NIOSH Publishes Final Public Safety Research Agenda

The 18-page document was developed by the NORA Public Safety Council and outlines research work that should be done in eight focus areas in order to promote safety and health for people working in public safety.

NIOSH has published the final National Occupational Research Agenda for Public Safety. The 18-page document was developed by the NORA Public Safety Council and outlines research work that should be done in eight focus areas in order to promote safety and health for people working in public safety.

The eight areas are:

  • Objective 1: Reduce cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
  • Objective 2: Reduce infectious disease transmission
  • Objective 3: Reduce musculoskeletal disorders. (The agenda points out that EMTs and paramedics reported the highest incidence of work-related MSDs (184 per 10,000 full-time workers), which is more than five times the national average of 34 per 10,000 full-time workers [BLS 2016]. BLS data also indicated firefighters reported an MSD rate of 179 per 10,000 full-time workers and police and sheriff patrol officers reported an MSD rate of 91 per 10,000 full-time workers (more than double the national average).
  • Objective 4: Reduce motor vehicle injuries
  • Objective 5: Reduce workplace violence
  • Objective 6: Promote healthy work design and well-being
  • Objective 7: Improve surveillance
  • Objective 8: Improve resilience/preparedness

According to NIOSH, the agenda provides a vehicle for stakeholders to describe the most relevant issues, research gaps, and needs for the public safety workforce. It is meant to be broader than any one agency or organization. The Public Safety Council reviewed multiple public safety sector documents to assess the burden of current occupational hazards on the public safety workforce, assessed the current investment in burden areas, and compared national research investments across the public safety workforce. The draft agenda was revised in response to public comments and then finalized.

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