The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Institute is authorized to:
- Develop recommendations for occupational safety and health standards;
- Perform all functions of the Secretary of Health and Human Services under Sections 20 and 21 of the Act <dd> Conduct Research on Worker Safety and Health (Section 20)</dd> <dd> Conduct Training and Employee Education (Section 21)</dd>
- Develop information on safe levels of exposure to toxic materials and harmful physical agents and substances;
- Conduct research on new safety and health problems;
- Conduct on-site investigations (Health Hazard Evaluations) to determine the toxicity of materials used in workplaces (42 CFR Parts 85 and 85a); and
- Fund research by other agencies or private organizations through grants, contracts, and other arrangements.
- Develop recommendations for mine health standards for the Mine Safety and Health Administration;
- Administer a medical surveillance program for miners, including chest X-rays to detect pneumoconiosos (black lung disease) in coal miners;
- Conduct on-site investigations in mines similar to those authorized for general industry under the OSH Act; and
- Test and certify personal protective equipment and hazard-measurement instruments.
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