Draft Research Agenda Focuses on “Understudied Groups,” Including Veterinarians, Home Care Workers
Hazardous drug safe handling programs, safe patient handling and mobility, workplace violence, and occupational infectious disease surveillance are among the topics covered in a new draft National Occupational Research Agenda for healthcare and social assistance published by NIOSH. The proposed agenda considers new information about injuries and illnesses, and is intended to target groups that were understudied under the previous agenda, which was published in 2009. According to NIOSH, objectives in the new research agenda specifically target groups such as workers in veterinary medicine and animal care, home healthcare, home care, environmental services, long-term care facilities and nursing homes, and childcare. Aging workers and low-wage workers throughout the healthcare and social assistance sector are also identified as having unique occupational health and safety research needs. The draft agenda identifies 17 research objectives for healthcare and social assistance, including the need to promote the adoption and implementation of hazardous drug safe handling programs in non-hospital settings and veterinary practices.  The draft research agenda is available in the docket on Regulations.gov. NIOSH invites comments on the draft agenda until Aug. 20, 2018.