National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NIOSH logo
Agency overview
Formed December 29, 1970
Jurisdiction United States
Headquarters 395 E Street, S.W., Ste. 9200, Patriots Plaza Building, Washington, DC
Agency executive John Howard, Director
Parent agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the U.S. 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) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIOSH provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability, and death by gathering information, conducting scientific research, and translating the knowledge gained into products and services.[1]

NIOSH is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with research laboratories and offices in Cincinnati, Ohio; Morgantown, West Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; Anchorage, Alaska; Spokane, Washington; and Atlanta, Georgia.[2] NIOSH is a professionally diverse organization with a staff ceiling of over 1,400[3] (as of 2005; operating with about 1,300 full-time employees[4]) people representing a wide range of disciplines including epidemiology, medicine, industrial hygiene, safety, psychology, engineering, chemistry, and statistics.


The Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed by President Richard M. Nixon on December 29, 1970, created both NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).[5][6][7] NIOSH was established to help ensure safe and healthful working conditions by providing research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health.


NIOSH is a sub-agency to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, since its existence several attempts have been made to either lessen its status within the CDC or eliminate it entirely.

On June 14, 1995, many members of the House of Representative put forth bill H.R. 1834 to amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which would have, among other things, eliminated NIOSH.[8] Several hearings were held in June, July, and August to discuss the proposed bill[9], which ultimately was not enacted.[10]

On May 13, 2004, the CDC released a press release indicating a significant realignment of the agency's "priorities and investments."[11] As part of the realignment, NIOSH, along with several other environmental health agencies, would have been placed under a new entity called the Coordinating Center for Environmental Health, Injury Prevention, and Occupational Health, effective October 1, 2004.[11] However, many inside and outside the CDC argued against the move, stating it "would move NIOSH to a lower level within the departmental structure, obscuring its historical identity and likely diminishing its effectiveness."[12][13][14][15][16] Some entities even argued if anything NIOSH should be placed outside the CDC under a higher level department such as the U.S. Department of Labor or directly to the Department of Health and Human Services, or even into the National Institutes of Health (NIH).[12][16][17] In the end, Congress changed language in the 2005 appropriations legislation directing the CDC to maintain NIOSH as it was within the CDC.[17][18] However, other parts of the CDC reorganization still went into effect on April 21, 2005.[19]

The day after the CDC reorganization went into effect, news broke concerning the 2006 proposed NIOSH budget, which would have potentially reduced the agency's maximum number of full-time employees from 1435 to 1246. Additional concerns were raised about the lack of budget increase and how NIOSH must pay the CDC for business services support every year.[3][4] Budgetary concerns were again raised in April 2013 concerning proposed budget cuts to NIOSH for fiscal year 2014.[20][21]

NIOSH authority

Unlike its counterpart, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, NIOSH is not a regulatory agency. It does not issue safety and health standards that are enforceable under U.S. law. Rather, NIOSH's authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 29 CFR § 671 is to "develop and establish recommended occupational safety and health standards," to "conduct such research and experimental programs ... for the development of criteria for new and improved occupational safety and health standards," and to manage other activities like mine safety and lead-based paint removal. NIOSH may also fund research by other agencies or private organizations through grants, contracts, and other arrangements.[7]

See also


A couple elements of this article are reused from the Wikipedia article.


  1. "About NIOSH". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  2. "Directory of NIOSH Offices and Key Personnel". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Proposed Budget Could Constrain NIOSH Operations". LIFELINES (Laborers' Health & Safety Fund of North America) 1 (11). April 2005. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Nash, James (22 April 2005). "CDC Proposes Staff Cuts For NIOSH". EHS Today. Penton. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  5. "OSHA 35-Year Milestones". U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  6. "Title 29 Chapter 15 - Occupational Safety and Health". United States Code. U.S. Government Printing Office. 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Title 29 § 671 - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health" (PDF). United States Code. U.S. Government Printing Office. 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  8. "H.R. 1834" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. 14 June 1995. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  9. Hearings on Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA): Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, First Session, Hearings Held in Washington, DC, March 8, June 20 and 28, July 27, and in Pickens, South Carolina, August 24, 1995. 4. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1996. ISBN 9780160534614. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  10. "H.R. 1834 (104th): Safety and Health Improvement and Regulatory Reform Act of 1995". Civic Impulse. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "CDC Announces New Goals and Organizational Design". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 13 May 2004. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "White Paper: Effective Reorganization for NIOSH". American Society of Safety Engineers. September 2004. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  13. Clark, Steve (October 2004). "Critics Object to NIOSH Reorganization". LIFELINES (Laborers' Health & Safety Fund of North America) 1 (5). Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  14. Kaiser, Jocelyn (30 April 2004). "Reorganization plans roil staff scientists at CDC". Science 304 (5671): 662–663. doi:10.1126/science.304.5671.662a. PMID 15118131. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  15. "OSHA Chief: NIOSH Reorganization Outside Nacosh's Mandate". Inside OSHA 11 (17). 23 August 2004. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3840 (November 2004). "The Future of NIOSH: A View from Inside" (PDF). American Federation of Government Employees. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Dobbin, Denny (31 May 2005). "Where to Put NIOSH?". Medscape. WebMD. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  18. "Opposition Shelves NIOSH Reorganization, But Battle for Science-Based Policy Continues". LIFELINES (Laborers' Health & Safety Fund of North America) 1 (8). January 2005. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  19. "Notice to Readers: CDC Announces Landmark Reorganization". Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 54 (15): 387. 22 April 2005. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  20. "President's Budget: Small Increase for OSHA, Significant Cuts for NIOSH". The Synergist. American Industrial Hygiene Association. 17 April 2013.,-Significant-Cuts-for-NIOSH.aspx. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  21. Smith, Sandy (11 April 2013). "2014 Budget Request Is Good News/Bad News for OSHA, NIOSH, MSHA". EHS Today. Penton. Retrieved 25 March 2014.