New Federal Guidance for Injury Prevention

New Federal Guidance for Injury Prevention

News Sep 18, 2017

NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and NHTSA’s Office of EMS have released a new resource to help EMS employers keep their workers safe on the job.

The fact sheet, available here, is titled “Emergency Medical Services Workers: How Employers Can Prevent Injuries and Exposures.” Its background: Over a four-year period, investigators determined that more than 22,000 EMS workers a year visited emergency departments for work-related injuries. That data was published this summer in Prehospital Emergency Care. The new document (DHHS [NIOSH] publication No. 2017-194) offers employers recommendations for preventing injuries and exposures to their personnel.

“Employers need to understand why injuries occur in order to prevent them,” NIOSH notes. “Fewer injuries can result in a healthier workforce and decreased costs to the agency.”

Research also shows EMS workers have higher rates of work-related injuries than the general workforce and three times the lost-workday rate of all private-industry workers. Key findings:

  • Full-time workers and workers with less than 10 years’ experience had the most injuries;
  • Most injuries occurred while responding to 9-1-1 calls;
  • Sprains/strains were the most common injuries; most occurred to the back and neck;
  • Body-motion injuries and exposures to harmful substances each hurt 6,000 workers a year, and slips, trips and falls injure another 4,000.


  1. Reichard AA, Marsh SM, Tonozzi TR, Konda S, Gormley MA. Occupational Injuries and Exposures Among Emergency Medical Services Workers. Prehosp Emerg Care, 2017 Jul–Aug; 21(4): 420–31. 


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