CDC-issued bureaucratic shift may alter NIOSH's current administration

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Bureaucratic reorganization within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be implemented on Oct. 1 and it could lighten some providers' load. Many occupational health and safety organizations in the U.S. have protested the move, claiming the change shows a lack of care for workers' safety and wellness at their jobs. However, CDC director Judy L. Geberding promises the shuffle will increase the value of NIOSH by creating efficiencies that will free up administrative funds for research.

Currently, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) operates as an independent organization within the CDC to conduct research on workplace illnesses, injuries and deaths. NIOSH can enter a facility and examine its worker safety practices.

However, once the change is implemented in October, NIOSH will become part of a mid-level coordinating center and will no longer report directly to the CDC. Health and safety organizations fear the change will eliminate NIOSH's power to ensure worker safety.