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Guidance for Assessing Safety, Health Fixes is Offered by NIOSH Through Web Site, Manual

March 15, 2004
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749

Two new resources are available from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) — a manual and a companion site on the NIOSH web page – to help guide employers in assessing and measuring the effectiveness of steps they have taken to improve occupational safety and health in their workplaces.

The manual, “Does It Really Work? How to Evaluate Safety and Health Changes in the Workplace,” offers strategic guidance based on four simple steps: Forming a team. Collecting data. Analyzing the data. Sharing the results. The manual explains each step in easy-to-read, practical terms.

In addition, it provides case studies of evaluations of interventions intended to reduce serious work-related injuries in four industries. These case studies were partnerships of employers and employees. They offer further guidance and useful ideas for employers that can be used in other settings. The interventions that were assessed in the case studies addressed the prevention of:

  • Back injuries in nursing homes
  • Strains to employees’ backs, arms, and hands in meat processing
  • Cuts from case-cutting tools in a grocery store chain
  • Exposures to perchloroethylene in drycleaning establishments

Assessments are important for determining if changes were effective in reducing work-related injuries or illnesses, and for assuring that changes do not inadvertently increase other risks as they make an intended improvement.

The new web page provides the text of the manual in an interactive format. Using links on the page, readers can go directly to the individual case studies, to suggested steps for evaluating changes, and to forms and surveys that can be used in assessments. A PDF of the manual also can be downloaded.

The manual, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-135, was developed by the Intervention Effectiveness Team under the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). The team was formed by representatives from NIOSH, industry, labor, and academia under NORA to foster the growth of intervention evaluation in workplace safety and health. The manual and the web page reflect NIOSH’s goal of translating research findings into practice in workplaces to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses. Printed copies of the manual will be available shortly by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-356-4674) or by ordering from the NIOSH web page,