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eNews: Volume 16, Number 2 (June 2018)

Volume 16, Number 2 (June 2018)

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D.
Director, NIOSH

Highlights from the 2nd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health®

I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming attendees to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland for NIOSH’s 2nd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health® which took place May 8th-11th. Total Worker Health (TWH) is the NIOSH approach to worker safety, health, and well-being that emphasizes ways to not only protect workers from traditional workplace hazards, but also advance their health and well-being. With nearly 400 attendees from 37 states and 15 countries, including more than 100 presenters, the symposium brought together researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss the latest TWH science and worker-centered interventions.

Building on the success of the 1st International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health held in 2014, the 2018 symposium focused on “Work & Well-Being: How Safer, Healthier Work Can Advance Well-Being.” From keynote addresses to concurrent sessions, numerous presentations highlighted the changing nature of work and the need for innovative, comprehensive approaches to worker safety, health, and well-being.

The United States Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, gave opening remarks at the symposium, capturing an idea that we have long known at NIOSH—that worker health is population health. He shared that it is crucial to design jobs and work environments in ways that help workers thrive. Dr. Adams encouraged attendees to take collective action to promote the link between health and employment and to make broad health-fostering employment opportunities available to all.

Presentations at the symposium reflected on the theme that it is possible for work to be a place that helps workers truly thrive and provided insights about longevity and the role that workplaces can play in fostering and increasing sustainable, healthy living. The International Social Security Administration (ISSA) also shared an international perspective on worker safety and health and launched ISSA’s Vision Zero Campaign for North America.

Representatives from the NIOSH Healthy Work Design and Well-Being (HWD) program, a new program that is part of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), described its significance for the field of TWH. The program will be important in understanding the impact of the TWH approach, given its special emphasis on job design and the conditions of work. The research agenda for the HWD program will focus on improving the safety, health, and well-being of workers through healthier work design and better organizational practices, in addition to addressing the epidemic of chronic disease burden facing workers.

The NIOSH Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health and many NIOSH TWH Affiliates presented their latest research and practice initiatives from around the country. With research spanning such topics as family-friendly workplaces, non-standard work arrangements, workplace mental health, and TWH in small businesses, these valued collaborators are instrumental in advancing the science behind TWH approaches.

As I continue reflecting on my time at the 2nd International Symposium to Advance TWH, I am struck by the progress we’ve made since 2003 when we had an idea that a more comprehensive approach to worker safety and health would be beneficial to workers, their families, the enterprise itself, and to the nation’s economy. Fifteen years later, the concept of how to operationalize a more comprehensive approach to worker well-being has evolved thanks to your involvement, your critical thinking, and your valuable scientific contributions. Future efforts to advance TWH will focus on building workforce capacity, ensuring workplaces have trained professionals to lead TWH interventions, and further highlighting the link between healthy work design and worker health outcomes.


June is National Safety Month!
In recognition of National Safety Month, NIOSH will be posting safety messages for employers and workers to social media each day in the month of June. So if you don’t already, friend, like, follow, or join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to learn more and share with others.

NIOSH and NHCA Add Partner to Safe-in-Sound Awards
NIOSH and the National Hearing Conservation Association (NCHA) recently announced that the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation has joined their partnership that supports the Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award.™ Additionally, there is now a streamlined nomination process for the awards. Nominations will be accepted for the 2019 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award™ until July 13.

May Research Rounds Newsletter Available
The May issue of NIOSH Research Rounds is now available. This month features information on how injuries from work-related assaults are increasing among law enforcement officers, how training lags for non-native workers in small construction companies, and how fatigue-related crashes are more likely farther from rest stops. NIOSH Research Rounds is a monthly bulletin of selected research conducted by researchers at NIOSH and NIOSH-funded researchers at other institutions.

Learn About Safe + Sound Week!
Join NIOSH, OSHA and partners for a free webinar on June 26 at 1pm EDT to learn how to participate in Safe + Sound Week, August 13-19.

Monthly Features

NIOSH Congratulates

John Sammarco

NIOSH Researcher a Finalist for “Oscars” of Government Service
NIOSH researcher John Sammarco is a finalist for a Service to America Medal, or Sammie, in honor of his decades of public service to improve the health and safety of mine workers. He has a 30-year government research career and is nominated in the Career Achievement category. On May 8, all finalists were honored in Washington, D.C. as part of Public Service Recognition Week. Read more.

LT Michael Shahan was awarded the Green Medal

NIOSH Engineer Honored by Society of American Military Engineers
LT Michael Shahan was awarded the Green Medal at the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Joint Engineers Training Conference on May 25. The Green Medal is named in honor of Rear Adm. Richard Stedman Green, U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). The medal is presented for outstanding contribution to public health engineering and science by a USPHS officer. LT Shahan is an engineer in the NIOSH Pittsburgh Mining Research Division. Photo right shows RADM Edward Dieser, USPHS Chief Engineer Officer, presenting LT Shahan with the Green Medal at SAME.

NIOSH Researchers Receive Awards at Annual AIHA Expo
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) recognized the following NIOSH researchers and papers during its annual meeting in May:

  • Mark Hoover received the Herbert E. Stokinger Award. Hoover is a NIOSH senior research scientist, co-director of the NIOSH Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies and coordinator of the NIOSH Exposure Assessment Program. As the award recipient, Hoover gave the Stokinger Lecture: The Importance of Confirming Protection from Risks in All the Places We Live, Learn, Work, and Play. This award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution in the broad field of industrial and environmental toxicology.
  • Charles Geraci received the Jeffrey S. Lee Lectureship. He is the associate director for NIOSH emerging technologies. As the award recipient, Geraci presented the Lee Lecture, “Big Bangs and Black Holes – Past, Present, and Future Opportunities and Challenges for Industrial Hygiene.” This award pays tribute to the late Dr. Lee whose unswerving dedication and immeasurable contributions to occupational health and safety worldwide will long serve as a legacy and an inspiration for those who serve in the profession.
  • Authors of the article “Transfer of Bacteriophage MS2 and Fluorescein From N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators to Hands: Measuring Fomite Potential” received the John M. White Award. The recipients are Tyler Brady, Amanda Strauch, Claudia Almaguer, George Niezgoda, Ronald Shaffer, Jr., Patrick L Yorio, and Edward Fisher. This award encourages scientific and application-oriented research in respiratory protection.
  • Authors of the article “Characterization of Chemical Contaminants Generated by a Desktop Fused Deposition Modeling 3-Dimentional Printer” received the Lila Albin Award. The recipients are Aleksandr Stefaniak, Ryan LeBouf, Jinghai Yi, Jason Ham, Timothy Nurkewicz, Diane Schwegler-Berry, Bean Chen, Raymond Wells, Matthew Dulling, Robert Lawrence, Stephen Martin Jr., Alyson Johnson, and Abbas Virji. This award recognizes an article published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, which provides practical information and expands the knowledge base of IEQ professionals, addresses a critical IEQ issue, and presents the topic clearly and engagingly.


Comment Now on New Draft NORA Agendas

r2p Corner

r2p logo

NIOSH and FDA Start New Collaboration
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published the final order exempting a subset of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) intended for use in healthcare from premarket notification requirements. Upon publication of the final order, NIOSH and FDA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to improve the efficiency of regulatory oversight for N95 FFRs intended for use in healthcare. On July 2, NIOSH will begin accepting applications to implement the process for those manufacturers intending to submit N95 FFRs for use in healthcare. For more information, contact Jeffrey Peterson at (412) 386-4014 or

News From Our Partners

New Report on Work-Related Fatalities in Montana
The Montana Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance program released a new report, Work-Related Fatalities in Montana. The report provides a detailed overview of work-related fatalities in Montana in recent years and highlights results, policies, and action steps focused on four main target areas of prevention: transportation, agriculture, construction, and older workers. Transportation incidents accounted for 50% of all worker deaths in Montana from 2004 to 2016, and more workers died in transportation incidents than in any other event or exposure in 2015 and 2016.

Keeping Pesticides on the Farm: Practical Solutions for Minimizing Family Exposure
An online course, “Keeping Pesticides on the Farm: Practical Solutions for Minimizing Family Exposure,” introducing farmers to the work-to-home pesticide exposure pathway is now available. The course focuses on effective safety measures that farmers can take to keep pesticide residue on the farm and away from their homes and families. Farmers and managers developed measures and shared them with the Practical Solutions for Pesticide Safety Project. The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center and Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention–two NIOSH-funded Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health Ag Centers–created the training.

Researcher Discusses Mental Health among Seafarers
NIOSH grant-funded researcher, Dr. Rafael Lefkowitz, is featured in a recent article about mental health in the marine industries in the online trade magazine, Dr. Lefkowitz is an assistant professor in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program within the Yale School of Medicine. His research focuses on exposures and predictors of injury and illness for American and global seafarers. Visit Extramural Research and Training Programs for the latest information on NIOSH-funded extramural activities.

Washington’s Work-related Asthma Surveillance Program Releases New Training Materials for Hair Salon Workers
The Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program in Washington State has recently published Safety at the Salon. This new web-based training tool educates hair stylists on four common asthma-causing chemicals found in hair salons. The training reviews products and services in which stylists are exposed to asthmagens, respiratory health effects to watch for, how to read a safety data sheet, and other resources. Washington’s NIOSH-funded work-related asthma surveillance program has previously published prevention materials on exposure to marijuana, hops, and isocyanates.

Minnesota Occupational Health Indicators Updated
The Minnesota Department of Health Occupational Health Surveillance Program summarized and updated information on Indicators of Occupational Health and Safety on the program website. The website promotes Minnesota occupational health and safety to partners and stakeholders.

FACE Reports

Oil and Gas Delivery Driver Crushed Between a Dozer and a Semi-truck While Connecting Towline – West Virginia
An oil and gas delivery driver was fatally injured when he was crushed between a dozer and the front of his semi-truck. The driver was delivering concrete and due to difficult terrain needed a tow. When the dozer driver exited the dozer, it rolled backward, crushing the delivery driver between the two vehicles. The driver died at the scene.

Feller Struck by Dead Locust Tree While Felling Adjacent Tree – North Carolina
A tree feller died after being struck by a tree. Two fellers were working 600 feet apart. The fatally injured feller cut a tree and retreated to the escape path. Before he reached it, a dead tree caught in overhanging branches fell and struck him. The feller was found dead under the tree.

Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program Report

Captain Suffers a Heart Attack at a Motor Vehicle Fire and Subsequently Dies – Nebraska
A volunteer captain participated in extrication training. The fire department was then dispatched to two emergency events. After a vehicle fire was under control, the captain remained at the scene. As the captain prepared to leave, he did not feel well. The captain got into an ambulance on the scene and collapsed. The captain was pronounced dead at the hospital.

38-Year Old Captain Suffers a Heart Attack at a Medical Call and Dies 4 Days Later – Nebraska
A volunteer captain responded to an emergency medical call. While helping transfer a patient, he felt as though “someone had dropped the car” on his chest. The captain drove to the fire station. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update

Evaluation of Nitrous Oxide Exposures in a Dental Center
HHE program investigators found nitrous oxide exposures above occupational exposure limits likely resulting from patient breath during dental procedures and poorly fitting nasal scavenging masks. Investigators recommended ventilation improvements and providing patients with fitted nasal scavenging masks. Read the HHE report to learn more.

Evaluation of a Maintenance Facility with Small Arms Repair and Vehicle Painting Shops
HHE program investigators found lead on employees’ hands after washing and isocyanate exposures confirmed by air and blood tests. Investigators recommended making improvements in ventilation, wearing nitrile gloves while repairing firearms, and starting an isocyanate medical surveillance program. Read the HHE report to learn more.

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

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

Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) – Extension
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 – New
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 Council Effectiveness
The notice was posted on April 19. Comments must be received by June 18.

World Trade Center Health Program Enrollment, Treatment, Appeals & Reimbursement – Revision
The notice was posted on May 11. Comments must be received by July 10.

Draft National Occupational Research Agenda for Respiratory Health; Extension of Comment Period
The notice was posted on March 15. Comments must be received by July 13

Occupational Robotics Research Prioritization
The notice was posted on May 14. Comments must be received by July 13.

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.

Call for Abstracts

2019 National HIV Prevention Conference
Deadline for abstract submissions is July 10.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

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, GA

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

2019 National HIV Prevention Conference
March 18 – 21, 2019, Atlanta, GA

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

This Month in History

In 1997, NIOSH published recommendations to protect workers with allergies to natural rubber latex in gloves and other products. The recommendations included using non-latex gloves for tasks that do not involve contact with blood and other potentially infectious substances, and providing education and training about latex allergy. Repeated exposures to proteins in natural rubber latex, through either skin contact or inhalation, can lead to latex allergy. Symptoms usually begin minutes after exposure and may include an itchy rash, congestion, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and difficulty breathing.