Volume 3 Number 9 January 2006
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NIOSH Topic Page Offers Resource on Preventing Coal
Mine Deaths, Injuries
NIOSH Presents Evidence Package to National Academies for Review of
Occupational Energy Research Program
Members, Next Steps for NAS Review of Two NIOSH Programs Announced
Highlight NIOSH Leadership in PPE Research
and NIOSH Release Occupational Surveillance Data
and Beryllium Producer hold Annual Stakeholder Meeting
Technology News 512-Improve Drill Dust Collector Capture Through Better Shroud and Inlet Configurations (DHHS NIOSH Pub. No. 2006-108).
Getting to Zero…The Human Side of Mining (DHHS NIOSH Pub. No. 2006-112)
December 14, the NIOSH Morgantown facility was awarded "Star" status
under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). This is a notable accomplishment.
The VPP program is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding
efforts of employers and employees who have demonstrated excellence in
occupational safety and health. According to the most recent figures
from OSHA, the prestigious designation of "Star" status has only been
awarded to 938 U.S. worksites under Federal jurisdiction as of November
demonstrates that we at NIOSH not only produce world quality science,
but we also know how to “walk the walk” when
it comes to making our own workplace as safe, healthy and secure as possible.
Special thanks and congratulations are extended to Dan Browning, the
Management Operations Officer for the Morgantown facility, the Safety
Office staff for coordinating the extensive preparations and hard work
required to reach this level of success in a relatively short period
of time, and to each of the Morgantown employees who contributed time
and effort into the preparations for the site evaluation and provided
the necessary employee involvement required to receive this designation.
The Morgantown facility houses the Division of Respiratory Disease
Studies, the Division of Safety Research and the Health Effects Laboratory
Division. More information on the OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs
can be found at http://www.osha.gov/vpp.
tragedy of the January 2, 2006, Sago mine explosion in Tallmansville,
West Virginia, reinforces the importance of recognizing the potential
hazards in underground coal mining, and the need for systematic safety
and health vigilance. A new NIOSH Web topic page provides information
on methane, carbon monoxide, and other hazards in coal mining, and
a portal to additional NIOSH information on mine safety and mine rescue.
The page is located at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/minerescue/.
has presented a full package of information to the National Academies
(NA) for its review of the NIOSH Occupational Energy Research Program.
The document, called an Evidence Package, presents a comprehensive
overview and history of the program, a detailed summary of completed
research and communication products, and a rationale and plan for future
research. NIOSH research has an important role in supporting the well-being
of more than 600,000 energy workers in the U.S. and more than 10 million
worldwide. Much work, however, remains to be done in translating heath
effects research into impact-driven practice for improving worker and
public health. The NA review will help NIOSH set an optimal direction
for future efforts to continue research and to move from research to
practice in this area. The Evidence Package can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nas/oerp/OERP-NAS.html.
In an effort that is separate from but related to the review of the Occupational Energy Research Program, the National Academies (NA) has initiated its evaluation of selected NIOSH research program areas with the formation of provisional committees to review two programs. The NA will be evaluating not only what NIOSH research programs are producing, but also determining the extent to which NIOSH research is relevant to worker health and safety needs in the workplace. They will also evaluate the extent to which NIOSH research contributes to reducing risk of occupational injuries, illnesses, and deaths. The evaluation is being undertaken by the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the NA.
In December, the NA announced provisional committees to review the hearing loss prevention and mining injury and illness prevention. Following a 20-day public comment period, the NA has set up meetings of the two committees.
Stay tuned to eNews for more information on the NA review process and
additional meeting dates and times.
Recent developments involving a technical investigation, new respirator testing and certification criteria, a new partnership, and professional recognition highlight NIOSH's leadership in research for advancing personal protective equipment. The developments pertain to activities by NIOSH's National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory:
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and NIOSH have
released a new report, Putting Data to Work:
Occupational Health Indicators from Thirteen Pilot States for 2000.
The report defines 19 occupational health indicators (OHI), specific
measures of a work-related disease or injury or factors associated
with occupational health in a specified population. The indicators
allow for assessing and monitoring overall health and provide a baseline
from which comparisons and trends over time can be tracked. OHIs are
intended to increase the consistency and availability of occupational
disease and injury surveillance data at the state and federal levels.
The set of OHIs are part of a larger national process of public health
indicator development including injury, environmental, chronic disease
and the “Leading
Health Indicators” of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services Healthy People 2010 project. The CSTE-NIOSH report can be found
November 3 and 4, 2005, NIOSH and Brush Wellman Inc. (BWI), the major
U.S. producer of beryllium and beryllium-containing products, held
their annual stakeholder communications meeting in Morgantown, WV.
The meeting served as a communication forum among workforce representatives
from all company levels, company health and safety staff and NIOSH
researchers. Workers highlighted research-driven changes put into practice
at the facility over the past 20 years, described the beryllium management
program and its implementation at another facility, and posed questions
to NIOSH researchers as ideas for future research. NIOSH researchers
presented a review of the program progress and updates on ongoing industrial
hygiene, genetic, and epidemiologic research studies. Upon their return
to the plant, the workers shared the meeting information with coworkers
and their families. In 1998, NIOSH and BWI signed a Memorandum of Understanding
that outlined a plan to conduct beryllium-related occupational safety
and health research, with the ultimate goal of preventing beryllium
disease. More information on NIOSH beryllium research highlights is
available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/beryllium/newsletter.html.
|Nanotechnology health issues reviewed in journal article
The body of scientific evidence about the occupational health implications of airborne, engineered nanoparticles is comprehensively reviewed in a new, peer-reviewed journal article by two scientists, one a current NIOSH researcher and the other formerly with NIOSH. The article, “Airborne Nanostructured Particles and Occupational Health,” by Andrew D. Maynard and Eileen D. Kuempel, appears in the December 2005 Journal of Nanoparticle Research. Dr. Maynard is now with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Dr. Kuempel is with the NIOSH Education and Information Division.
An abstract of the article is available online at Springerlink.
From the available evidence, the scientists conclude that the current data, although limited, suggest the wisdom of taking prudent measures in working with engineered nanomaterials. While more research is needed to better understand the characteristics and behaviors of nanomaterials relevant for assessing their occupational health implications, enough data exist for suggesting preliminary guiding principles, according to the article.
NIOSH conducts a strategic research program in key areas described by the article, and offers preliminary guidance in the Web-based document “Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology” on occupational safety and health practices pending additional needed research. Further information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech.
NIOSH Nanotechnology expertise highlighted in ISO Technical Committee
More information on the international meeting is available from the ISO at http://www.iso.org/iso/en/commcentre/pressreleases/2005/Ref980.html. Additional information on the NIOSH nanotechnology research program, and on opportunities for stakeholder participation, is available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech.
NIOSH to form field research team for partnerships in studying, assessing
NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., invited NIOSH scientists and engineers
through an all-hands email on Dec. 27, 2005, to participate in the effort.
More information on the initiative can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-12-28-05.html.
Partners to move science to solutions.
Interested in joining
NIOSH move science to solutions? Contact the NIOSH r2p Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on these and other partnerships can be found on the
r2p Web site, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/r2p.
NORA Liaison Committee recognizes outstanding research:
Nominations due February 1, 2006
NORA Town Hall Meetings continue in January
chemical and dust hazards focus of three new videos from CSB
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has released three new educational videos illustrating the work of the agency.
The videos can be viewed in the CSB Video Archive at http://www.csb.gov and free DVD copies are available through the CSB.
and Asthma Among Youth Less Than 20 Years of Age on Minority Farm
Operations in the United States, 2000 Volume II: Hispanic Minority
Data (DHHS NIOSH Pub. No. 2006-109)
This new NIOSH publication provides youth demographic, injury and asthma estimates at the national level for youth on Hispanic-operated farms in the U.S. In 2000, there were an estimated 366 injuries among youth less than 20 years of age on these farms. The major cause of these injuries included contact with objects and falls. Additionally, nearly 1,300 youth with asthma lived on these farms. The document can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2006-109.
News 512-Improve Drill Dust Collector Capture Through Better Shroud
and Inlet Configurations (DHHS NIOSH Pub. No. 2006-108)
Human Side of Mining (DHHS NIOSH Pub. No. 2006-112)
Symposium: Biomedical Aspects of Nano-Toxicology
Call for Abstracts: 1st American Conference on Human Vibration
Work, Stress and Health 2006: Making a Difference in the Workplace
Call for Abstracts: 13th Conference of the International Society for
2006 NORA Symposium: Research Makes a Difference
AIHce 2006 and VENT 2006
International Symposium on Wood Dust
Alert Safety Systems (PASS) emit a loud, highly discernable audio alarm
when sensing the absence of motion if a worker becomes immobilized
for 25 seconds. The systems are used by fire and emergency services
to detect these distress conditions.