NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals
927Z6RH - Core and Research-to-Practice CoordinationStart Date: 10/1/2006
End Date: 9/30/2010
Principal Investigator (PI)Name: Kathleen Kreiss
Funded By: NIOSH
Primary Goal Addressed5.0
Secondary Goal AddressedNone
Attributed to Manufacturing100%
This project will track research progress of the research projects in the program, Beryllium and a Novel Control Paradigm; to ensure multidisciplinary collaboration among principal investigators and beryllium company staff; and to facilitate dissemination of information gained by the program to make changes in workplace prevention of beryllium disease by diverse stakeholders. These objectives will be accomplished by monthly meetings of project principal investigators, bimonthly meetings with company health and safety staff, yearly meetings with company workers and management, scientific presentations and committee work, and leveraging research impact by annual contact with other NIOSH staff with interests in opportunities provided by the company and with other federal agencies requesting our recommendations for prevention of beryllium sensitization.
This project provides oversight for a program of four research projects - Beryllium and a Novel Control Paradigm. The objectives of the coordination project are to provide mechanisms to track research progress of the four projects; to ensure multidisciplinary exchange among the projects and company collaborators; and to facilitate dissemination of information gained by the program to many stakeholders. The principal stakeholders are Brush Wellman, a beryllium production company, its employees and customers, other employers with beryllium-exposed workers including the Department of Energy, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (which has started beryllium rule-making), other divisions and offices within NIOSH with interests in control banding, safety culture, and research-to-practice opportunities, and research community.
The completion of this proposed research will propel prevention of beryllium sensitization forward because it will provide the understanding of what characteristics of beryllium exposure and routes of exposure are important for companies using risk-based management of processes. In addition, the evaluation of the Brush Wellman Inc. comprehensive prevention program for beryllium sensitization will provide the evidence necessary to convince other companies, DOE, and OSHA to adopt their model which includes skin protection and beryllium particle migration controls, in addition to engineering and administrative controls. This paradigm of risk-based management may motivate other manufacturing companies to consider implementing such controls, rather than relying mainly on compliance with available standards in preventing occupational disease.
Many manufacturing workers have health risks related to exposures that are unregulated or for which permissible exposure limits are not health-protective or not enforced. Risk-based management of exposures is an alternative to a compliance approach for prevention of occupational disease. Evaluation of the effectiveness of such an approach will contribute to its implementation, as will the basic science underpinning the health risks of particular processes, routes of exposure, and types of exposure. This project comprises the coordination effort for a NORA funded program of four projects - Beryllium and a Novel Control Paradigm. The program explores specific risks in the beryllium industry that are related to dermal exposure to a sensitizing metal, different physicochemical forms by process, genetic risks of sensitization and disease, and the long-term effectiveness of a comprehensive preventive program. The results will be used to improve health and safety in the beryllium industry by informing Occupational Safety and Health Administration rulemaking, Department of Energy policies for beryllium-exposed workers in the nuclear industry, and manufacturing employers with similar challenges in preventing disease to toxic metals and sensitizers.