NORA Symposium to Highlight Safety Research Partnerships

"NORA Symposium 2008: Public Market for Ideas and Partnerships," a national summit conference of occupational safety and health research, will convene on July 29 in Denver.

Sponsored by NIOSH and the Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center, the symposium will showcase the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). NORA is a collaborative strategy by government, industry, labor, academia, and others for designing and supporting innovative research to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. NORA also offers a vehicle for moving the products of innovative research into the hands of practitioners for actual application and use in the workplace.

The conference will survey accomplishments under NORA, which entered its second decade in 2006, and will provide opportunities for developing new research initiatives, partnerships, and research to practice (r2p) collaborations. Previous NORA Symposiums were held in 1999, 2003, and 2006. The 2008 Symposium is the first that NIOSH and its partners have held outside the Washington, D.C., area. The Denver location reflects interest by NIOSH and the partners in expanding and strengthening research opportunities and collaborations in the growing Western U.S. region.

On average, nearly 16 workers in the United States die each day from injuries sustained at work, and 134 die from work-related diseases. Daily, an estimated 11,500 private-sector workers have a nonfatal work-related injury or illness, and as a result, more than half require a job transfer, work restrictions, or time away from their jobs. Approximately 9,000 workers are treated in emergency departments each day because of occupational injuries, and approximately 200 of these workers are hospitalized. In 2004, workers' compensation costs for employers totaled $87 billion.

"The statistics illustrate the importance of NORA as our nation’s vehicle for harnessing scientific ingenuity and dedication, and applying these qualities to the task of keeping the nation’s fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, and sons and daughters well and safe on the job," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "NORA Symposium 2008 is a wonderful forum in which to demonstrate the successes of NORA and to lay the groundwork for future advances."

Features of NORA Symposium 2008 include:

  • Presentations and poster sessions about innovative tools and approaches for reducing occupational injuries and illnesses in small businesses, law enforcement, agriculture, emergency response, healthcare, construction, and other vital sectors of the economy. Several products from research under NORA have already been moved into actual use by safety and health practitioners in the workplace through research to practice (r2p) partnerships between NIOSH and other institutions, organizations, and agencies.
  • Breakout sessions to stimulate research partnerships in the oil and gas extraction industry and other industry sectors (agriculture, forestry, and fishing; construction; healthcare and social assistance; manufacturing; mining; services; transportation, warehousing, and utilities; and wholesale and retail trade).
  • Presentation of NORA 2008 Awards for Innovative Research and Partnering.
  • An online "virtual symposium" in which posters submitted for this purpose will be available on the internet for wider and more extended discussion in the two weeks following the conference in Denver.

NORA Symposium 2008 will be held at the Sheraton Denver West Hotel. Information on registration, lodging, and preliminary agenda can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora/symp08/default.html.

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