2005-2013 Bullard-Sherwood and DIA Awards
Project Title: Development of the NIOSH CROPS Topic Page for the Transfer of Applied Research Knowledge
Project Officer & Key Contributors: Eugene McKenzie, Jr.; Douglas Cantis; David Hard; Joyce Spiker; Cathy Rotunda
Project Title: Enhancing the Performance of Fire Fighter Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Face Piece Lenses
Project Officer & Key Contributors: Timothy Merinar; Matt Bowyer; Virginia Lutz; Stephen Miles; Murrey Loflin; Nancy Romano; Jay Tarley; John Sines; Stacy Wertman; Tom Pouchot; Bill Haskell; John Szalajda; Thomas Hales; Tommy Baldwin; Stephen Berardinelli, Jr.; Heinz Ahlers
Project Title: A Visual Warning System to Reduce Moving Equipment Pinning and Striking Fatalities and Injuries
Project Officer & Key Contributors: John Sammarco; Timothy Lutz; Justin Srednicki; Timothy Matty; Alan Mayton; Sean Gallagher; Miguel Reyes; Mary Ellen Nelson; Albert Cook; Jeffrey Yonkey
Project Title: Hazard Mapping Training for Restaurant Managers
Project Officer & Key Contributors: Raymond Sinclair; Thomas Cunningham; David Utterback
Project Title: Intelligent Proximity Detection
Project Officer & Key Contributors: Jacob Carr; Joseph DuCarme; Christopher Jobes; Timothy Lutz; Miguel Reyes; Jeffrey Yonkey
Project Title: Field Attenuation Measurement for Hearing Protection Devices
Project Officer & Key Contributors: William Murphy; Mark Stephenson; David Byrne; Christa Themann
Project Title: Development of Computer-Aided Face-Fit Evaluation Methods
Project Officer & Key Contributors: Ziqing Zhuang; Ronald Shaffer; Michael Bergman; Michael Joseph; William Newcomb; Jonathan Szalajda
Early Career Scientist
Cammie Chaumont Menéndez/DSR
Distinguished Career Scientist
Mark R. Stephenson/DART
Project Title: The SENSOR-Pesticides Program
Project Team Members: Calvert G, Alarcon W, Hudson N, Lackovic M, Mitchell Y, Prado J, Mehler L, Diebolt-Brown B, Waltz J, Schwartz A, O’Malley M, Mulay P, Walker R, Evans E, Higgins S and Kass D
Project Title: NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings
Project Team Members: Connor T, McDiarmid M, MacKenzie B, Mead K, DeBord DG, Hammond D, Schnorr T, Power L, Polovich M, Burroughs GE and Reed L
Project Title: Standard on Respirators for Wildland Fire Fighting Operations
Project Team Members: Rehak T, Szalajda J, Ahlers H, BerryAnn R, Boord L, Leonard S, Weissman D and Gaughan D
Project Title: S-Pillar Software for Stone Mine Pillar Design
Project Team Members: Esterhuizen G, Murphy M and Prosser LJ
Project Title: Development, Evaluation, and Implementation of Engineering Controls to Protect Workers from Potential Anthrax Exposure from Sorting Machines at USPS Processing and Distribution Facilities
Project Team Members: Hammond D, Lo L, Garcia A, Marlow D, Farwick D, Farwick D, Hirst D, Echt A, Kratzer J, Shulman S, Feng HA, Kovein R, Lewis T, Clark B, Campbell D, Blythe E, Topmiller J, Gressel M, Hall R and Earnest GS
Project Title: Reducing Fatalities Due to Falls Overboard
Project Team Members: Lucas D, Lincoln JM, Teske T, Anderson P, Somervell P, Burton J, Woodley C and Medlicott C
Project Title: Commercially-available Drill Bit Isolator Noise Control For Miners
Project Team Members: Azman A, Alcorn L and Yantek D
Project Title: Development and Evaluation of the NIOSH Multi-functional Guardrail System
Project Team Members: Bobick T, McKenzie E, Jr. and Cantis D
Project Title: Developing a Real Time Diesel Particulate Monitor
Project Team Members: Noll J, Mischler S, Janisko S and Hummer J
Distinguished Career Scientist
Cecil Burchfiel, HELD
Hongwei Hsiao, DSR
William Murphy, DART
Early Career Scientist
Taekhee Lee, HELD
Hope Tiesman, DSR
Ana Barbero, HELD
Shirley Robertson, DART
Richard Whisler, DSR
Project Title: Improved Truck Cab Design Through Applied Anthropometry
Project Team Members: Guan J, Hsiao H, Whisler R, Newbraugh B, Cantis D, Zwiener J, Current RS
Project Title: Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology: Managing the Health and Safety Concerns Associated with Engineered Nanomaterials
Project Team Members: Hodson L, Geraci C, Zumwalde R, Castranova V, Kuempel E, Birch E, Curwin B, Evans D, Gao P, Hoover M, Ku BK, Mercer R, Methner M, Murashov V, Pearce T, Rengasamy A, Schubauer-Berigan M, Schulte P, Shaffer R, Shvedova A, Stefaniak A, Trout D, Turkevich L, Williams V, Fazio G
Project Title: NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings
Project Team Members: MacKenzie B, Connor T, DeBord G, O’Callaghan J, Trout D
Project Title: Partnering with Industry to Build Safe EMS Work Environments
Project Team Members: Green J, Moore P
Project Title: Demonstrating the Business Case of Prevention through Design
Project Team Members: Heidel D, Biddle E
Project Title: Utilization of CROPS Designs in NYCAMH Retrofit Program
Project Team Members: McKenzie E, Jr., Hard D, Cantis D, Harris J, Powers J, Jr., May J, Sorenson J, Bayes B, Madden E
Project Title: Medium Frequency Mine Communications System
Project Team Members: Damiano N, Snyder D
Project Title: Software and Workshops on Pillar Design for Room and Pillar Mining
Project Team Members: Mark C, Klemetti T, Compton C, Opfer D, Prosser L
Project Title: NIOSH Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Cap Lamp
Project Team Members: Sammarco J, Matty T, King G
Distinguished Career Scientist
Hongwei Hsiao, DSR
Kenneth Wallingford, DSHEFS
Early Career Scientist
Jessica Streit, DART
Stacy Wertman, DSR
Steve Wurzelbacher, DSHEFS
Shirley Robertson, DART
Pam Schumacher, DSHEFS
Lunette Utter, DSR
- Title: Construction Equipment Visibility and the Development of Blind Area Diagrams: An Intermediate Output of the NORA Traumatic Injury Research Project, Evaluating Roadway Construction Work Zone Interventions and the Public Health Practice Project, Transfer Evaluation Results into Road Construction Practice
- Authors: Fosbroke D, Griffin C, Ruff T, Hause M, Lincoln J, Newbraugh B, Hendricks S, Hammer B, Perritt K, Bowyer M, Merinar T, Ammons D, Whisler R
- Source: Division of Safety Research
- Background: Each year, workers in the highway, street, and bridge construction industry face dual hazards of being struck by traffic passing through work zones and being run over by construction equipment operating within work zones. Since 2002, workers in this industry suffer an average of 138 fatal occupational injuries annually, or approximately 10% of the industry’s worker deaths, while only representing 5% of the construction workforce. Being struck by construction equipment is a leading cause of fatalities in work zones.
- Relevance: To reduce equipment-related fatalities, NIOSH researchers developed blind area diagrams to assist in visualizing the areas around various construction vehicles and equipment that are unable to be seen from the operator’s position. These diagrams are widely available on the NIOSH Construction Equipment Visibility web page, Google Images, and have been added to multiple websites, search engines, industry e-magazines, and listservs maintained by federal agencies, industry and professional associations, insurance companies, and labor unions, expanding the reach and access to this information.
Blind Area Diagrams have been utilized for various purposes to educate construction companies. Several construction companies have requested scaled diagrams to use and have placed decals on company construction equipment. Manufacturers of reflective materials, hard hat mirrors, and proximity warning devices use these diagrams in their advertising materials to highlight the hazards of working around equipment. An industry trade association obtained funding from the Federal Highway Administration to develop and print a poster titled, “Know the Blind Spots,” for distribution at conferences and through the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. Blind area diagrams were also incorporated into training materials developed by the Federal Highway Administration Roadway Safety Training Consortium Grantees, the North American Association of Transportation Safety and Health Officials, and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
More information about Construction Equipment Visibility can be found at:
- Title: Enhanced Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program
- Authors: Wolfe A, Attfield M, Baston T, Beaty M, Beeckman-Wagner L, Boutin B, DeVor L, Englehart S, Fedan K, Freeland D, Hale J, Hayes J, Hull H, Keller J, Kiser H, Lawson J, Markle T, Marstiller M, Mogyoros L, Morris L, Petsko R, Petsonk EL, Pyles L, Ryan M, Spainhour D, Taylor J, Tift B, Wang ML, Werntz C, White R, Wolfe M
- Source: Division of Respiratory Disease Studies
- Background: The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 is intended to protect the health and safety of underground coal miners. This Act directs NIOSH to study the causes and consequences of coal-related respiratory disease and, in cooperation with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), carry out a program for early detection and prevention of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP). These activities are administered through the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP). This program is crucially important in documenting general trends and patterns in the prevalence of radiographic evidence of CWP in U.S. underground coal mines. Analysis of the data for miners who participated in the program from 1996 to 2002 suggested that certain groups of miners were at elevated risk.
- Relevance: To further investigate CWP findings and trends, NIOSH initiated the Enhanced Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (ECWHSP) in 2005 to provide outreach to coal miners, especially in geographical regions of concern, thereby increasing participation in surveillance and further facilitating prevention. ECWHSP uses a newly acquired state-of-the art mobile medical examination unit. As a result of the ECWHSP, there was a dramatic increase in the number of miners served. From the beginning of the ECWHSP through about September 2008; NIOSH has visited 13 states, conducting site surveys in over 70 different counties, resulting in approximately 6,900 x-rays and pulmonary function examinations. These findings have been disseminated in MMWRs, scientific papers and presentation and numerous news articles, as well as have been cited by MSHA as a motivation for a new initiative to end black lung.
The findings from the ECWHSP and CWHSP have provided important information of relevance to coal miner health and disease prevention. Specifically, these finding provide critical information to compliance authorities, helping them to focus on critical problems facing miner operators and miners now and in the future. These results have assisted in prompting MSHA to begin an important new disease-prevention program: “Act Now, End Black Lung!” as well as in motivating a revision of the federal coal mining regulations. Preliminary information indicates that there is an interest on reducing the compliance standard for silica and improving the current method of exposure assessment.
More information about the Enhanced Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program can be found at:
- Title: Partnerships for Hearing Preservation in Agriculture
- Authors: Ehlers J, Graydon P, Stephenson C
- Source: Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies
- Background: Research has shown that farmers are exposed to excessive noise, with exposure often beginning during childhood. Most farmers do not use hearing protection devices (HPD) and experience greater hearing loss, even as adolescents, than those who are not exposed to loud noise. In addition, research has demonstrated that those with hearing loss have greater rates of work-related injuries. Some research has also demonstrated that when farmers are educated about noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) they increase their use of HPD, and that positive changes in HPD use are considered a successful means of reducing noise exposure and NIHL.
- Relevance: Partnerships for Hearing Preservation in Agriculture brought together experts in noise, NIHL, and prevention who were considered likely to influence and motivate farmers to use HPD. NIOSH engaged multiple influential organizations across the United States who were crucial in outreach efforts with the farming community, as well as, assisted with developing and disseminating two educational brochures: “They’re Your Ears: Protect Them” and “Have you Heard? Hearing Loss Caused by Farm Noise is Preventable.” Hundreds of thousands of brochures have been disseminated through NIOSH and key stakeholders. Currently both brochures are being translated into Spanish. In addition to promoting educational materials, NIOSH has assisted with several workshops and other events. Another component of Partnerships for Hearing Preservation in Agriculture dealt with personal music players used by young farm workers. To address the faming community’s concerns and complement the educational materials, NIOSH partnered with Dangerous Decibels to obtain a mannequin designed to engage youth and demonstrate how loud noise can impact their hearing. Information is available so individuals can build their own mannequin, and currently 7 mannequins are available for demonstrations. Educational efforts have been enhanced greatly due to key national partners.
More information about Partnerships for Hearing Preservation in Agriculture can be found at:
- Title: In-Mine Nitrogen Gas Generation System
- Authors: Trevits M, Thibou M, Haggerty S, Phan S, Hatch G, Wolf R
- Source: Office of Mine Safety and Health Research
- Background: Mine seals are used in underground coal mines throughout the United States to isolate abandoned mining areas from active mines. The purpose of adding inert gas to a sealed mine area is to quickly reduce the oxygen concentration in the sealed area to a level that will not support combustion. In the U.S., this process is typically conducted from the ground surface, and because surface-to-mine access is inhibited by so many variables it is very difficult to provide a source of inert gas underground.
- Relevance: To alleviate this problem, NIOSH contracted with On Site Gas System, a designer and manufacture of nitrogen and oxygen equipment to built a nitrogen generation plant that operates underground. Adding inert gas such as nitrogen to a sealed mine area reduced the oxygen level in the sealed mine atmosphere to the point where it would not support combustion. On Site Gas System developed the N-300 CMI generator which provides mine operators with a nitrogen-inerting system for rapid deployment and easy movement throughout the mine to make and inject nitrogen gas at the mine seal. The generator offers a faster, safer, and more economical solution to reducing oxygen levels below the combustible limit of 10%. The result is a safer environment in the shortest amount of time. This technology has been fully embraced as a significant achievement by the mining industry and provides a means to eliminate dangerous conditions; thus potentially playing a primary role in reducing mine explosion-related injury and fatality.
More information about In-Mine Nitrogen Gas Generation System can be found at:
- Title: Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in the Marine Industry
- Authors: Garcia A, Hall R, Dunn KH, Earnest GS, Hammond D, McCleery R, McCammon J, Bennett J, Marlow D, Almaguer D, Clark B, Farwick DR, Farwick D, Blade L, Echt A, Topmiller J, Gressel M, Kovein R, Booher D, Esswein E, Tapp L, Dunn KL, Zimmer A, Grote A
- Source: Division of Applied Research and Technology
- Background: In August 2000, the National Park Service requested assistance from NIOSH and the US Coast Guard (USCG) to evaluate visitor and employee carbon monoxide (CO) exposures from generators and propulsion engines on houseboats. This initial investigation characterized CO poisonings through epidemiologic data gathering and the measurement of severely hazardous CO concentrations on houseboats at Lake Powell in Utah. Since that initial investigation, more than 600 boating-related poisonings in 35 states have been identified with more than 100 of these poisonings resulting in death. More than 250 of the poisonings occurred on houseboats, with more than 200 of these poisonings attributed to generator exhaust alone. Initial investigations conducted by NIOSH industrial hygienists and engineers showed very high concentrations of CO on and around houseboats using gasoline-powered generators.
- Relevance: Following these investigations, NIOSH worked closely with boat and marine engine manufacturers and trade associations to define the extent of the hazard, determine employee exposures, and develop novel engineering controls to mitigate the CO hazard. After characterizing the problem the team developed and evaluated prototype controls. Both engineering controls have been shown to lower exposures to CO by over 98%; lowering exposure to safe levels. The impact of this work is national in scope resulting in comprehensive Environmental Protection Agency regulations that dramatically reduce CO emissions from all new marine engines beginning in 2009. The team undertook an extensive effort to increase awareness of the problem by enlisting the help of state health departments, boat safety organizations, and other public health groups. Findings have been published in over 25 reports and 5 journal articles.
In addition, numerous marine regulations have been enacted based upon NIOSH research; the USCG has issued a regulation requiring all houseboats to reroute exhaust from under the swim platform; the American Boat and Yacht Council is modifying its standards for generator exhaust to include exhaust stacks; the National Park Service is developing regulations for boats used at National Parks; several major houseboat rental companies have retrofitted their entire fleet with control systems; and there have been numerous Congressional bills and state regulations to address this problem.
More information about Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in the Marine Industry can be found at:
- Title: Personal Dust Monitor
- Authors: Volkwein J, Vinson R, Page S, Mischler S, Joy G, Tuchman D, McWilliams L, Garbowsky C, Zimmer J, Vanderslice S, Archer W
- Source: Office of Mine Safety and Health Research
- Background: In the mid-90s the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Assistant Secretary of Labor formed a stakeholder committee to make recommendations to eliminate black lung in coal mine workers in the United States. Among the recommendations was the development of more timely and effective monitoring of worker exposure to coal mine dust. In response to this need NIOSH formed a partnership with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), the Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA), the National Mining Association (NMA), MSHA, and manufacturers to conduct research. This devastating disease continues to affect the lives of many miners and communities in coal-producing regions.
- Relevance: This program’s work has resulted in the Personal Dust Montior (PDM) 3600, an innovative product that was introduced commercially in July 2009 and manufactured by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Use of the PDM provides miners and their managers accurate information for the first time on a continuous real-time basis to measure and reduce the personal exposure to respirable coal mine dust. The PDM is an intrinsically safe, accurate, and rugged microbalance that measures the mass of dust in a precise volume of air to determine an exposure concentration. It is miniaturized, built into the miners cap lamp battery pack, and can be worn daily without interfering with normal work practice. Dust exposure and other environmental data are stored in memory for electronic record keeping. In 2009, continuous personal dust monitors were written into a new CFR 30 74 MSHA rule in order to permit use of the PDM for mine dust exposure compliance measurements. Exactly how this new tool can be best used is a major current thrust of MSHA’s recently announced “End Black Lung” program.
The PDM changes the paradigm of how worker exposure is measured. In addition, awareness of worker exposure levels and knowledge from the PDM empowers both management and miners to improve workplace safety and health and prevent overexposure to coal mine dust before it occurs.
More information about the Personal Dust Monitor can be found at:
- Title: Developing an MBA Class on the Business Value of Safety and Health
- Authors: Wurzelbacher S, Hull DH, Pana-Cryan R, Hudock S, Biddle E, Ray T, Bhattacharya A, Bushnell T, Getahun A, Roemer J
- Source: Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies
- Background: Economics is the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Studying economics can provide guidance for the design of practical safety and health interventions and can illuminate the benefits and cost-effectiveness of such interventions. The application of economics in occupational safety and health provides a framework to identify economic inefficiencies associated with poor safety and health outcomes and points to the prevention opportunities with the greatest impact.
- Relevance: To advance the safety and health of workers, NIOSH developed an MBA course titled, “Business Value of Safety and Health,” in collaboration with Xavier University’s Williams College of Business in Cincinnati, Ohio. This graduate course addresses how businesses can use occupational safety and health improvements and initiatives for long-term planning, operations management, and other decision-making processes. The course emphasizes real-world cases from industries that incorporated occupational safety and health strategies into their respective business models.
More information about Developing an MBA Class on the Business Value of Safety and Health can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-10-03-08.html; https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/econ/.
- Title: Fall Injury Controls and Interventions for Aerial Lifts
- Authors: Pan C, Dong R, Boehler B, McCann M, Chiou S, Powers J, Cantis D, Lutz T, Keane P, Welcome D, Ronaghi M
- Source: Division of Safety Research
- Background: Aerial lifts transport workers above the ground using cables and are used in a number of diverse industries. Their use is increasing as new designs and applications are becoming common. Aerial lifts represent an emerging construction technology and a risk factor for injury and fatality from falls to lower levels, and are responsible for substantial economic loss. In 2003, NIOSH was asked by an aerial lift manufacturer to conduct a third-party engineering evaluation of the aerial lift equipment and operator error in recent construction fatalities.
- Relevance: To respond to research requests associated with aerial lifts from national and international standards committees and industrial representatives, NIOSH identified common injury scenarios, research gaps in falls incidents associated with aerial lifts, and problematic designs is existing technology. In addition, NIOSH provided suggested modification to manufactures in the design of fall protection systems, and it is now being manufactured. This research is being used as the scientific basis for a draft ANSI standard. Given wide spread use of aerial lifts, education has been essential. Peer-reviewed journal and trade articles have been published, scientific presentations have been delivered, and training materials have been developed with support from various stakeholders.
More information about fall injury controls and interventions for aerial lifts can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls/; https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/const/.
- Title: Ambulance Crash Survivability Improvement Project
- Authors: Moore PH, Green JD, Current RS, Bobick T, Romano NT
- Source: Division of Safety Research
- Background: The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 201,000 emergency medical technicians (EMT) and paramedics were employed by hospitals, private ambulance services, or public agencies in 2006. A much larger number of volunteers, estimated to be at least 700,000, work in these professions and many fire fighters are trained as EMT and paramedics. Transportation-related events were the most common causes of death.
- Relevance: Surveillance data and NIOSH case investigations identified riding unrestrained as an important risk factor for occupational injury and death among EMS workers; certain hazards could not be eliminated by restraints alone. NIOSH partnered with two organizations who requested design input from NIOSH to eliminate the risk of injury and death from cabinets immediately above and behind the head of an EMS worker. NIOSH research was the impetus for change in purchase specifications and testing standards for every ambulance contracted for and manufactured in the United States beginning August 1, 2007. The change incorporates a minimum head clearance above all seating positions effectively eliminating the overhead cabinet head strike hazard.
More information about ambulance crash survivability can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/responders.html; https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/pps/projects.html; https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/pps/.
- Title: Improved Criteria for Emergency Medical Services Protective Clothing
- Authors: Shepherd A, Haskell W
- Source: National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
- Background: It is estimated there are over 1 million firefighters and an additional 50,000 emergency medical service (EMS) workers engaged in EMS operations. Routinely, these EMS responders are exposed to a wide range of hazards that require personal protective equipment. NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) began a research project in 2005 to address limitations in the previous edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1999 Standard on Protective for Emergency Medical Operators concerning protective clothing.
- Relevance: NPPTL and its partners conducted a series of investigations to provide the basis for recommending specific, mission based criteria for the protection of responders during medical operations. NPPTL’s recommended criteria and test methods were used by the NFPA for its 2008 edition of the standard. The level of protection offered by the protective clothing enables a level of protection not previously provided to the nation’s EMS responders. As of January 13, 2009 there were 29 manufacturers with 92 certified products. Two notable areas for increased certification are reusable footwear and work gloves. The Department of Homeland Security and the Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability have officially endorsed the 2008 edition of the NFPA 1999 standard, meaning EMS organizations will be able to obtain funding to purchase NFPA 1999 certified products through a federal equipment grants program.
More information about emergency medical services protective clothing can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/blog/nsb012009_ems.html; https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/pps/projects.html; https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/pps/.
- Title: Engineering Noise Controls for Roof Bolters
- Authors: Peterson JS, Kovalchik PG, Matetic RJ, Alcorn LA
- Source: Pittsburgh Research Laboratory
- Background: Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a common occupational illness in the United States with roughly 30 million workers exposed to excessive noise levels that could prove hazardous to their hearing. Studies indicate that 70%-90% of miners have NIHL great enough to be classified as a hearing disability. Research by Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) indicate that roof bolting machine operators are among workers who are overexposed to noise. NIOSH further determined that the drill steel is the primary noise source for the operator.
- Relevance: In collaboration with industry, labor, manufacturers, and governmental partners, NIOSH developed a collapsible drill steel enclosure (CDSE) to encapsulate the drill steel during operations and reduce the sound power emissions of roof bolting machines. Several mines have used the CDSE, and operators have provided testimonies that they observe a clear reduction in the noise level of the roof bolting machine. In addition, MSHA has publicly recognized the CDSE as a “promising” noise control technology.
For more information about Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/pubreference/outputid3036.htm; https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/mining/.
- Title: Prevention of Flavoring-Related Bronchiolitis Obliterans
- Authors: Kreiss K, Kanwal RS, Kullman G, Taylor McKernan L, Dunn KH, Hubbs A, Streicher R, Okun A, Anderson S, Fedan J, Ahlers HW
– plus 77 additional contributors: Sahakian N, Bailey RL, Piacitelli C, Boylstein RJ, Fedan KB, Tift B, Couch J, Goldsmith W, Frazer D, Weissman D, Pendergrass S, Reed L, Sublet V, Castranova V, Porter D, Battelli LA, Schwegler-Berry D, Mercer RR, Kashon M, Wells JR, Fedorowicz A, Wagner GR, Butterworth LF, Meade BJ, Munson AE, Dowdy J, Echt A, Garcia A, Hodson L, Grote A, Brown K, Neumeister C, Schleiff P, Burkhart J, Castellan R, Coffey C, Cress D, Cox-Ganser JM, Day G, Edwards N, Englehart S, Freeland D, Game SR, Hnizdo E, Hoover M, Gaughan D, Jefferson TB, Tennant M, Petsko RA, Hayes E, Beaty M, Bledsoe T, Friend S, Newcomer D, Mehta A, Keller J, Lawrence R, Martin S, Petsonk EL, Rooney T, Spainhour D, Taylor J, Wang ML, White SK, Wolfe C, Akpinar-Elci M, Elci OC, Enright P, Gomaa A, Dunn KL, Harton A, Hilsbos K, Jones W, Bonnett B, Yereb D, Stemple K, Reynolds JS, Tucker SP
- Source: Division of Respiratory Disease Studies; Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; Division of Applied Research and Technology; Health Effects Laboratory Division; Education and Information Division; National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
- Background: Exposure to food flavoring chemicals, such as diacetyl in butter flavoring, causes an untreatable lung disease known as clinical bronchiolitis obliterans that results in severe shortness of breath on exertion. This emerging occupational disease was identified as an industry-wide risk in the microwave popcorn manufacturing industry between 2000 and 2004, and in the flavor manufacturing industry between 2004 and 2007. More recently, attention has focused on food production workers as a result of the excess numbers of obstructive lung disease found in three studies. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million workers are potentially exposed to food flavoring chemicals and therefore, are at risk of acquiring bronchiolitis obliterans.
- Relevance: In 2007, the multi-faceted approach used by NIOSH motivated many public and private entities to strive for the prevention of this emerging occupational disease. In California alone 21 flavor manufacturers began medical screening programs which spurred the California Department of Public Health to provide guidance to health care providers regarding spirometry quality and appropriate clinical response to abnormalities on screening. CalOSHA visited all flavoring manufacturers in California, conducted exposure assessments to compliment the medical screening results, disseminated engineering guidance developed by NIOSH, and held several advisory committee meetings to inform the development of a regulation for diacetyl in the flavoring industry. These activities in turn stimulated prevention action on the part of several associations and labor unions including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Flavoring and Extract Manufacturers Association, the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and Worksafe. The California model was then disseminated to all state epidemiologists and led to the passing of H.R. 2693 which instructed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to establish a temporary standard within 90 days and a permissible exposure limit within two years.
In the private industry, ConAgra, one of the five major microwave popcorn manufacturers, presented findings of their 4-plant study of pulmonary functions, symptoms, and exposures affecting all of their workers. These findings confirmed the hazards of mixing jobs. ConAgra also developed control technologies in novel ventilation configurations that it has shared with other companies in the industry.
The NIOSH efforts to prevent workplace injury and illness in this industry have motivated a commitment on the part of many stakeholders that should prevent the onset of future cases of bronchiolitis obliterans. Collectively, the many partnerships and collaborations established as a part of this prevention effort has allowed the scientific groundwork to be developed, experience to be gained, and the momentum of voluntary compliance from the industry obtained.
More information about flavorings-related lung disease can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/flavorings.
- Title: Health Effects of Occupational Cycling
- Authors: Schrader SM, Breitenstein MJ, Lowe BD
- Source: Division of Applied Research and Technology
- Background: The Law Enforcement Bicycle Association estimates that there are currently over 50,000 bicycling police officers (officers) across the country. Police on bike programs are highly visible to the public and have been shown to be effective in reducing crime. For these reasons, more communities are adding bicycle patrol units to their police departments. Research studies have found that long periods of bicycle riding with a traditional saddle seat is associated with urogenital paresthesia (numbness) and sexual dysfunction. The average officer spends more than 25 hours per week riding and the number of officers who report experiencing periodic numbness has been seen as high as 94%.
- Relevance: The NIOSH research effort on bicycle police officers began in 2000 in response to a Health Hazard Evaluation in which officers were complaining of numbness and impotence. Since that time, the research effort has increased and has verified the problem in men, identified a similar problem in women, and implemented an effective intervention to reduce occupational injury and illness to officers. The results of this research are having a demonstrable impact on 50,000 officers as well as an indirect impact on estimated five million recreational cyclists in the United States.
Published NIOSH studies have demonstrated the existence of health problems among bicycle police officers using the traditional “nosed” bicycle saddles, and have shown that the “no-nose” saddle is a viable option to reduce or eliminate the problem.
In 2007, NIOSH completed an intervention study that assessed officers in five major metropolitan areas for reproductive health function during use of the traditional nosed saddle (pre-intervention) and then again after six months of using the no-nose saddle (post-intervention). Results found that the majority of men who experienced numbness while using the nosed saddle had the problem resolved post-intervention. In addition, several indicators of sexual function improved significantly after using the no-nose saddle for a period of six months. Several significant action items have occurred as a result of this research and intervention activity. Items include continued use of no-nose saddles among officers who participated in the study; major police departments purchased no-nose saddles for their officers; the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) invited NIOSH to participate in its annual meeting and published study findings in the second edition of Public Safety Cycling and its member newsletter; and numerous news media and cycling organizations have reported on the results, have occurred as a result of this research and intervention activity.
More information about bicycle saddles and reproductive health can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bike.
- Title: Mitigating an Ignition Hazard in Oxygen Resuscitator Regulators
- Authors: Merinar T, Washenitz, F
- Source: Division of Safety Research
- Background: Oxygen resuscitators are common equipment used by emergency responders and health care providers to administer medical oxygen to patients. In 1998, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) requested that NIOSH investigate a series of incidents involving fire fighters who received serious injuries when portable oxygen resuscitators spontaneously ignited and burned. Subsequently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reportedly received more than 50 reports of adverse events since 1996; although the events occurred infrequently, the severity was significant.
- Relevance: As a result of this request, NIOSH conducted investigations of several incidents and sought the assistance of public and private partners at the FDA, Wendull Hull & Associates (a forensics laboratory), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Through these collaborative efforts, it was quickly determined that the ignitions were associated with the use of aluminum in the device which controlled the flow of oxygen from the resuscitator. It was also determined that most of the incidents involved the same model oxygen regulator. NIOSH worked with the manufacturer who voluntarily took steps to address the hazard. Two-hundred-thousand units were recalled from the field, a retrofit kit was made available, and the product design was improved. NIOSH and the FDA publicized the hazard in a public health advisory document and reported the findings in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, the hazard and appropriate safety measures were broadly distributed to emergency responders and others in the health care industry.
On February 27, 2007, the FDA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register Notice that would require oxygen regulators to conform to a new test method established by the American Society for Testing and Materials or show safety equivalency prior to being placed on the market. The FDA has estimated that the proposed rule would generate annual benefits between $41,000 and $1.2 million by reducing injury events and associated costs. NIOSH provided comments on the proposed rule and is in favor of adoption as a means to improve the safety of emergency responders and health care providers who handle oxygen resuscitators as a regular part of their work duties.
More information about explosions in aluminum oxygen resuscitators can be found at www.fda.gov/ or www.astm.org.
- Title: Permeation Calculator: Computer Software for Automated and Standardized Analysis of Chemical Protective Clothing Permeation Data
- Authors: Gao P, Weise T, Tomasovic B
- Source: National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
- Background: When engineering controls are not feasible for reducing exposure of a given substance to an acceptable level, the use of chemical protective clothing (CPC) such as full ensembles, gloves, and footwear, is the primary method of personal skin protection in the workplace. It is estimated that approximately 15 million workers in the United States (U.S.) rely on CPC for protection. A report from SBI (Specialists in Business Information) forecasts the U.S. Personal Protective Equipment market will reach $7.2 billion by 2012. The “body, clothing, and other” category has led the industry in recent years adding more than $1 billion to the market since 2002.
- Relevance: Permeation testing is the only means available to determine the chemical resistance of CPC and ensure its level of protection with respect to breakthrough time as an indicator of “shelf-life.” Therefore, an accurate determination of chemical resistance is extremely important in occupational safety and health. Unfortunately, current data analysis methods for permeation testing involve a number of equations and experimental factors. Experimenter bias and possible calculation errors are critical issues when determining permeation parameters. For example, two NIOSH staff performed hand calculations of breakthrough detection times using seven permeation data files. Results showed a relative difference up to 29.9%, which would raise uncertainty about whether a certain piece of CPC could safely be used for five hours or only 3.5 hours before breakthrough occurred.
NIOSH researchers, along with several stakeholders, expressed the need for a more accurate testing method. In response, NIOSH developed a computer program (Microsoft Windows compatible) that is capable of automating and standardizing permeation testing data analysis for CPC. The program imports the data collected during a permeation test, reduces the time it takes to calculate relevant permeation parameters from several hours to only a few seconds, allows all of the permeation parameters related to ASTM F739 and ISO 6529 standards to be calculated, reduces the need for labor intensive and often unreliable hand calculations, and prevents experimenter bias ensuring identical permeation parameters are obtained from a given permeation testing data file. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) developed a new standard that is currently being balloted. The expected long-term outcome of this program is the reduction of occupational dermal exposure to hazardous chemicals through the safe use of CPC.
For more information about the permeation calculator or to download a free copy, please visit NIOSH at www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/PermeationCalculator/permeationcalc.html
- Title: Preventing Winch Entanglement Injuries on Commercial Fishing Vessels
- Authors: Lincoln J, McKibbin R, Woodward C, Lucas D, Bevan J
- Source: Alaska Regional Office, Spokane Research Laboratory
- Background: In 2006, 51 commercial fishermen were killed on the job resulting in an occupational fatality rate of 142 deaths per 100,000 workers; the highest rate for any U.S. occupation and 36 times higher than the national workplace average. In Alaska, most fatalities in the fishing industry occur from the loss of a fishing vessel. Injury epidemiologists have shown that 67% of severe non-fatal injuries occur on-deck during the deployment and retrieval of fishing gear. Severe, non-fatal injuries are defined as those that require hospitalization including lacerations, broken bones, and head injuries. Between 1991 and 2002, NIOSH found that 798 fishermen were hospitalized for severe non-fatal injuries; an equivalent of 410 injuries per 100,000 full-time workers per year. Of these, 23% were a result of becoming entangled in or struck by lines or gear, or becoming trapped in a winch, pulley, or other piece of deck equipment.
- Relevance: Many deck machines lack adequate safety features and therefore, serious injury may occur; entanglement in particular. Experts have recommended that vessel machinery be redesigned or retrofitted with safety features to prevent these types of injuries from occurring. NIOSH epidemiologists met with several fishermen across Alaska to discuss injuries resulting from deck machinery. Fishermen identified one particular safety hazard posed by the capstan-type winch aboard many purse-seine vessels; there are approximately 3000 of these vessels in operation in Alaska and along the west coast.
This winch is powerful, has up to 1000 foot-pounds of torque, and is usually mounted in the center of the deck near the wheelhouse. Fishermen who lose their balance or are inattentive can become entangled in the purse-line as the line winds around the drum. Severe injuries to the hand, arm, torso, and head can occur or may even lead to death because the controls to stop drum rotation are often located out of reach and no entanglement protection is present.
Through the collaborative efforts of NIOSH epidemiologists and engineers, fishing vessel owners, purse-seine fishermen, and winch manufacturers, an engineering design solution was developed. This emergency stop, referred to as the “e-stop,” incorporated a robust, low-profile, momentary contact button mounted on the top port-side winch horn. When pushed, the button switches a safety-relay that de-energizes the solenoid of an electro-hydraulic valve. This valve closes the flow of hydraulic oil to and from the winch motor and locks the capstan drum in place. This current design lends itself to the development of more advanced systems, allows buttons to be placed in other locations of the vessel, and may be applied to other types of deck machinery.
NIOSH sought the assistance of fishing vessel owner/operators in its design and installation, and tested the device during the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Southeast Alaska salmon seasons. The e-stop has received an overwhelming positive response from fishermen who have tested it, with many owner/operators requesting information on how to obtain this device for their vessels. In November of 2007, NIOSH entered into a Proprietary Licensing Agreement with a marine company in Seattle, Washington to develop the e-stop for commercial use.
- Title: Development of a Hand Wipe Removal Method for Toxic Metals
- Authors: Esswein EJ, Boeniger MF, Ashley KE
- Source: Office of the Director, Denver Regional Office, Division of Applied Research and Technology
- Background: Controlling lead exposure is a national health priority. Poisoning from lead is one of the oldest known public and occupational health hazards, and it is currently reported that 95% of lead poisoning in the U.S. results from occupational exposure. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1991) estimated that approximately 700,000 adults in the U.S. had blood lead levels greater than or equal to 25 micrograms per deciliter. The U.S. public health objective for 2010 is reduction in prevalence of blood lead levels greater than 25 micrograms per deciliter in employed adults to a level of zero. This is an extremely ambitious goal that is unlikely to occur without additional public health tools, techniques, and knowledge.
- Relevance: A wide variety of workers are at increased risk for lead poisoning including construction trades, painters and abrasive blasters, welders, laborers, machinists and auto-body shop repairmen, and those in lead-acid battery plants. Numerous NIOSH field studies and recent laboratory research have demonstrated that washing with soap and water is an ineffective means of removing lead and other toxic metals from the skin. However, workers and the public are forced to wash their skin with soap and water because more effective methods have not been available.
NIOSH recently developed a novel and highly effective method of removing lead and other toxic metals from the skin and other surfaces. The technology includes a three-dimensionally textured absorbent wipe onto which proportions of cationic surfactant and a weak acid are applied. Published research has shown that this particular method does not damage the skin. The technology was developed as a follow-on to a previous NIOSH intervention that detects minute concentrations of lead on the skin and workplace surfaces, and was intended to “close the loop” on detection and decontamination of lead and other toxic metals. It is packaged into single-unit wipes for clinical use and in canisters for industrial or commercial use.
In 2007, the technology was successfully licensed to a vertically-integrated U.S. company that will offer it to the healthcare market for removing lead contamination from the skin prior to collecting blood samples to measure blood lead levels, and to the industrial market for removing lead contamination from skin and workplace surfaces. Other non-industrial sectors and their uses are currently being evaluated, such as use in the removal of gunshot residue from the skin of firearm users.
- Title: Developing a Nanoparticle Information Library
- Authors: Miller A, Hoover M, Stapleton B
- Source: Division of Safety Research
- Background: As the field of nanotechnology is growing rapidly, the number of workers exposed to new nanomaterials is rising quickly. Health and safety professionals who are concerned with worker exposure to such materials need related information and guidance. Industry stakeholders also are looking to NIOSH for related guidance. The Nanoparticle Information Library (NIL) was conceived as a tool to address the current lack of information regarding the health and safety implications of nanotechnology.
- Relevance: NIL is a publicly accessible, on-line searchable database which catalogs information regarding nanoparticles, their physical and chemical properties, and information related to their health and safety implications. It is available at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/NIL.html. Many companies have volunteered to collaborate with NIOSH to develop methods for evaluating the impact of nanotechnology on worker health and safety. Some of these stakeholders also have contributed information to the NIL as part of an ongoing collaboration between industry, academia and NIOSH to ensure the health and safety of workers in this new occupational field. The development of the NIL is part of current NIOSH efforts to address the implications of nanotechnology as indicated by the establishment of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center.
Since launching the NIL on the World Wide Web in February 2006, the number of NIL users has risen steadily and is now nearing one thousand per month. To date, feedback from users and stakeholders has been positive. In addition, the administrators of several other notable nanotechnology health and safety databases and informational sources have offered to collaborate in developing ways to integrate NIL information into their information streams. Two such entities, the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars and the International Council on Nanotechnology, have collaborated with NIOSH, resulting in agreements to integrate capabilities for multi-database searching, directly from each respective Web site. Future plans include adding more nanomaterial data records and improving searching capabilities. Such upgrades are aimed at optimizing the usefulness of the database in order to increase the number of users, thereby maximizing the impact on worker health and safety.
- Title: Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program
- Authors: McFall MF, Frederick LJ, Haskell WE, Stein R
- Source: Division of Safety Research
- Background: The NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Program (FFFIPP) works to analyze risk factors and identify trends in fire fighter line-of-duty injuries and fatalities. A goal of the program is to disseminate findings to fire service stakeholders who can take action for prevention. On average, 100 fire fighters die annually in the line-of-duty, with approximately 30% of those being killed while operating on the fireground. In addition, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) noted that in 2005, 4,140 (10%) of all fireground injuries (41,850) were directly associated with fire fighters operating in an environment that normally required the use of a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and a personal alert safety system (PASS). PASS devices are designed to emit an audible signal when a fire fighter is unable to move due to injury, entrapment, or incapacitation, thus allowing rescuers to locate and remove victims in a timely manner. This is especially critical in a low visibility environment. After investigating a number of line-of-duty fatality investigations, FFFIPP researchers identified a commonality in the chain of events of some fatalities involving structure fires; PASS devices failed to work properly when fire fighters had become incapacitated inside a burning structure. The failure of PASS devices can delay locating and assisting the incapacitated fire fighters. Researchers from the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory presented the NIOSH findings to the NFPA Technical Correlating Committee on PASS performance (NFPA 1982) in the summer of 2005. Based on and in response to this life-critical information, NFPA revised its existing standard to integrate three new testing methods (audible alarm muffle test, heat immersion/leakage test, and a high temperature functionality test) to address the performance issues raised by NIOSH.
- Relevance: On December 20, 2006, the standard was finalized, and the “grace period” for products certified under the old standard will expire June 30, 2007. The identification of this important problem was a true partnership among NIOSH, NFPA, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Manufacturers of PASS devices have begun to re-design PASS component materials. This project is an example of how a NIOSH surveillance and research effort directly translated to the development of improved safety equipment performance criteria and standards, aiming to improve fire fighter safety and save lives.
- Title: An Evaluation of a “Best Practices” Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program in Nursing Homes
- Authors: Collins JW, Waters TR, Wolf LD, Bell J, Evanoff B, Nelson A, Menzel N
- Source: Division of Safety Research
- Background: Frequent lifting and repositioning of patients is a physically demanding task and the leading source of injury for health care workers. Among U.S. female workers, nursing aides and orderlies suffer the highest prevalence (18.8%) and report the most annual cases of work-related back pain (n=269,000). Over 10,000 registered nurses suffer lost time work injuries due to lifting patients and 12% of nurses report they left the nursing profession because of back pain. Direct and indirect costs associated with back injuries in health care are estimated to be $20 billion annually. A critical nursing shortage, coupled with the excessively high injury rate, is straining the ability of the nursing work force to care for our nation’s rapidly increasing sick and elderly. NIOSH researchers have worked with numerous partners to conduct a diverse program of laboratory and field research directed at reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders for healthcare workers.
- Relevance: NIOSH conducted an intervention trial aimed at evaluating a safe patient lifting program that demonstrated significant reductions in injury rates, workers’ compensation costs, lost workday injury rates, and restricted workday rates, as well as showed a positive capital return on the investment in lifting equipment and worker training based on workers’ compensation savings. Significant reductions in injuries were achieved for both full-time and part-time nurses in all age groups, in all experience categories, and in all study sites. NIOSH also undertook a project that compliments the intervention trial by developing and implementing a safe patient handling curriculum in schools of nursing. This project demonstrated that schools of nursing can be very effective in advocating a move from manual handling techniques to evidence-based safe patient handling and movement programs. In 2006, research findings were disseminated through peer-reviewed manuscripts, NIOSH documents, text books, and restructuring of nursing student curriculum. Specific outputs included: 1) a NIOSH document, “Safe Lifting and Movement of Nursing Home Residents,” that conveyed scientific evidence in user-friendly terms to over 14,000 nursing homes; 2) development and pilot testing of a patient lifting curriculum in 26 schools of nursing, which successfully integrated the content into their basic skills courses; and, 3) a book authored collaboratively with researchers from the American Nurses Association and the Veteran’s Health Administration, “Safe Patient Handling and Movement: A Practice Guide for Nurses and other Health Care Professionals.” These outputs contributed to the passage of safe patient lifting laws in six states (Texas, Washington State, Ohio, Rhode Island, New York and Hawaii) and a Federal Bill that is being considered by Congress. The American Nurses Association also included NIOSH patient lifting study findings in their “Handle with Care” campaign, an industry-wide effort to prevent back and other musculoskeletal injuries among nurses.
- Title: Conception, Development, and Rapid Commercialization of Two Novel Surface Wipe Detection Methods for Methamphetamine
- Authors: Esswein EJ, Snawder JE, Striley C, Kennedy E, DeBord GM
- Source: Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies and Division of Applied Research and Technology
- Background: The nation continues to face an epidemic of illegal, clandestine methamphetamine drug manufacturing. Seizures of illegal drug “labs” increased nationwide from 7,438 in 1999 to 12,484 in 2005, but this number drastically underestimates the true extent of the occupational and public health problem. Nationwide, tens of thousands of police, fire, and other responders are at serious risk for occupational exposures to methamphetamine residues, as well as other toxic chemicals, when entering these labs for search, seizure, and remediation. The public also faces risks when renting or buying contaminated property. Police, fire fighters, first responders and industrial hygienists, have indicated the need for real-time surface detection methods for methamphetamine, based in part from results of a 2004 investigation involving NIOSH. An interdivisional NIOSH team convened in late 2005 to discuss development of surface detection methods for methamphetamine. In 2006, two methods were developed and evaluated: a colorimetric wipe and an immunochemical surface wipe detection method.
- Relevance: Following initial successes in developing the colorimetric and immunochemical methods, an invention report was drafted and submitted. Stakeholders included the Cincinnati and Colorado State Health departments; Scientific Kit Company (SKC), Inc., a global leader in sampling technologies; National Jewish Medical and Research Center; the Denver Police Department and the North Metro Drug Task Force (Denver, Colorado); and the Tri-County Health Department, Colorado. Two fully commercialized products were licensed and released to commercial market at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition in 2006. The NIOSH-developed technologies currently are sold under the brand names MethAlert and MethChek. Users of these technologies are the nation’s first responders, industrial hygienists, and site remediation technicians. State and local health departments as well as departments of the federal government also are potential beneficiaries of these surface detection methods for methamphetamine. The American Industrial Hygiene Association’s publication Synergist highlighted the methods in, “Tweakers, Snakes and Cold Medicine: Health and Safety during Illegal Drug Lab Cleanup” (Vol 17 (1), pp 32-36). SKC Inc. also created a Web site (http://www.meth-wipe.com/). In July 2006, a NIOSH e-News article also led to extensive interest in the products. The methods have proven to be cost-effective ways to immediately detect methamphetamine residues. In addition, SKC Inc. reports that real estate agents and the general public are purchasing the products, signifying that the methods are having a public health as well as an occupational health impact.
- Title: Harness Design and Sizing Effectiveness
- Authors: Hsiao H, Whisler R, Zwiener J, Guan J, Spahr J, Kau TY, Bradtmiller B, Whitestone J, Feldstein J, Wolner T, Reynolds R
- Source: Division of Safety Research
- Background: Each year, on average 370 American construction workers die and more than 21,000 are disabled in work-related falls from heights. Fall-arrest harnesses provide the last line of defense to the 5 million construction workers at risk for falling from heights. The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the Industrial Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), the International Society of Fall Protection (ISFP), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have testified in Congress about the urgent need for Research to Practice efforts in this area.
- Relevance: This NIOSH project provides both scientific theories and practical harness design criteria to advance technologies that reduce the risk of injury resulting from poor user fit, improper size selection, or the failure to don the harness properly. It also helps the harness manufacturing industry to formulate harness-sizing schemes for different populations, and provide protection and comfort. Two leading U.S. harness manufacturers, MSA and DBI SALA, have actively participated in the NIOSH project and are using the research results to modify their current harness designs as well as to develop new harnesses. Newly developed harnesses are expected to be available in June 2006, when NIOSH, along with the two harness manufacturers, will validate the effectiveness of the new designs. Since the two harness manufacturers account for about 60% of the national market share of fall-arrest harnesses, the future adoption potential of the new harnesses and sizing systems in the construction trades is very high. Several trade associations representing women in construction, ISEA, ASSE, and the OSHA Health and Safety of Women in Construction (HASWIC) workgroup are partnering with NIOSH to further reach out to workers.
NIOSH will continue partnering with harness manufacturers who have provided harness blueprints, critical design parameters, production procedures, and in kind services that are necessary for the development and testing of the products as they move toward commercial production. Less formal partnerships, but very important to the continued success of this effort, include working with groups such as ASSE, ISEA, ISFP, ANSI, and OSHA which provide a critical sounding board in supporting this line of research and in conveying the research effort to the construction trades. In addition, the NIOSH partnership with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) provides an opportunity for NIOSH to utilize the Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource (CEASAR) database to expand research and apply results to a national population of workers.
- Title: Tell Me a Story: Why Stories are Essential to Effective Safety Training
- Authors: Cullen ET, Wopat PF, Clough-Thomas KS
- Source: Spokane Research Laboratory
- Background: This report describes how NIOSH used storytelling and partnerships to create nine safety training videos for the mining industry that have become popular worldwide and won numerous national and international awards. In the 96-year history of this type of document, this is the first Report of Investigation that was produced in a glossy magazine format, in full color with many pictures. It has been discussed in many industry journals and magazines, including Professional Safety Magazine, Business & Legal Reports, US Fed News, Occupational Safety and Health, Safe Supervisor, Occupational Hazards Magazine, and Safety and Health Magazine. Nearly 1000 copies have been distributed, and it also is electronically available through the NIOSH Web site.
- Relevance: Mining is one of the few industries with mandatory safety training requirements for workers. Although training is required, it is not possible to require that miners pay attention during training. In a series of stakeholder meetings, safety trainers shared with NIOSH their concern that training materials were either outdated or altogether missing. As many experienced miners were beginning to retire, there was concern about how to teach new miners how to work safely and productively. NIOSH created the safety training videos to address the needs of both new and experienced miners. The critical factor in the success of the videos is that they show actual miners telling their stories and what they have learned, in their own words. As a result, trainees pay attention to these credible sources of information.
Partnerships were critical for the success of the videos created by NIOSH. The success of the project would not have been possible without the full cooperation of: the mining companies, who provided sites, equipment, and experts; the safety trainers, who provided technical advice for the creation of the stories and acted as gatekeepers to the mines; and the miners, who enthusiastically participated as actors and advisors. In addition, funding for the project was provided through the International Society of Mine Safety Professionals and the Arizona State Mine Inspector’s Office (ASMI). In-kind support was provided among others by: the Mine Safety and Health Administration that provided thousands of copies of the videos; ASMI that provided the services of training staff for several weeks; the University of Idaho; and the Mining History Museum in Wallace, Idaho. The University of Texas in Austin provided support by translating one of the videos into Spanish. All videos are provided to NIOSH customers free of charge but upon request. This allows NIOSH to assess the impact of the videos.
It turns out that interest in storytelling is not limited to the U.S. mining industry. As a result of the report, NIOSH was asked by the South African National Institute for Occupational Health to offer guidance on a project that aims to develop effective training for low-literacy miners at risk for silicosis. After reading the report, a researcher from the University of Washington’s School of Public Health also asked NIOSH for guidance on a project that will use storytelling to develop effective training tools for migrant workers. In addition, NIOSH has been contacted about potential collaborations with researchers from the University of Calgary and the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Numerous requests for presentations at national and international conferences also have been received.
- Title: Engineering Controls for Hearing Loss Prevention
- Authors: Kovalchik PG, Matetic RJ, Peterson JS
- Source: Pittsburgh Research Laboratory
- Background: Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the most common occupational illness in the United States. NIHL occurs across all industries but is of particular concern in the construction and mining industries where over 3.3 million workers are exposed to damaging noise levels. Approximately 50% of construction workers, 90% of coal miners, and 50% of metal and nonmetal miners experience hearing loss by the age of 50, compared to only 10% of the population that is not occupationally exposed to noise.
In 1999, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) released a revised health standard for occupational noise exposure in coal, metal, and nonmetal mines that emphasizes engineering controls as the strongest defense against excessive exposure to noise. As a result of the revised standard, a Coal Noise Partnership was formed by NIOSH that includes representatives from the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA), MSHA, the National Mining Association (NMA), and mining equipment manufacturers and suppliers. The purpose of the partnership is to reduce worker exposure to noise.
Continuous mining machines are large underground coal cutting machines that also collect and transport the cut coal via an onboard conveyor to the back of the machine where it is loaded onto either another conveyor or a piece of mining equipment in order to be carried away. MSHA data indicates that the continuous mining machine is first among all the equipment used in underground coal mining whose operators have noise exposure to more than 100% of the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for noise set by MSHA. One of the major noise sources on a continuous mining machine is the onboard conveyor which consists of a chain with flight bars.
- Relevance: NIOSH developed a chain conveyor for continuous mining machines with flights that are coated with a heavy duty, highly-durable plastic. NIOSH designed, developed, and tested this control in a partnership effort with labor (UMWA), industry (NMA, BCOA), manufacturers (Joy Manufacturing, Inc.), and MSHA stakeholders. The coated flight bars are very durable and provide a total noise exposure reduction of 7 dB(A) that in many cases results in exposure below the MSHA PEL for noise. Miners report that the control is indeed durable and easy to implement. MSHA also assesses the control favorably. The coated flight bar chain conveyor is currently being manufactured and sold by Joy Manufacturing, Inc., that produces over 80% of the continuous mining machines in the U.S. Currently, NIOSH is studying the control’s effectiveness to reduce the noise exposure of continuous mining machine operators under a variety of conditions. In the future, the Coal Noise Partnership is planning to develop noise controls for other mining machines, thus further reducing noise exposure to the machine operators.
- Title: Preventing Rock Fall Fatalities During Coal Pillar Recovery
- Authors: Mark C, Chase F, Owens J
- Source: Pittsburgh Research Laboratory
- Background: When coal is first mined, large pillars of coal are left to support the rock between the mine and the surface. Subsequent recovery of these pillars creates an inherently unstable situation. During 1992-2001, there were a total of 100 rock fall fatalities in U.S. coal mines. Of these, 27 occurred during pillar recovery. NIOSH found that miners in pillar recovery operations are three times as likely to be killed by a rock fall as are miners engaged in other activities. A later study found that one-third of the nation’s 40,000 underground coal miners are involved in pillar recovery during the mining process. The topic has been of intense interest to the entire mining community, particularly in the central Appalachian coalfields of southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and western Virginia where more than 90% of pillar recovery mining takes place.
- Relevance: The NIOSH team that worked on this project developed the following research products to reduce the hazards of coal pillar recovery:
- Detailed studies of demographics and injury rates (1997 and 2002)
- The Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability (ARMPS) computer program (1997)
- Best practices for use of Mobile Roof Supports (1997)
- Warning lights for the Mobile Roof Supports (MRS) used for temporary roof support (2001)
- Guidelines for sizing the final stump to prevent unplanned roof collapse (2001)
- Guidelines for sizing panel and barrier pillars for pillar recovery under deep cover (2002)
- Guidelines for roof bolting and identification of other risk factors for pillar recovery (2002)
Many of these guidelines were published in the Pillar Recovery Risk Factor Checklist (2003) www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/pubreference/outputid248.htm .
The team transferred these results to the mining community through:
- Distribution of more than 1000 copies of the ARMPS program at NIOSH seminars held in a variety of coalfield locations, and through NIOSH Technology News and the NIOSH mining Web site
- Joint Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and NIOSH Preventative Roof-Rib Outreach (PROP) seminars in six locations and attended by 500 individual
- Training sessions with all MSHA roof control personnel
- Industry short courses for Arch Coal, Massey Energy, and Peabody Energy staff
- Numerous conference papers and presentations
- A joint NIOSH-MSHA article in Coal Age, the leading trade publication
While some of these technologies were slowly being adapted, during 2000-2002 there were five fatalities from pillar recovery rock falls in southern West Virginia. NIOSH met with MSHA and the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Safety, Health, and Training to discuss how to implement the technologies in the mines’ official Roof Control Plans. Presently, all of the 150 retreat mines in southern West Virginia employ the ARMPS program, and many follow other pillar recovery practices suggested by NIOSH. Since research results were implemented three years ago, there have been no pillar recovery fatalities in southern West Virginia, compared with an average of one per year during the previous decade.
NIOSH has made significant changes to the way pillar recovery is practiced throughout the U.S. Today, more than half of all pillars are recovered using MRS, and about one-third of all MRS (including 75% of all new MRS) use the NIOSH warning lights. Every mine that practices pillar recovery in southern West Virginia and Virginia use the ARMPS program. Fewer mines extract the final stump, instead leaving a support that is sized using NIOSH guidelines. More mines specify extra roof bolt support in pillar recovery sections. For this project, NIOSH worked with both the regulatory agencies and the industry to maintain credibility and keep the lines of communication open. Research products were simple, easy to use, and effective. Finally, by bringing seminars to the coalfields, NIOSH hastened the diffusion and implementation of ideas.
- Title:NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings
- Authors: Connor TH, Reed LD, Burroughs GE, Mead KR, McDiarmid MA, Power LA, Hammond DR, MacKenzie BA
- Source: Division of Applied Research and Technology
- Background: A collaborative effort between two National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Teams, the Reproductive Health Research and the Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment Teams, was begun in September 2000. This collaborative effort resulted in the development of the Alert and related research efforts on the protective effectiveness of chemotherapy gloves and on the selection and effectiveness of engineering controls for reducing exposures to hazardous drugs. This unique partnership effort also uncovered contaminated vials originating from some pharmaceutical manufacturers and developed an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) test method for the permeation of chemotherapy drugs through protective glove materials.
- Relevance: The purpose of this Alert is to increase awareness among healthcare workers and their employers of the health risks posed by working with hazardous drugs and to provide both workers and employers with measures for protecting worker health. Healthcare workers who prepare or administer hazardous drugs or who work in areas where these drugs are used may be exposed to these agents in the air or on work surfaces, contaminated clothing; medical equipment, patient excreta, and other surfaces. Studies have associated workplace exposures to hazardous drugs with health effects such as skin rashes and adverse reproductive outcomes and possibly leukemia and other cancers. To assist the health care professional in decision making, the Alert contains a list of drugs (Appendix A) that should be handled as hazardous drugs.
- Title: Reducing Underground Miners’ Exposure to Diesel Emissions
- Authors: Schnakenberg G, Jr., Bugarski AD, Noll JD, Patts LD, Mischler SE, Timko RJ, Thimons ED, Watzman B, Wright MJ, Viars B, Ellis M
- Source: Pittsburgh Research laboratory
- Relevance: In 1988, NIOSH recommended that whole diesel exhaust be regarded as a potential occupational carcinogen. While the American Conference of Industrial Hygienists has recently recommended a diesel particulate matter (DPM) concentration-based threshold limit value of 50 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter, typical mine workers are exposed to levels exceeding 500 micrograms per cubic meter. Approximately 30,000 U.S. miners in underground metal and nonmetal mines are exposed to DPM. In January 2001, the U. S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) promulgated a rule limiting the exposure of underground metal/nonmetal (M/NM) miners to diesel particulate matter. Labor and industry were concerned with the ability of current control technologies to meet the standards mandated by these regulations. To address this concern, labor and industry approached NIOSH PRL to form the M/NM Diesel Partnership. While MSHA was not a member of this partnership, it has played an active role in partnership activities. The primary objective of this partnership was to reduce the exposure of underground miners to particulate matter and gaseous emissions from diesel equipment used in underground mines to levels that both meet the standards and provide a healthful working environment for miners. The major thrust of this partnership has been the development and evaluation of DPM monitoring and control technologies for underground mines and the transfer of this technology to the U.S. mining industry and the enforcement agency.
- Title: Understanding and Preventing Beryllium Sensitization and Chronic Beryllium Disease
- Authors: Schuler CR, Kreiss K, Day GA, Henneberger PK, Hoover MD, Kitt M, Sparks R, Stanton ML, Stefaniak AB, Tift B, Velilla A, McCanlies EA, Weston A, Cummings K
- Source: Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Health Effects Laboratory Division
- Relevance: Exposure to beryllium and its compounds results in sensitization of a portion of beryllium workers who are identified by the blood beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test used in workplace screening programs. Cross-sectional screening of current workers in the primary industry documents sensitization rates of up to 10%, and longitudinal followup of worker cohorts that include former workers documents up to 20% cumulative prevalence over 10 years. Sensitized workers are at high risk for chronic beryllium disease, a cell-mediated immunologic lung disease which can result in severe disability and even death. Cross-sectionally, 10-100% of sensitized workers have beryllium disease, depending on job title and length of time since first exposure. Additional cases commonly occur among workers who leave beryllium industry employment, implying life-long risk from occupational exposure to a persistent antigen. NIOSH researchers have estimated that as many as 134,000 US workers are currently exposed to beryllium. The total number of workers who have ever been exposed to beryllium is many times that. Current occupational exposure limits have not prevented beryllium sensitization and disease. The primary beryllium producer, Brush Wellman Inc. (BWI), requested NIOSH assistance in medical surveillance to identify how to protect its own workers and those of its clients in the absence of effective environmental hazard surveillance. This research addresses the NIOSH priority areas of surveillance research, control technology, exposure assessment methods, intervention effectiveness, and dermatologic sensitization (contact dermatitis).
- Title: Standards Development for Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) used by Emergency Responders at a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorist Event
- Authors: Szalajda J, Metzler R, Boord L, BerryAnn R, Palya F, Monahan G, Thornton T, Cloonan T, Dower J
- Source: National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
- Relevance: This project is an excellent example of how to establish partnerships with stakeholders to produce products that improve worker safety and health. The standards development project addresses NIOSH research priorities for Control Technology and PPE.
When engineering and other controls do not reduce exposures below hazardous levels, workers must rely on personal protective equipment. Industries that often require workers to use such equipment include mining, fire fighting and other emergency response, health care, and agriculture. People who respond to hazardous incidents or terrorist activities need assurance that the protective equipment they use will perform to specifications and meet minimum performance standards. According to a recent study conducted jointly with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 3.3 million workers use NIOSH-certified respirators, including an emergency responder population of approximately 1,100,000 firefighters, 600,000 law enforcement personnel, and 500,000 emergency medical service responders.
In collaboration with the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (formerly SBCCOM) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), NIOSH, NPPTL developed respirator standards for use by emergency responders against CBRN terrorism hazards. Partnerships with stakeholders in the process are detailed in subsequent paragraphs.
The efforts of the project team have established the first Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Respirator Protective Equipment (RPE) standards available in the world. The outcome of this work is significant. It allows the establishment of a national inventory of effective respiratory protective equipment to protect emergency responders against CBRN terrorist events. Prior to the development of these standards, this RPE protection did not exist. Unlike industrial environments where characterized hazards are controlled and RPE appropriately selected or battlefield conditions where RPE is designed to perform at a defined threat level, hazards at a terrorist event are normally unknown and uncontrolled during the initial response period. Emergency responders at a terrorist event may encounter more severe hazards than those normally encountered in either the industrial or military setting. The lack of a support structure governing proper selection, performance and use limitations for each respirator, and the inability to interchange consumable components such as respirator filter cartridges, will contribute to the confusion associated with such events. The sum of these unfortunate circumstances can lead to inadequate protection for the incident responders equipped with present RPE.
- Title: NIOSH Safety Checklist Program for Schools
- Authors: Palassis J, Cauley J, Ellison C, Rogers RR, Jr., Helton N, Doyle G, Becks V, Elliott P, Afanah S, Hamilton A, Weber J, Okun A, Votaw D, Ahlers H, Haring Sweeney M, Chan HS
- Source: Education and Information Division
- Relevance: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that each year in the United States, 2.9 million students aged 15-17 worked during the school year, and 4 million during the summer. NIOSH estimates that each year, 200,000 students aged 14-17 suffer work-related injuries, 64,000 required treatments in hospital emergency rooms, and 70 died of work-related injuries. Most of these young workers are students in high schools and vocational schools. More than 100 other young workers died from farm-related injuries. Nearly 20% of these workers were hurt performing tasks prohibited by child labor laws. Young workers have more than double the mean worker injury rate. More than half of injured young workers reported that they had not received any training in how to prevent the injury they sustained. The direct and indirect costs of occupational injuries to young workers amount to $5 billion annually.
Approximately 11 million students attend the 20,000 vocational-technical schools in the United States. Many of these students learn their career in school shops that have the same physical, chemical, and biological hazards encountered in many businesses. The students need training to recognize these hazards and how to control them.
In addition to teaching basic safety and health, a great need exists for an occupational safety and health (OSH) program specific to schools that covers students, faculty, and staff. This need was expressed by numerous teachers in career-technical schools during site visits, focus group, and conferences. In response, the Education and Information Division (EID) of NIOSH developed a safety program and a resource data base in a CD-ROM format. The safety program and its data base were developed through collaboration with many NIOSH partners in schools, colleges, universities, and professional organizations. The main partnering organizations were the Association for Career and Technical Education, SkillsUSA-VICA, the National Association of State Directors for Career and Technical Education consortium, the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Society of Safety Engineers. EID used input from these key stakeholders to improve the program contents. Before its publication, the CD-ROM and its contents were uploaded in the NIOSH Web site for a 10-week public review and comment period. The resulting publication is entitled NIOSH Safety Checklist Program for Schools (Publication No. 2004-101) and was printed on a CD-ROM.
- Title: Lockout/Tagout, Jammed, and Moving Machinery Controls
- Authors: Mowrey GL, Schiffbauer WH
- Source: Pittsburgh Research Laboratory
- Background: Researchers at the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL) have developed a proximity warning system that can be used to warn and protect persons working close to stationary or mobile machinery. The technology, identified as the Hazardous Area Signaling and Ranging Device (HASARD) employs a low-frequency, low-powered electromagnetic field as a marker for dangerous areas, similar to an electric fence for a dog. Low-frequency electromagnetic fields, compared to other marking schemes, are quite capable of penetrating, dust, rock, water sprays and even steel. The marker is provided by generating a signal in a properly positioned loop of wire, or a small coil of wire wrapped around a ferrite bar. The resulting signal envelops the dangerous area. The workers must wear a small receiver, which detects and accurately measures the marker field. The receiver, after calibration, is an effective accurate distance measuring device. It is particularly suited to short range occupational situations, e.g., from 0 to 15 feet. Circuitry in the receiver determines the level of danger and, if appropriate, provides the worker with an alert. A wireless data link in the receiver can provide a remote alert to another worker or even shut down the machine, if desired.
The HASARD system design is covered by two patents held by PRL researchers: Patent number 5,939,986 “Mobile Machine Hazardous Working Zone Warning System,” August 17, 1999, and Patent number 6,681,353. “Non-Directional Magnetic Field Based Receiver With Multiple Warning and Shutdown Capability”.
- Relevance: The HASARD system has the potential to significantly reduce traumatic injuries in the workplace, a NIOSH priority research area. Overall, about 16% of worker fatalities (2003, BLS) result from contact with equipment. HASARD can be applied in any workplace where potentially hazardous machinery is found.
Data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) shows that in 2003 there were 1,972 coal mines employing 70,241 workers. In mining an average of 13 fatalities occurred per year due to being run over or pinned by mobile mining equipment on the surface (1994-1998 Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) data). A total of 24 fatalities in underground mines were associated with remote controlled continuous mining machines from 1988 to 2004. Safety can be enhanced in these situations through the introduction of the HASARD worker proximity warning system. In non-mining there were 150 fatalities/year and 6,800 serious injuries/year from workers being caught in machinery (1992-1998, BLS data). Highway and street construction workers are at risk of fatal and serious nonfatal injury while working near construction vehicles and equipment. Between 1995 and 2002, there were an average of 60 vehicle and equipment-related fatalities within work zones, where a worker on foot was stuck by a vehicle. Thirty-seven fatal and 9,000 nonfatal accidents resulted from conveyor-related activities (1995 BLS data). Forty-five fatalities occur annually with forklifts in the United States.
- Title: ROPS Technology Transfer Team
- Authors: Harris JR, McKenzie EA, Jr., Cantis DM, Etherton JR, Ronaghi, Powers JR, Jr., Lutz TJ, Hudson AJ, Homce GT, Edgell HD, Amendola AA
- Source: Division of Safety Research
- Relevance: NIOSH innovations in the design of rollover protective structures (ROPS) for agricultural equipment are undeniably relevant in achieving NORA goals to lower the fatality rate among farmers. Farmer fatalities due to tractor overturns exceeded 1490 from 1992 to 2000. Nearly all fatalities due to tractor overturn could be prevented with a rollover protective structure (ROPS) and proper usage of a seatbelt. The NIOSH Agricultural Safety and Health Centers, in conjunction with tractor dealers and manufacturers, have acknowledged the magnitude of this occupational safety and health problem by establishing a specific research focus for tractor overturn prevention within their current National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative. Over 4 million tractors are in service in the U.S., of which over 2 million lack the appropriate overturn/rollover protection.
The NIOSH ROPS Technology Transfer Team (RT3) is composed of two groups working synergistically to initiate commercialization of two new devices to protect tractor operators from overturn fatalities. The two groups are the automatically deploying ROPS (AutoROPS) group and the cost-effective ROPS (CROPS) group. Although not yet available for sale, the ground work for commercialization of these two new devices was firmly established in 2004.