The NIOH has an established research record of more than 60 years. Historically, our research focused on mineral particles and the health of miners; the focus has since expanded to include diverse topics and research programmes.

The vision of the NIOH is to be a nationally and internationally recognised centre of excellence for occupational health, in line with national, regional and global needs. To achieve this, the NIOH not only continues its research in the traditional focus areas of mining and particle toxicity and the pathology database (PATHAUT), but is constantly adding new, exciting research projects to our focus areas. Research conducted at the NIOH now includes multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaborative projects, many with international partners and extensive funding from national and international funding agencies.

The Institute’s Research program is entrusted to the Research Committee who remain responsive to the occupational needs of the country and the continent – in keeping with the sustainable development goals number 3 (good health and well-being), 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth) & 10 (reduced inequalities).

Over the past few years, there has been a shift in research priority to include the vulnerable working population (e.g. informal economy workers, migrant workers, pregnant women and aged workers) & NIOH is leading as a coordinating centre for the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centres vulnerable workers’ project.

The research role of the Institute is fundamental as the health of the workforce reflects the health of the economy.


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