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Research partnerships for safer, healthier workplaces.

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

About the Comments and Categories

Starting in May, 2005, NORA requested comments from stakeholders to identify important occupational safety and health issues, such as: diseases, injuries, exposures, populations at risk, and needs of the occupational safety and health system. Input was also requested on the types of research and partners needed to make a difference. Comments were received through this website, by E-mail and on paper. A court reporter provided transcripts of comments received during NORA Town Hall meetings.

Approximately 800 individuals submitted information through the website and the Town Hall meetings. Each submittal could include up to ten comments, since the comment form includes ten input boxes. Each comment was given a unique identification number, which is displayed in the search results. Approximately 1000 comments have been categorized and can be searched. Stakeholders may benefit from the problems identified, solutions suggested and partners recommended in these comments.

Each submittal was analyzed to determine if the text could be separated into distinct parts. Each ‘unit comment’ was then determined to be a “Comment on the NORA process” or a recommendation of a research priority. As a result, the database contains 1600 categorized records.

Each comment recommending a research priority was indexed by the terms listed below using the approach that such a comment could be characterized by a sentence of the form:

“I recommend as a priority these 'sectors' having these 'populations' experiencing these 'health effects' due to these 'exposures' where these 'approaches' will be most useful in reducing the problem and these organizations/people should be engaged as 'partners'."

Each of the words in single quotes is a category. For each comment, none or some of the items in each category were selected as search terms. The search terms are not exhaustive but were selected primarily to reflect the programs in the NIOSH Program Portfolio. Where additional terms were needed to capture the range of comments offered, terms were taken from the 21 priority areas of the first decade of NORA. A few more terms were added to cover large gaps; these tended to be broad terms, for example, exposures to "chemicals/liquids/particles/vapors".

Non-obvious aspects of the categorization criteria are indicated below:


The eight NORA sector groups are defined in terms of the Census Bureau’s North American Classification System (NAICS) codes. Click here for more information.

At least one of the nine terms in the sector category was chosen for each comment recommending a research priority. (This is not true for any of the other categories.) When the comment implicitly included all workers but gave examples in specific sectors, both “unspecified” and the sector(s) mentioned in the examples were chosen.


A term describing a population was selected when a comment described a group of workers that could not be characterized by their employers’ sector or sub-sector or their occupation.

Health outcomes; diseases/injuries

These terms were selected using their “common” definitions rather than strict medical definitions.


These terms reflect answers to the question “What types of research will make a difference” and broadly reflect the public health model. “Research” is taken very loosely and includes any types of studies, better understanding and improved implementation.

When a comment explicitly recommends future work with a named partner or a class of partners, the partner’s name or class description was placed in a “partner” field. Select “Partner recommended” in the search criteria to find only those comments for which an entry was made in the “partner” field.