Volume 4 Number 1 May 2006
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Workers Memorial Day Issue of MMWR
NIOSH Morgantown Celebrates Its STAR Status
Interim Director for Spokane Research Laboratory Named
Public Health Service Announces Winners of the Engineering Literary
Researcher Recognized by Professional Organization
and FDA Issue Joint Public Health Notification
Injury Center Releases Economic Burden of Injuries
News: ARMPS-HWM: New Software for Sizing Pillars for Highwall Mining
Trench Safety Awareness
Health Hazard Evaluation: Evaluation of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields at a computer and telecommunications facility.
During the recent National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Symposium, NIOSH had the pleasure of recognizing exemplary partners and researchers in the field of occupational safety and health research. Their work spans a variety of occupations and safety and health issues. We at NIOSH congratulate each of them for their outstanding dedication and the contributions they have made to improving worker safety and health.
The NIOSH Director’s Award is presented, beginning this year, for outstanding leadership and research accomplishments in the field of occupational safety and health that have a measurable impact on the practitioner environment and workplace. This year’s award was presented to Dr. Charles Czeisler, Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine and the Director, Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, for his work as the Principal Investigator for the NIOSH-funded study “Effects of Extended Work Hours on Intern Safety and Health.” The study, which looked at how extended shifts affected first year medical interns both inside and outside the workplace, suggest these extended shifts pose serious safety risks to interns, their patients and also to other motorists when fatigued interns drive home after finishing extended shifts.
The NORA Innovative Research Award for Worker Safety and Health honors those who have shown creativity and innovation in their occupational safety and health research in a NORA priority area. The Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS) project was the 2006 award winner. GTS can affect farm workers who handle wet tobacco leaves and may lead to symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and vomiting that can lead to life-threatening dehydration. Farm workers at potential risk include the growing population of Latino workers. By engaging Latino farm workers, tobacco growers, and medical personnel in the process, the researchers created a significant body of scholarly work on GTS epidemiology and produced meaningful education materials for both farm workers and medical personnel who treat GTS.
The NORA Partnering Award for Worker Safety and Health honors groups who have demonstrated exemplary teamwork, innovative thinking, and strong science in their collaborative partnerships on occupational safety and health research. This award was presented to two groups. The Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention in Health Care Workers project brought together a first-of-its-kind collaboration between private and public sector U.S. hospitals, organized labor, private and public sector safety and health researchers, and international researchers with cooperation from manufacturers of footwear, flooring, and floor wax, to research, develop and test a program that would help to prevent slip, trip and fall injuries among health care workers. A “best practices” injury prevention program was established, a layman’s document is in development, and the results of various component studies have been presented at national and international conferences.
The NIOSH Hazardous Drug Working Group is also a 2006 winner of the Partnering Award for Worker Safety and Health. This group of representatives from government, labor, pharmacy, nursing, academia, research, pharmaceutical and safety equipment manufacturing, and trade associations charged themselves to develop authoritative findings and recommendations about the potential risk of occupational health effects among health care employees exposed to hazardous drugs. This collaboration produced a NIOSH Alert summarizing known health risks and guidelines for safe handling and administration, and actions in partnership with the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.
To learn more about the exemplary NORA award winners, please visit the
NORA Web page at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora/symp06/award06.html.
April 28 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity
and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) issued in conjunction with
Workers Memorial Day includes reports from NIOSH with findings and
recommendations on injuries and health symptoms from New Orleans police
officers and firefighters associated with response during Hurricane
Katrina, on prevention of line-of-duty fatalities among firefighters,
and on occupational injuries treated in emergency rooms. Also
included is a NIOSH notice on the observance of Workers Memorial Day,
April 28, which was established to remember those workers who died
or were injured on the job. The MMWR can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5516.pdf.
On April 12, 2006, at a ceremony in NIOSH's Morgantown, W.Va., facility, NIOSH and its partners celebrated the success of the facility in being awarded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) STAR award, OSHA’s highest ranking award under its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). The award of STAR status was announced last December and was reported in the January 2006 issue of NIOSH eNews.
The NIOSH Morgantown
Safety Committee and Safety Office were recognized during the ceremony
for their instrumental roles in the facility'sexemplary safety program.
Richard Soltan, the OSHA Region III Administrator, presented a plaque
and special flag, and letters of congratulations from West Virginia
Senator Robert Byrd, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, and Executive
Director of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association
Davis Layne were read. Other distinguished participants included NIOSH
Director Dr. John Howard, Morgantown Mayor Ron Justice, CDC Office of
Health and Safety Director Casey Chosewood, Interim Associate Director
for Management and Operations Allison Tanner, and American Federation
of Government Employees Local 3430 President Cathy Tinney-Zara.
Finfinger, Ph.D., became the Interim Director of the NIOSH Spokane Research
Laboratory (SRL) effective April 17, 2006. Dr. Finfinger received his
Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the California University
of Pennsylvania, Masters of Business Administration degree from the University
of Pittsburgh and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mining Engineering from
West Virginia University. He began his professional career in 1974 with
the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL), then a part of the U.S. Bureau
of Mines, in the Methane Control and Ventilation Group. Dr. Finfinger
has been active in disaster prevention and response initiatives in coal,
stone, salt, trona, and oil shale mines in the U.S. and internationally,
and has published extensively. Dr. Finfinger has also served in a variety
of management positions including both Acting Deputy Director and Acting
Director for PRL.
On May 1 – 4 at the Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Professional Annual Conference in Denver, CO, three papers representing the work of NIOSH researchers and their partners, will receive USPHS Engineering Literary Awards. Sponsored by the Office of the Chief Engineer and the Engineers Professional Advisory Committee (EPAC), these awards recognize and promote the literary achievements of Civil Service employees and commissioned officers.
The award publications include:
Shvedova, Senior Staff Fellow in the NIOSH Health Effects Laboratory
Division, was selected for the “Women in Toxicology Service Recognition
Award” by the Society for Toxicology (SOT). Presented at the
annual SOT conference in San Diego, CA, held March 5-9, 2006, the award
is given to an individual who had been a major influence in the education,
training and mentorship of women scientists in toxicology.
and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have published a joint Public
Health Notification entitled Oxygen Regulator Fires Resulting from
Incorrect Use of CGA 870 Seals. The publication alerts healthcare professionals
and the public about a potential occupational hazard associated with
the improper use of oxygen regulator gaskets. The FDA has received
a dozen reports in which regulators used with oxygen cylinders have
burned or exploded, in some cases injuring personnel, and it is believed
that improper use of oxygen gaskets was a major factor in both the
ignition and severity of the fires. The notification can be accessed
on the FDA Web site, http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/042406-o2fires.pdf.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released The
Incidence and Economic Burden of Injuries in the United States, which includes
findings that the 50 million injuries that required medical treatment
in 2000 will ultimately cost $406 billion. These total lifetime costs
include estimates of $80.2 billion in medical care costs and $326 billion
in productivity losses. The book examines these medical expenses and
productivity losses by gender, age, mechanism of injury, body region
and body part injured, and severity. Additional findings and information
about purchasing the book can be found at the CDC Web site, http://www.cdc.gov/injury.
Lifting and Movement of Nursing Home Residents
NIOSH has issued a new guide, Safe Lifting and Movement of Nursing Home Residents, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2006-117, highlighting the benefits of a safe resident lifting program. Intended for nursing home owners, administrators, nurse managers, safety and health professionals and workers who are interested in establishing this program, the guide also presents a business case for investment in lifting equipment and training. Research conducted by NIOSH, the Veterans Health Administration, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has shown that safe resident lifting programs incorporating mechanical lifting equipment can protect workers from injury, reduce workers’ compensation costs, and improve the quality of care delivered to residents. The guide can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2006-117.
Team members honored during the NORA Symposium 2006
Focus of New OSHA Summer Job Safety Campaign
News: Float Coal Dust Explosion Hazards
Technology News: ARMPS-HWM: New Software for Sizing Pillars for Highwall
Trench Safety Awareness Training
Health Hazard Evaluation:
Evaluation of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields
at a computer and telecommunications facility
AIHce 2006 and VENT
Call for Abstracts for December Nanotechnology Conference
1st American Conference on Human Vibration
13th International Respiratory Protection of Healthcare Workers and