Volume 3 Number 4 August 2005
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UPDATE on Nanotechnology
Preventing Power Line Fatalities: NIOSH Resources
NIOSH Spotlights Resources to Avoid Dangers Associated with Weather-related
Potential School Health Risks from Pesticide
NIOSH, European Agency Launch Joint Web Site
Captain Janice Huy Named New Chief Dietitian Officer USPHS
|PELs and RELs|
Last November, NIOSH joined with the World Health Organization (WHO) to convene a conference on identifying successful tools for evaluating the economic impact of occupational health and safety interventions. The Economic Evaluation of Occupational Health and Safety Interventions at the Company Level conference brought together global representatives from health and safety, research, economics and management from both developed and developing nations. Their charge was to examine the current state of the use of economic knowledge and tools to demonstrate the economic gains from occupational health and safety interventions.
Now, as a follow-up to that conference of global importance, we are pleased to report that the invited presentations from the meeting, describing six key economic evaluation tools currently in use at the company level, are highlighted in the July issue of the Journal of Safety Research. The special section, “Proceedings from the Economic Evaluation of Health and Safety Interventions at the Company Level Conference,” is devoted to these evaluation tools and recommendations for moving forward in this area of research.
The six economic evaluation tools include:
In addition, this special section includes a summary report of discussions on whether current economic evaluation and data collection tools accurately calculate the costs and benefits of occupational safety and health interventions. Discussion groups divided into four target groups made the following observations:
Abstracts for these special section articles can be accessed at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00224375.
Following the November conference, NIOSH established an institute-wide team to implement suggestions made by attendees for ways in which NIOSH could increase the use and visibility of economics research. This internal working group, “Economic Evaluation of OSH Interventions at Company Level” is comprised of four task groups:
Stay tuned to future
issues of eNews for updates on this team’s
progress and new developments in economics research. NIOSH solicits your
ideas and suggestions for including economics research in the occupational
safety and health field. Please send your comments to us at NIOSHeNews@cdc.gov.
‘Focus on Nanotechnology’ Web
Reports on NIOSH Research
International Symposium on Nanotechnology and Occupational Health-Final
Symposium: Biomedical Aspects of Nano-Toxicology
Electrocutions from unintentional contact with overhead power lines can be prevented through awareness of the hazard and proper precautions. NIOSH offers many resources to help employers, employees, volunteers, and others identify potential risks when working under and around power lines, and to help them work safely to avoid touching the lines with poles, ladders, or other objects that can conduct electricity.
contact with overhead power lines result in 128 work-related fatalities
on average per year. On July 25, 2005, news outlets reported on the
deaths of four adult Boy Scout leaders, and injuries to three other
adults, when a tent pole apparently struck an overhead power line at
the Boy Scouts’ national gathering, according to
the press accounts. "Power lines are such a common feature of the
landscape that any given job may put workers and others in proximity
to an uninsulated line," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "It
is critical to recognize the potential hazard and prevent tragedy." For
additional information on NIOSH resources, see http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-07-26-05-b.html.
In anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Emily and the stifling summer temperatures that left parts of the U.S. bearing triple digit heat indices, NIOSH posted resources and information for those working in the affected areas.
Emily resulted in at least 70 deaths in the U.S. and the Caribbean
and the scorching summer temperatures have led at least 40 deaths across
from a new national analysis indicate that exposures to pesticides
can pose a risk for employees and students in schools, according to
a study by two NIOSH scientists and other colleagues reported on July
27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. During
the period 1998-2002, illness surveillance data identified 2,593 cases
of acute illnesses associated with pesticide exposures at schools. Measures
for preventing such illnesses should include implementation of integrated
pest-management programs in schools, practices to reduce pesticide drift
from neighboring farm fields, and adaptation of pesticide
spray buffer zones around schools, recommended Walter A. Alarcon and
Geoffrey M. Calvert of NIOSH, and 13 colleagues from other federal and
state agencies. An abstract of the article is available at http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/294/4/455. Additional
information on pesticide illness and injury prevention is available from
NIOSH at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/pesticides.
and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work have launched
a joint Web site to provide the occupational safety and health (OSH)
community with improved access and sharing of the vast pool of European
and American OSH expertise and research. The Web site follows the structure
and presentation of the European Agency’s Web site
network and represents a significant contribution to the creation of
a global portal to workplace safety and health information. The Web site
can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/usnetwork.
NIOSH congratulates Janice Huy, who holds the rank of
Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), on being named the
new Chief Dietitian Officer for the Public Health Service. In this senior
position, Captain Huy will provide leadership and coordination of USPHS
dietitian professional affairs for the Office of the Surgeon General
and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, she
will provide guidance and advice to the Surgeon General and the Dietitian
and Nutritionist Professional Advisory Committee on recruitment, retention
and career development of USPHS dietitians and nutritionists. Captain
Huy is the Deputy Director of the NIOSH Office of Research and Technology
Focus of NORA Conference on Musculoskeletal Disorder Risk
NIOSH Grantee Designs Ergonomic Interventions for the Fire Service
The UIC team began their project by conducting multiple rounds of focus groups with fire service personnel to generate ergonomic intervention concepts to improve the conduct of frequently performed and strenuous EMS tasks. Working with the fire service, the most highly ranked of these intervention ideas were then turned into alpha prototypes of devices. The devices were tested in their ergonomics laboratory by having firefighters and paramedics perform common patient handling tasks (e.g., carrying a patient down a flight of stairs) using the new devices and their standard equipment.
Using both the biomechanical data and evaluative feedback from the fire service personnel about the performance of the alpha prototypes, the researchers are now preparing to collect further evaluative data to facilitate the development of beta prototypes that can serve as manufacturing models. The university team will continue to work with the fire service to develop effective strategies for dissemination and implementation of the devices.
For additional information about this project, please contact Karen
Conrad at email@example.com.
Building on the success of the original 21 NORA priority areas, NIOSH and its partners are preparing for a new generation of occupational safety and health research. This research will be organized by sectors and will be led by nine new Research Councils. More information about the sector approach can be found on the NORA Web page, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora.
The mission of the eight NORA Sector Research Councils* will be to develop and maintain sector specific research strategies. These strategies will address the most important safety and health problems. Representing all stakeholders, the councils will use an open process to set research goals for addressing these problems and develop strategies and partnerships to promote improved workplace practices.
Interested in helping shape the future of workplace safety and health? Volunteer for a NORA Sector Research Council by contacting Sid Soderholm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Concerned that eight doesn’t equal nine?! Stay tuned to eNews or visit the NORA Web page to learn about the NORA Cross-Sector Research Council.
5 years for construction safety and health
eLCOSH offers brochures, training materials, power point presentations, videos and other materials from a wide range of sources. These include trade magazines, labor-management programs, state agencies, and research projects conducted at NIOSH and academia. Annotated links feature more than 50 construction safety and health related Web sites. The Web site has grown to include 767 documents, including 132 in Spanish and also features a separate Spanish site map.
eLCOSH is coordinated
by the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights,
a research, training and service arm of the 15 construction unions in
the AFL-CIO, with technical support from Conceptual Arts, Inc. eLCOSH
can be accessed via the NIOSH Web page, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/elcosh.html.
NIOSH construction resources can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/construction.
Roof Bolting Machine Safety: A Study of the Drill Boom Vertical Velocity NIOSH Pub. No 2005-128
Bulletin 59: Contact Lens Use in a Chemical Environment NIOSH Pub. No. 2005-139
Injury data are lacking to indicate that contact lens wear should be restricted during work with hazardous chemicals; therefore, NIOSH recommends that contact lens wear be permitted provided that the safety guidelines presented in this CIB are followed.
Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE): Noise Exposures among Medical Transcriptionists
Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE): Metals Exposures at a Scrap Metal Recycling
American Congress of Clinical Toxicology (NACCT) 2005
Safety Congress and National Safety Council to Meet in September
Coinciding with the World Safety Congress, the National Safety Council Congress and Expo will run from September 21-23, 2005 at the same location. The Congress will feature over 200 sessions ranging from broad-based to industry-specific topics for the seasoned professional and newcomers to safety and health. The Expo is the world’s largest annual safety and health exhibit, where more than 750 exhibiting companies demonstrate and showcase the latest in safety materials and products. http://www.congress.nsc.org.
Personal Protective Equipment - Challenges in Protecting First Responders
Attendees will learn about the hazards posed by emerging threats, the application of personal protective equipment (PPE) technology to these threats, and associated challenges with selecting and interfacing different PPE items. The emphasis of the conference will be on practical issues of threat accommodation, standards, regulations, applications of best practices, manufacturing and distribution issues, PPE decision-making and purchasing, and multi-PPE integration. More information on the conference can be found at http://www.conted.vt.edu/appe or by contacting Tom Fisher at TFisher@cdc.gov.
Stress and Health 2006: Making a Difference in the Workplace
RELs or Recommended
Exposure Limits are occupational exposure limits
recommended by NIOSH as being protective of worker safety and health
over a working lifetime. RELs are used in combination with engineering
and work practice controls, exposure and medical monitoring, labeling,
posting, worker training and personal protective equipment.