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Occupational injury research
Occupational injury research at NOIRS 2003
  1. J Howard
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr John Howard
 National Institute for Occupational, Safety and Health, Hubert H Humphrey Bldg, Room 717H, 200 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20201, USA;

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Third National Occupational Injury Research Symposium

In October 2003, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and its co-sponsors, the National Safety Council, the American Society of Safety Engineers and Liberty Mutual Center for Safety Research, hosted the Third National Occupational Injury Research Symposium—NOIRS 2003. NOIRS 2003 brought together the foremost researchers in occupational injury to present their latest scientific findings and methods and is the third such symposium focusing on research for the prevention of work related traumatic injuries.

The occurrence of sudden physical injury at work—whether fatal or non-fatal, whether permanently or partially disabling, whether from explosion, or from adverse involvement with moving machinery, or from fire, the effects of gravity, the inappropriate release of electrical, chemical or nuclear energy, human generated violence, structural or earthen collapse, an excess of man made or solar heat—and how we can prevent such occupational injuries, was the purpose of NOIRS 2003.

If we look back to the first Occupational Injury Research Symposium in October 1997, and compare where occupational injury prevention is in 2003, three important changes are evident.

First, there was an increased focus in 2003 on the safety of emergency response workers. At the 1997 symposium, there was only one presentation on emergency responder safety, but at last year’s symposium, there were a total of 17 presentations and posters addressing emergency responder safety and four full sessions on the topic. This increased focus is due in large part to a 1998 Fire Fighter Initiative in which Congress allocated funding to the Institute to investigate fire fighter fatalities, and to the events of 11 September 2001.

Second, there was an increased focus on occupational motor vehicle traffic safety. At the 1997 symposium, there were only two presentations providing data on occupational motor vehicle crashes. In contrast, at last …

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