eNews: Volume 16, Number 9 (January 2019)

Volume 16, Number 9 (January 2019)

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D.
Director, NIOSH

NORA Gains Momentum Into 2019

It’s a new year, and in many ways a fresh start; but not for the NORA (National Occupational Research Agenda) councils that continue to build on the efforts of the past two years. The ten sector councils from the second decade of NORA carried forward their work to improve occupational safety and health in industry sectors. Seven new cross-sector councils formed to focus on health and safety issues affecting workers across sectors. These councils are diverse and inclusive, with members from universities, large and small businesses, professional societies, government agencies, and worker organizations.

In this third decade of NORA (2016–2026), the councils are working on research agendas for the nation and advancing those agendas through information sharing, partnerships, and promoting evidence-based solutions. To date, eleven NORA agendas have been published, and the remaining six are close to completion. These documents are the result of collective efforts to identify the most important research needs by considering the numbers of workers at risk for a particular injury or illness, the seriousness of the hazard or issue, and the probability that new information and approaches will make a difference. NORA agendas are intended to be used by organizations and individuals interested in improving occupational safety and health through research. NIOSH has also identified its contributions to NORA through the NIOSH Strategic Plan for FYs 2019–2023.

In addition to the agendas, there have been other exciting achievements in the first two years. NORA has a new website, with a fresh look and enhanced content. It serves as the central repository for the products the NORA councils currently have or will create in the third decade. For example, the NORA Manufacturing Sector Council published a web page on hazardous energy control. This page features a resource guide with access to customizable materials and templates to assist in implementing effective strategies for the administrative control of unsafe release of hazardous energy. Members of the council compiled, reviewed, and adapted resources to help companies and businesses start or improve and maintain their existing Lockout Program.

NORA councils have also hosted some excellent webinars, both individually and collaboratively with other councils. Most recently, the NORA Mining Council held a webinar about hearing loss in the mining industry, and the NORA Healthy Work Design and Well-Being Council meeting featured a presentation on work-family and job stress interventions.

We are looking forward to the New Year and continuing the important work of the councils. If you’re interested in learning more about NORA, visit www.cdc.gov/nora or contact NORACoordinator@cdc.gov. I look forward to another successful year of NORA in 2019.


NIOSH Announces Availability of $6 Million in Commercial Fishing Safety Research and Training Grants
NIOSH, in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, recently announced the availability of $6 million dollars in grant funding for commercial fishing safety research and training. Those interested in applying for a grant can view both funding opportunities on the Grants.govexternal icon website. The research and training grant funding opportunities are listed as RFA-OH-19-004external icon and RFA-OH-19-005external icon, respectively. The deadline to submit an application for both grants is February 21.

stay safe #workingincold

Stay Safe Working in Cold This Winter!
Winter is here and that means it is time to take precautions to make sure you stay safe and healthy while working in the cold or cold environments. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest information, all winter long!

New Study Finds Higher than Expected Number of Suicide Deaths Among U.S. Veterinarians
Veterinarians in the U.S. are at an increased risk of suicide, a trend that has spanned more than three decades, according to a new CDC study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA)external icon. Female veterinarians are at particularly high suicide risk. Learn more in this CDC press release.

Report Explores New Types of Respiratory Protection for Use in Health Care
A new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine explores the potential for use of half-facepiece elastomeric respirators in the U.S. health care system with a focus on the economic, policy, and implementation challenges and opportunities. The report examines two circumstances, routine and surge use, in which half-facepiece reusable elastomeric respirators could be considered in health care settings. A free prepublication copy of the report is available onlineexternal icon. The study was done at the request of NIOSH and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, both at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NIOSH Extramural Research and Training Program Annual Report Released
The FY2017 NIOSH Extramural Research and Training Program Annual Report is now available. This document provides information on how NIOSH invested in its multidisciplinary centers, investigator-initiated research projects, and cooperative research agreements. It also reports on NIOSH training project grants, state surveillance programs, small business innovation research, and global health initiatives. For the latest information on NIOSH-funded extramural activities, visit the NIOSH Extramural Research and Training Programs web page.

Rear Admirals Visit NIOSH Cincinnati
In December, RADM Edward Dieser, United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps Chief Engineer Officer, and RADM Kelly Taylor, USPHS Commissioned Corps Chief Environmental Health Officer, met with commissioned officers from the Cincinnati Commissioned Officers Association (COA) for an overview of NIOSH research and service programs. During the visit, they participated in a commissioned officers recognition event and toured the Engineering Controls and Impulse Noise research areas and the Health Hazard Evaluation service program. NIOSH and the Cincinnati COA thank RADMs Dieser and Taylor for the visit. NIOSH looks forward to future collaborations to advance response capability, serve the underserved, and drive occupational safety and health research innovation.

Monthly Features


2019 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction
The NORA Construction Sector Council announced the 2019 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Constructionexternal icon will take place May 6–10. Construction employers are encouraged to join the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Constructionexternal icon and hold their own Stand-Down. A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall Prevention.” Learn more at Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down”external icon and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downsexternal icon.

New Webinar Recordings Available

  • The NORA Mining Council recently held a webinar on hearing loss prevention in the mining industry featuring several NIOSH researchers. The recording is archived on the NORA Mining Council web page, in the 2018 meeting section.
  • The NORA Healthy Work Design and Well-Being held a webinar on work-family and job stress interventions featuring one of its members, Dr. Leslie Hammer. The recording is archived on the NORA Healthy Work Design and Well-Being Council web page.

Comment Now on New Draft NORA Agenda
The National Occupational Research Agenda for Immune, Infectious, and Dermal Disease Prevention is open for public commentexternal icon until January 7.

News from Our Partners

Washington’s Steep Slope Machine Logging Safety Recommendations
Logging is a hazardous occupation, but the increasing mechanization of logging tasks reduces injury risks. Tethered machine logging on steep slopes has become common in Washington State in recent years. In collaboration with safety experts and industry stakeholders, Washington State’s Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention program has developed a safety guide for this relatively new practice titled Best Management and Operating Practices for Steep Slope Machine Loggingexternal icon.

New Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program Reports

Career Fire Fighter Killed and Volunteer Fire Fighter Seriously Wounded When Shot During a Civilian Welfare Check—Maryland
A career fire fighter/paramedic was killed and a volunteer fire fighter was seriously wounded when they were shot during a call for a check on the welfare of a citizen. The fire fighters were on the front porch attempting to gain entry into a single family dwelling when they were shot by the resident.

Arson Fire Kills Three Fire Fighters and Injures Four Fire Fighters Following a Floor Collapse in a Row House—Delaware
A lieutenant and a senior fire fighter died due to a floor collapse in a row house at a structure fire. Two other fire fighters were critically injured. The floor collapsed less than two minutes after fire fighters entered the front door. One of the injured fire fighters died on December 1, 2016. Another fire fighter spent 40 days in a hospital before being released.

Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update

Evaluation of Odors in a Pet Care Product Manufacturing Office
Although HHE Program investigators did not notice any odor in the office area, there was potential for odor to move from the production area into the office area. Investigators recommended sealing all gaps in the wall separating the office and production areas, and establishing an office “fragrance-free” policy to limit exposure for employees who may be sensitive to products with strong odors or scents. Read the HHE reportexternal icon to learn more.

Evaluation of Chemical Exposures during Optical Media Production
Although HHE Program investigators found no detectable naphthalene, ethylbenzene, xylene, 2-butoxyethanol, or trimethylbenzene in any full-shift air samples, investigators recommended improving hazard communication, training, and availability of personal protective equipment. Read the HHE reportexternal icon to learn more.

New NIOSH Communication Products


NIOSH Program Performance One Pager


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

Federal Register Notices of Public Comment

Draft-National Occupational Research Agenda for Immune, Infectious, and Dermal Disease Prevention (IID).
The noticeexternal icon was posted on November 8, 2018. Comments must be received by January 7.

Barriers to Participation in the NIOSH Coal Workers Health Surveillance Program
The noticeexternal icon was posted on November 13, 2018. Comments must be received by January 14.

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

Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsUnderstanding How Discounting Affects Decision Making and Adoption of Prevention Through Design Solutions
The noticeexternal icon was published on December 10, 2018. Comments must be received by February 8.

Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations—“Online Training for Law Enforcement to Reduce Risks Associated With Shift Work and Long Work Hours”
The noticeexternal icon was published on December 10, 2018. Comments must be received by February 8.

Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review—The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP): Impact Assessment and Strategic Planning for Translational Research (Part 1, Formative Research: Focus Groups)
The noticeexternal icon was posted on December 10, 2018. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

Notice of Closed Meeting—Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP)—PAR 13-129; NIOSH Member Conflict Special Emphasis Panel
The noticeexternal icon was posted on December 21, 2018. The meeting will be held on February 26 from 12:00–4:00 p.m.

Notice of Closed Meeting—Safety and Occupational Health Study Section (SOHSS); National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
The noticeexternal icon was posted on December 21, 2018. The meeting will be held on February 20–21 from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Call for Proposals

Work, Stress and Health Conferenceexternal icon
Deadline for paper and presentation proposals is January 28.

Upcoming Seminars/Conferences

2019 Fire PPE Symposiumexternal icon
March 11–13, Raleigh, NC

Pennsylvania Association of Occupational Health Nurses 57th Annual Conferenceexternal icon
March 13–14, Monroeville, PA

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

29th Annual Art & Science of Health Promotion Conferenceexternal icon
April 1–5, Hilton Head, SC

2019 Wisconsin Health Literacy Summitexternal icon
April 2–3, Madison, WI

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses National Conferenceexternal icon
April 8–10, Jacksonville, FL

American Occupational Health Conferenceexternal iconLook for Us! Booth #308
April 28–May 1, Anaheim, CA

National Safety Council Northeast Conference & Expoexternal iconLook for Us! Booth #205
May 1–3, Pittsburgh, PA

Ohio Tactical Officers Association Conferenceexternal icon
June 3–7, Sandusky, OH

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Conferenceexternal iconLook for Us! Booth #1638
June 12–14, Philadelphia, PA

Fraternal Order of Police 64th Biennial Conference & Expoexternal iconLook for Us! Booth #800
August 12–15, New Orleans, LA

International Association of Firefighters Redmond Health and Safety Symposiumexternal icon
August 19–22, Nashville, TN

Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare National Conferenceexternal icon
September 4–7, Baltimore, MD

Twenty-Fourth International Symposium on Shiftwork & Working Timeexternal icon
September 9–13, Coeur d’Alene, ID

Working Hours, Sleep & Fatigue Forum: Meeting the Needs of American Workers & Employers
September 13–14, Coeur d’Alene, ID

National Association of Occupational Health Professionals 33rd Annual National Conferenceexternal icon
September 15–17, Phoenix, AZ

Work, Stress and Health Conference 2019external icon
November 6–9, Philadelphia, PA

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

This Month in History

More than three decades ago, NIOSH released recommendations to help prevent work-related psychological disorders. Equally relevant today, the recommendations include ensuring appropriate physical and mental demands; providing a balance between work and personal life; defining roles and responsibilities; and supporting career development, connections with coworkers, and participation in workplace decisions.

Page last reviewed: January 3, 2019