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