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eNews: Volume 16, Number 1 (May 2018)

Volume 16, Number 1 (May 2018)

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D.
Director, NIOSH

NIOSH Congratulates 2018 Science Awards Winners

Each year, on the fourth Thursday of April, NIOSH acknowledges the outstanding contributions NIOSH staff and partners have made to the field of occupational safety and health. The award ceremony is placed purposefully right before Workers’ Memorial Day as both share a mission to remember and honor the safety and health of workers in all that we do.

Over the years, the ceremony has expanded to five awards and multiple categories that recognize staff not only for excellence in the areas of research but in research translation, innovations, partnerships, use of plain language principles, career achievements, and service as well.

Here is a summary of the five awards:

  • The Alice Hamilton Award for Excellence in Occupational Safety and Health: The spirit of Alice Hamilton, M.D., lives on at NIOSH, where we continue to explore the “dangerous trades.” This award honors her work as physician, scientist, humanitarian, social reform leader, and pioneer in occupational safety and health. The Alice Hamilton Award honors NIOSH employees for the scientific excellence of their technical and instructional materials. An Alice Hamilton Award is given in five categories: Education and Guidance, Engineering and Control, Epidemiology and Surveillance, Exposure and Risk Assessment, and Methods and Laboratory Science.
  • The James P. Keogh Award: James P. Keogh, M.D., worked throughout his life for peace and social change. He sought to safeguard workers through education about hazards, and he advocated workplace protections. This award recognizes a current or former NIOSH employee for exceptional service to the field of occupational safety and health.
  • Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award: Edward W. Bullard and R. Jeremy (Jerry) Sherwood made significant contributions to workplace injury and illness prevention. This award recognizes NIOSH scientists whose outstanding efforts demonstrate noteworthy impact and relevance through partnerships. The award is given in three categories: Knowledge, Intervention, and Technology.
  • Director’s Intramural Award for Extraordinary Science: The Director’s Intramural Award for Extraordinary Science recognizes outstanding contributions to science excellence at NIOSH by individual intramural scientists and support staff. The award is given in three categories: Distinguished Career Scientist, Early Career Scientist, and Scientific Support. Recipients of the Director’s Intramural Award receive a monetary award that augments their research budget for the following fiscal year.
  • The Plain Language Award: This is the first year NIOSH has given this award. It recognizes excellence in the application of plain language principles in NIOSH fact sheets, brochures, or web pages. Materials can be new or can be revisions of previously developed materials. A Plain Language Award is given for each of the following categories: Original Document and Before and After.

The full list of winners and their achievements is available on our website.

Please join me in congratulating our 2018 winners.


NIOSH Recognizes Workers’ Memorial Day
NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard has released his annual Workers’ Memorial Day statement. Workers’ Memorial Day is observed every year on April 28. It is a day to honor those workers who have died on the job, to acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers.

New Fentanyl Resources Available for Workers at Risk of Exposure
NIOSH has posted updates to its Fentanyl resources for workers page:

Join NIOSH on May 16 for the 2nd Installment of Expanding Research Partnership Webinar Series!

The Expanding Research Partnership Webinar series continues the learning and discussions on NIOSH research and partnerships from the Expanding Research Partnerships: State of the Science Conference. The series features intramural and extramural research within the NIOSH Program Portfolio, and takes place from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET on May 16 and November 14. Additional information about this webinar and registration information is available here.

Nominations Open for the 2019 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™
Nominations will be accepted for the 2019 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award™ until July 15. The award, given by NIOSH in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association, recognizes those who demonstrate, by example, the benefits of developing or following good hearing loss prevention practices. Safe-in-Sound Award™ winning stories are shared and showcased at special award ceremonies and in press releases disseminated to the occupational health and hearing research communities.

Request for Proposal Open for Respirator Study in Healthcare Settings
A Request for Proposal (RFP) for a project with NIOSH has been posted on FedBizOpps. The purpose of this project, “Respirator Study: Assessment of Elastomeric Respirators in Healthcare Delivery Settings,” is to determine the feasibility and capability of U.S. healthcare delivery organizations to routinely use reusable respirators and/or rapidly convert to their use during a public health emergency. Questions should be directed to Kate Oyler no later than 11:00 a.m. EST on May 7. Offerors wishing to submit a proposal in response to the RFP shall submit their proposals electronically to Kate Oyler no later than 11:00 a.m. EST on May 29.

April Research Rounds Newsletter Available
The April issue of NIOSH Research Rounds is now available. This month includes articles on how falls are a persistent cause of work-related death; how obesity, physical inactivity, or short sleep affect 1 in 5 workers, and how freestanding mast-climbing work platform remains stable during fall arrest, if properly used, and more. NIOSH Research Rounds is a monthly bulletin of selected research conducted by researchers at NIOSH and NIOSH-funded researchers at other institutions.

Oil and Gas Video Now Available in Español
The Spanish version of the NIOSH video Protecting Oil and Gas Workers from Hydrocarbon Exposures is now available. This video describes the hazards associated with manual gauging and fluid sampling on oil and gas production tanks and describes steps that employers and workers can take to do this work safely.

In Memoriam: Lewis (Lew) Wade

Lewis (Lew) Wade

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of former NIOSH employee and colleague Dr. Lewis (Lew) V. Wade on Sunday, April 22. Lew received his BS degree in Civil Engineering and MS degree in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College, and his PhD in Civil Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He worked for the U.S. Bureau of Mines for 25 years until it disbanded in 1996. In 2000, he became the Associate Director for the NIOSH Office for Mine Safety and Health Research. In 2004 he became the NIOSH Senior Science Advisor where he was instrumental in guiding NIOSH in creating a new program established by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness and Compensation Act of 2000 and its Presidential Advisory Board for Radiation and Worker Health. In 2010 with the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, Lew shifted his Senior Advisor focus to guide, develop and implement NIOSH’s new responsibilities as the administrative body for the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). After his retirement from NIOSH in 2008, he continued to provide his wise counsel to the WTCHP and its staff as a contract employee. His full obituary is available here.

Monthly Features

NIOSH Congratulates

NIOSH Authors Receive AIHA 2018 Lila Albin IEQ Paper Award
Congratulations to Aleksandr Stefaniak and co-authors for winning the Lila Albin IEQ Paper Award 2018, for the indoor environmental quality paper entitled, “Characterization of chemical contaminants generated by a desktop fused deposition modeling 3-dimensional printer,” in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the AIHA Indoor Environmental Quality Committee on May 22 at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference in Philadelphia, PA.

Chuck Geraci Selected as 2018 Jeffrey Lee Awarded Lecturer at AIHCE
Congratulations to Chuck Geraci for his selection as the Foundation for Occupational Health & Safety, Jeffrey Lee Awarded Lecturer for 2018. In this capacity, Dr. Geraci will present the Lee Lecture, “Big Bangs and Black Holes – Past, Present, and Future Opportunities and Challenges for Industrial Hygiene,” on Tuesday, May 22, at 10:00 a.m., during the American Industrial Hygiene Conference in Philadelphia, PA.


Comment Now on New Draft NORA Agendas

Upcoming NORA Council Meetings

  • The NORA Services Sector Council will meet virtually on May 10, 1:00–3:30 pm ET, and hear a presentation on non-standard work arrangements.
  • The Wholesale and Retail Trade (WRT) Council will meet virtually on May 17, 4:00–5:00 p.m. ET, for a presentation on slips, trips, and falls, and a discussion of the draft National Occupational Research Agenda for WRT.

To attend, contact the NORA coordinator.

News From Our Partners

Your Construction Safety Program guide

Supporting Strong Safety and Health Training in Community College Construction Programs
Construction programs at 2-year post-secondary schools and colleges play an essential role in preparing new and young workers to enter the growing construction field—essential because these new workers are at greatest risk for injury on the jobsite. Researchers from U.C. Berkeley and West Virginia University conducted surveys and site visits to understand how these construction programs are doing. Their new guide, Your Construction Safety Program: Safe Students, Safe Workers (see image at right), provides some of the key results and promising practices identified through their research. In addition to sharing survey results, the guide provides specific action steps and resources for both administrators and instructors. Over a thousand copies have been downloaded, to date. This project was supported by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, with NIOSH funding.

Georgia Adult Blood Lead Reduction Alliance
The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute’s Safety, Health, and Environmental Services Group; and the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Division of Health Protection have formed a new alliance to raise awareness about adult lead exposure. The alliance will provide Georgia employers and industry leaders with guidance and access to training resources on preventing worker exposure to lead.

OSHA New Health and Safety Resources
This newly released Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Quarterly Update on Compliance Assistance Resources highlights new workplace safety and health resources issued by the OSHA, OSHA’s Alliance Program participants, NIOSH, and others.

Planning Ahead to Prevent Illness from Pesticide Drift
As the breadbasket for the United States, California has many communities and workplaces surrounded by agriculture. Workers can become ill when a pesticide drifts onto workplaces after it is applied incorrectly. A new fact sheet and poster from the California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Pesticide Illness Prevention Program (OPIPP) provides employers and workers with tips for preventing pesticide illness from drift incidents. The fact sheet will help workplaces located near pesticide applications to plan and know who to contact to report drift. The companion poster reinforces what to do in a drift situation and provides an easy way to post the contact information for reporting drift. These and other OPIPP publications can be found on their publications page.

NSC Offers Free OSH Resources for Students
A free National Safety Council Student Membership is now available to students. This includes a subscription to Safety+Health Magazine, scholarship opportunities, top-rated safety news and articles delivered directly to their inbox, job board postings, and more. Sign up here.

New Kentucky FACE Program Report
The Kentucky FACE Program recently released a new report, Mechanic Struck and Killed by Over-Pressurized Suspension Air Spring on Tractor Trailer. The report summarizes and provides safety recommendations from a fatality that happened in 2016 when a 50-year-old male mechanic (the victim) was in a pit below a semi-truck changing a suspension air spring on a tractor-trailer cab when the over-pressurized air spring exploded and struck his forehead, killing him instantly.

New Kentucky Hazard Alert
In 2016, the construction industry saw an alarming rise in trench-related fatalities, as 23 workers lost their lives in trench collapses. This number was higher than the total number of trench fatalities in 2014 and 2015 combined. Tragically, three workers died in trench collapses in Kentucky from June 2015 to December 2017. In response, the Kentucky Injury and Research Center recently released a new Alert to provide information on how to avoid these types of injuries.

FACE Reports

Feller Struck by Tree Limb While Felling Adjacent Tree—North Carolina
A feller was struck by a tree limb while felling an adjacent tree and died the next day. The feller dropped a tree that caught an adjacent limb on the way down. The limb broke off the standing tree and struck the feller on the head. The feller was transported to a hospital where he died.

A 19-Year-Old Landscape Laborer Dies When Entangled in Auger after Entering the Hopper of a Bark Blower Truck—Washington
A landscape laborer died after entering the hopper of a bark blower truck and becoming entangled in its rotating auger system. The day of the incident was his second day on the job. He had no prior experience in the landscaping industry. He was working several feet from the rotating unguarded auger system. The laborer was found deceased in the auger system.

Forklift Operator Dies When Crushed between Forklift Overhead Guard and Mast—Washington
An operator on a forklift died when he was crushed between the forklift mast and the overhead guard. The incident occurred when the operator left the seat, climbed over the console, stood between the mast and the overhead guard so he could look into an elevated bin on the forks. Workers arrived and helped him from the forklift. The operator was taken to a hospital, and he died in the emergency room.

Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program Report

56-Year-Old Fire Fighter Suffers Cardiac Arrest at Brush Fire—New Hampshire
A volunteer fire fighter collapsed at the scene of a brush fire while operating the pumps on a fire engine. Emergency medical services personnel initiated medical care and transported him to the hospital. While at the hospital, the fire fighter died.

Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update

2017 Health Hazard Evaluation Program Annual Report
The NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program is pleased to share its 2017 annual report. The report includes summaries of projects that were interesting and other highlights of our year. The program hopes the report stimulates conversations about what the HHE Program is and how it makes a difference for the health and safety of employees throughout the United States. A link to the annual report is available here.

Recommendations for Fire Fighters Potentially Exposed to Opioids and Other Traumatic Events 
Finding high levels of job stress and positive screenings for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety, HHE Program investigators recommended training on minimizing work-related exposure to opioids and mental health issues such as suicide prevention, psychological first aid, and recognizing signs of stress. For more information click here.

Evaluation of Exposures at a Pink Bollworm Rearing Facility
HHE Program investigators found formaldehyde overexposures as well as medical evidence suggesting potential allergy, occupational asthma, and lung obstruction. We recommended ventilation improvements and replacing latex gloves with nitrile. For more information click here.

New NIOSH Communication Products

What’s New on the NIOSH Science Blog? Join the Discussion Today!

Federal Register Notices of Public Meetings and Public Comment

Requests for Public Comment

Draft–National Occupational Research Agenda for Respiratory Health
The notice was posted on March 15. Comments must be received by May 14.

The World Trade Center Health Program: Impact Assessment and Strategic Planning for Translational Research (Focus Group Protocol)
The notice was posted on March 15. Comments must be received by May 14.

Draft–National Occupational Research Agenda for Musculoskeletal Health
The notice was posted on March 22. Comments must be received by May 21.

Clarification of Post-Approval Testing Standards for Closed-Circuit Escape Respirators; Technical Amendments
The notice was posted on March 22. Comments must be received by May 21.

Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) – Extension
The notice was posted on April 12. Comments must be received by June 11.

Draft–National Occupational Research Agenda for Public Safety
The notice was posted on April 12. Comments must be received by June 11.

Evidence to Inform Standards that Ensure Turnout Gear Remains Protective throughout Its Lifecycle
The notice was posted on April 12. Comments must be received by June 11.

Evaluation of the Third Decade of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Council Effectiveness
The notice was posted on April 19. Comments must be received by June 18.

World Trade Center Health Program; Request for Nominations of Scientific Peer Reviewers of Proposed Additions to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions
The notice was posted on March 22, 2017. Nominations must be postmarked or submitted electronically by February 1, 2019.

Notice of Public Meetings

Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BSC, NIOSH)
The notice was posted on April 6. The meeting will be held on May 15, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Mine Safety and Health Research Advisory Committee
The notice was posted on April 16. The meeting will be held on May 22, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT and May 23, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

2nd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health®
May 8–11, Bethesda, MD

American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition (AIHce EXP)
May 21–23, Philadelphia, PA

International Association of Fire Chiefs, HazMat
June 7–10, Baltimore, MD

Fifth International Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference (IFISH 5)
June 10–13, St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Association of Infection Control Practitioners
June 13–15, Minneapolis, MN

National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media
September 11–13, Atlanta, Georgia

19th Conference of the International Society for Respiratory Protection
September 15–20, Denver, CO

National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2018
October 16–18, Morgantown, WV

A comprehensive list of upcoming conferences is available on the NIOSH website.

This Month in History

Six years after the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, NIOSH published its policy for preventing work-related causes of cancer. Among its recommendations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were use permits and a registration system for cancer-causing substances in the workplace. More information is available: Guidelines for a NIOSH Policy on Occupational Carcinogenesis.