The NIOH is the premier institute, under the aegis of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) under the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India.
The need for research in Occupational Health in the country was first appreciated by Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA), the forerunner of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). IRFA set up an Industrial Health Advisory Committee (IHAC) under the chairmanship of Col. Bozman in 1945. As per the recommendations of this Committee, in 1947, an Industrial Health Research Unit was created at the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Calcutta. In 1956, the IHAC recommended to the Government of India that priority should be given for the establishment of an Institute of Occupational Health Research during the Second Five Year Plan.
The National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Ahmedabad, was established by the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi. The Institute started functioning as "Occupational Health Research Institute" (OHRI) at the B. J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, in the year 1966. The OHRI was rechristened as "National Institute of Occupational Health" (NIOH) in 1970 and moved to the present premises. To cater local needs of the Southern and Eastern regions, the Institute established two Regional Occupational Health Centres (ROHC) at Bangalore (1977) and Calcutta (1980).
Occupational Health is a sustained activity aimed at promotion and maintenance of highest degree of physical, mental and social well being of workers in all occupations. The National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) has been established with the following objectives:
- To promote intensive research to evaluate environmental stresses/factors at the workplace.
- To promote the highest quality of occupational health through fundamental and applied research.
- To develop control technologies and health programmes through basic and fundamental research and to generate human resources in the field.
The Institute functions as a WHO Collaborative and Reference Centre for Occupational Health. The Institute has represented in many important functions of the Govt of India, including the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Agriculture, etc., to generate data and provide guidance and recommendations on issues related to occupational and environmental health.
To fulfill the objective of generating human resources in the field the Institute has collaborations with well recognized organizations/institutions/universities, etc.
Since its inception, the Institute is devoted to the cause of working class of people and aims to provide "Occupational Health" to the workers engaged in all occupations and minimize deterioration of workplace environment through: Research, Education, Service and render assistance to the regulatory authorities to take necessary policy decisions for the control of occupational health related problems.
The research activities of the Institute are primarily based on national priorities and needs and envisage a multi-disciplinary approach, encompassing epidemiological studies, experimental studies, ergonomics and intervention technologies, wherever necessary. The major contribution of the institute can be seen in the form of peer-reviewed publications, reports and large number of know-how influencing policy decisions through expert advice, research, development of modules for control of occupational diseases and help development of manpower through education and training.
To create safe work environment through intensive research, technology development and knowledge dissemination of quality support system, in order to improve upon the health and well being of the workers.
- Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology
- Toxicology (metal, pesticide, reproductive, geno & neurobehavioral)
- Environmental Pollution (air, water, noise, thermal)
- Operational Research
- Women Health
- Agricultural Health
- Human Resource Development
- Control of Health Hazards
- Biological Health Hazards
To emerge as an international ranking center of excellence:
- Research and Technology Centre
- Academic Centre
- To promote intensive research and activities in occupational and environmental health; to devote quality endeavors in fundamental and applied research;
- To study the occupational dynamics, the changing environmental contexts, and ascertain safe limits of human exposure to evolve guidelines of health programmes for their control;
- To apply basic data in devising new technique(s) adopting to local needs and conditions for clinical, experimental and intervention purposes;
- To internalize and externalize core competence to transfer knowledge and skill for relevant needs of the government, judiciary, industry and other stakeholders; and
- To establish inter-organizational coordination for cooperative research and occupational health delivery.
To pursue excellence in research and establish linkage of the emerging occupational, environmental and lifestyle health issues, and devise models and approaches in predicting the burden of diseases and disorders;
To create national level programmes for representative generation of database, and guidelines on physical factors, toxic chemicals and biological agents of environmental and occupational origin; and
To build capability for skill development and make available the pool of human resources to be deployed.
To transfer knowledge and technology to contribute in resolving problems of workplaces and assist in national decision making.
Strive accomplish our mission and goals by the guiding principles of value of health and well-being of workers.
Accomplish “Research to Reality and Research to Application”.
Achieve symbiotic relationships with the host communities .
Open up avenues of communication and build human resources to face the challenges.
The imperatives of the national endeavor in occupational and environmental health are driven by:
The changing economic scenario that the organized industries have their dominating presence with islands of excellence in occupational health, with vastly deprived informal and the farming sectors;
Surge in technological advances brings in newer challenges of man-machine compatibility, and lifestyle concerns;
Vivid transformation of the demographic trend that women and younger workforce are fast becoming active contributors in economic activities;
Public sensitization is vivid today than it was before, thus raising social awareness on the soft occupational and environmental health issues that are visible in the work environment; and
Requirement of regulatory compliance that medium and large industrial enterprises fall under statutory jurisdiction, while vast farming and other informal sectors remain grossly out of the ambit of OHS regulatory provisions.