NIOSH is focusing research efforts on relevance and impact through an initiative called Research to Practice (r2p), which integrates the NIOSH strategic goals of knowledge generation and knowledge transfer. This initiative focuses on 1) moving research through the continuum from basic research to applied research and culminating in the translation of research findings into useful, effective preventive information, products, technologies, and practices, and 2) influencing positive, preventive changes in workplace practices. Worker and organizational behavior, equipment and tool design, training materials and programs, and work practices are examples of preventive changes in workplace practices.
The implementation of research-based prevention practices and products should result in reduced injury and illness risks, and reduced incidence of injury and illness. The initiative emphasizes communication, behavior change, and knowledge use theories as well as methodologies inherent in such diverse fields as information dissemination, health communication and promotion, social marketing, technology transfer, innovation diffusion, and others. The initiative also fosters partnerships with stakeholders such as employers and their associations, workers and their unions, government agencies, and professional associations, as well as collaborations with researchers and translators. These relationships extend from the conceptualization and planning of research, through the implementation and evaluation of resultant workplace change. Desired impacts of the r2p initiative are increased use of evidence-based prevention practice, decreased incidence of workplace risk, injury, illness, and fatality.
Evaluation of impact focuses on observing and measuring the linkages between the following outputs and outcomes:
NIOSH research findings with related preventive information and products,
Preventive information/products with changes in workplace behaviors and practices,
Changes in workplace behaviors/practices with changes in the worker injury and illness experience (in facilities and companies where research-based changes are implemented),
NIOSH prevention information and products with market penetration.
The first round of staff training on r2p principles has been completed,
Seminars and workshops have been initiated on elements of r2p (e.g., social marketing, business case examples of return on investment for safety and health),
Projects have been developed and funded under revised planning guidance, requiring a plan for movement of research outputs through the research to practice continuum and partner involvement,
Outreach has been initiated to develop additional research partnerships with research organizations, professional associations, other federal agencies, labor organizations and others.
Many different entities have the ability to, and responsibility for, translating and transferring workplace injury prevention research to practice (r2p).