eNews: Volume 20, Number 7 (November 2022)

Volume 20, Number 7 (November 2022)

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D. Director, NIOSH

NIOSH Pocket Guide Celebrates 45 Years!

NIOSH first launched the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) in 1978. Today, over four decades later, it continues to be one of the most popular NIOSH resources.

The NPG was developed to inform workers, employers, and occupational health professionals about workplace chemical hazards. The guide describes chemical and physical properties for nearly 700 chemicals commonly found in the work environment. It also provides descriptive information such as recommendations for exposure limits, protective clothing, and first aid measures.

The information in the NPG can be used to control workplace exposures to chemical hazards and serve as a portable reference guide for emergency preparedness and response personnel. For example, firefighters can use the NPG to prepare for chemical exposures they might face during responses to emergency scenarios such as an explosion, fire, or chemical spill.

To date, 1.3 million copies have been distributed in print or compact disc. In just the past 12 months, the NPG webpage has received 610,567 page views and the mobile app downloaded 257,070 times.

In recognition of the NPG’s upcoming 45th anniversary, NIOSH plans to publish an updated version in 2023. The new edition of the NPG will include much of the same valuable chemical information with some new categories and other updates. This version will also feature a new look that incorporates user feedback and improves layout and readability.

NIOSH skin notations, which describe the skin hazards for select chemicals, will be part of the new edition. Other updates will include descriptions on how chemical protective clothing and decontamination recommendations were developed, along with the most recent NIOSH Chemical Carcinogen Policy. Further additions will be expanded signs and symptoms of exposure and updated respirator recommendations. Airborne concentration measurement methods will also be added.

Currently, the NPG is offered in four formats: print, online, PDF, and mobile app:

NIOSH is dedicated to continuing to maintain and update this important resource that is used by so many. We look forward to launching the updated NPG in 2023.

Research Rounds

Risky Driving in Oil and Gas Extraction Linked to Long Work Hours, Lengthy Commutes, and Insufficient Sleep

Long work hours, lengthy commutes, and insufficient sleep contributed to risky driving among oil and gas extraction workers, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. In addition, insufficient employer policies in these areas were associated with a greater likelihood of risky driving.

Compared to all U.S. workers, oil and gas extraction workers were more likely to die on the job during 2003–2013, according to a previous CDC study. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related death in the industry, yet the underlying causes are unclear.

To learn more, NIOSH researchers looked at factors linked to risky driving among oil and gas extraction workers based in Colorado, North Dakota, and Texas. Between October 2017 and February 2019, 498 of these workers responded to a survey about work schedules, workplace policies, and risky driving events, including feeling drowsy while driving, falling asleep, or nearly experiencing a motor vehicle crash. Nearly all respondents were male, more than one third were Hispanic, and the largest percentage was 25–34 years old.

Survey results showed that long work hours and commutes, insufficient sleep, and a lack of employer policies in these areas increased the likelihood of one or more risky driving events. These conditions were widespread, with nearly two-thirds of respondents reporting workdays of 12 or more hours, and nearly half reporting fewer than 7 hours of sleep per workday. On average, respondents reported commuting almost 2 hours roundtrip. About one-fourth reported falling asleep while driving a work vehicle or feeling extremely drowsy more than once a month while driving at work. Furthermore, 17% reported nearly crashing while driving at work in the preceding week. Although most of the respondents’ employers had vehicle-safety policies, including reporting near-miss crashes, fewer reported employer policies in journey and fatigue management and maximum work hours: journey management: 47%; fatigue management: 42%; and maximum work hours: 39%.

These results underscore the need for employer policies to prevent risky driving events among workers in oil and gas extraction.

More information is available: Oil and Gas Extraction Program | NIOSH | CDC

NIOSH Study Estimates Current Rates of Workplace Inhalation Injury

Workplace exposure to hazardous substances in the air, such as smoke or fumes, can damage the lungs. More than two decades ago, a NIOSH study found a higher rate of workplace inhalation injuries in U.S. emergency departments than in medical reports from Canada and the United Kingdom. For comparison, a new study looked at U.S. emergency department records for these injuries. Lead author Kitty J. Hendricks, NIOSH research epidemiologist, explains the study, recently published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Q: How did you do the study?

A: We defined a workplace inhalation injury as an event that required treatment in a U.S. emergency department for inhaling a harmful substance while at work. We then used NEISS-Work, a nationwide surveillance system, administered by NIOSH and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to identify all nonfatal workplace inhalation injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments from 2014 through 2017.

Q: What did you find?

A: Approximately 2.2 workplace inhalation injuries per 10,000 workers were treated in U.S. emergency departments. More than half occurred among men; however, the injury rates between women and men were comparable. Although the overall rate is lower than the 3.6 found in the 2000 study, the decline in injury rate was inconsistent between sexes. Compared with the earlier study, male injury rates decreased 48%, while female injury rates only decreased by 19%. Workers between the ages of 25–34 had the largest percentage of injuries. However, workers under age 25 were more likely than older workers to have a workplace inhalation injury.

Q: What is next?

A: Although our results showed that workplace inhalation injuries seem to be decreasing, additional research is needed to understand why. It could be due to improvements in interventions or workers receiving medical treatment outside of emergency departments. Future research is needed to explore these questions.

More information is available:

NIOSH pocket guide three ways: printed and bound, on a tablet, and on a phone

Image by NIOSH

NIOSH eNews is Brought to You By:

John Howard, M.D., Director
Christina Spring, Editor in Chief

Managing Editor
Tanya Headley

Section Editor
Anne Blank, Research Rounds
Kiana Harper, Highlights & Monthly Features

Contributing Editors
Sarah Mitchell

Copy Editor
Cheryl Hamilton

Technical Support
Steve Leonard, Technical Lead
Matt Osborne, Web Developer

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NIOSH Seeks Nominations for Radiation and Workers Health Advisory Board
NIOSH is seeking nominations for membership on the advisory board on Radiation and Worker Health. NIOSH administers the advisory board, which consists of up to 20 members appointed by the President of the United States. These members reflect a balance of scientific, medical, and worker perspectives. Nominations must be received (postmarked if sent by mail) by November 16. See the full announcement for more information or to apply.

Register Now for the NIOSH Equitable PPE Protections Workshop
Registration is closing soon for the NIOSH virtual Equitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) workshop. This two-day session will highlight ongoing activities and discuss prominent issues about equitable PPE protections of all U.S. workers. Preregister for each day individually using the following registration links: November 8 and November 9. For more information see the workshop webpage or contact PPEConcerns@cdc.gov.

2023 Commercial Fishing Safety Research & Training Grants Available
NIOSH and the U.S. Coast Guard have $6 million dollars available in extramural grant funding for commercial fishing safety research and training in fiscal year 2023. Learn more about the funding and the diverse work of current grantees. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2023. For more information contact Bridgett Garrett.

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NIOSH and South Africa National Institute for Occupational Health Renew Partnership
NIOSH recently renewed its partnership with South Africa’s National Institute for Occupational Health. Through the partnership the organizations will continue to collaborate on efforts to advance the protection of workers and to promote best practices to improve worker safety and health. For more information contact Maria Strickland.

NIOSH Congratulates

  • 2nd Annual Prevention Through Design Award Ceremony Held
    NIOSH and partners recently announced the newest winner of the Prevention through Design (PtD) Award. The second annual PtD Award was presented to Dr. Georgi Popov for his outstanding leadership in reducing workplace hazards through design methods. The award ceremony was a collaborative effort between NIOSH, the American Society of Safety Professionals  and the National Safety Council. Read the NIOSH Update to learn more.
  • Winners Announced for the NIOSH Protective Clothing Challenge
    NIOSH and partners recently announced the winners of “The NIOSH Protective Clothing Challenge—Leaving No Body Unprotected.” The Challenge was for protective clothing solutions that consider the broad spectrum of U.S. workers in relation to factors that may influence fit such as body size and shape, gender, race, ethnicity, religious or cultural practices, or specific work tasks. Read the NIOSH Update to learn more.

World Trade Center Health Program Seeks Nominations for Advisory Committee
The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program is requesting nominations for candidates to serve on its Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee. Nominations are being accepted for the following: occupational physician; environmental medicine or environmental health professional; and WTC responders representative. Appointments are for up to 4 years. Nominations are due by November 14. For more information and to apply see the Federal Register Notice. For questions email wtc-stac@cdc.gov.

Monthly Features

Federal Register Notice

Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Training and Education Modules in the North American Fatigue Management Program
The notice was posted on September 12. Comments must be received by November 14.

Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (WTCHP-STAC)
The notice was posted on October 13. Comments must be received by November 14.

Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations: Evaluation of the CDC/NIOSH Health Worker Mental Health Campaign
The notice was posted on September 16. Comments must be received by November 15.

Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000
The notice was posted October 17. Comments must be received by November 16.

Mine Safety and Health Research Advisory Committee (MSHRAC) Meeting
The notice was posted on October 17. The meeting will be held on December 8.

Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Meeting
The notice was posted on October 31. The meeting will be held on December 8.


Two NORA Councils Announce Fall Meetings

News from Our Partners

Learn About the CDC Vaccine Equity Program
Did you know that CDC partners with 500+ organizations, 225+ cities, and all 50 states to address racial and ethnic disparities in adult vaccination? Learn about the Vaccine Equity Program and CDC’s partners, and what they are doing in your community.

Online Course: Advancing Worker Well-being in the Workplace
An online course on November 14–18 will examine Total Worker Health® (TWH) elements and concepts. Included will be an introduction to occupational health psychology and its relevance to safety and TWH. Course completion earns 26 contact hours/2.6 CEU credits. Learn more about the course and how to register. Please note there is a fee for the course.

Recovery-ready Workplace Resource Hub
A new resource hub is available with information about recovery-ready workplaces for workers and employers. The hub includes an overview of policies and practices that makes a workplace recovery-ready, as well as the benefits of these policies. Visit the hub for more information and other resources.

New Paper on Interprofessional Practice in Occupational Health and Safety
The NIOSH-supported Center for Occupational Health and Safety Engineering and colleagues recently published a manuscript in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine titled “Integrating Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Into Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Education: Results of a Feasibility Study.” This paper demonstrates how interprofessional education can help prepare students to work in multidisciplinary teams to enhance occupational safety and health.

Join the American Society for Safety Professionals Task Force
The American Society for Safety Professionals (ASSP) Foundation is seeking members to serve on a new task force. ASSP is forming this task force to develop an educational framework that will support safety professionals at every phase of their careers. Applications to serve on the task force are due by November 11.

Save the Date: ICOH 2023
The 7th annual International Conference on the History of Occupational and Environmental Health (ICOH) will be held November 15–17, 2023, in Durban, South Africa. Visit the conference webpage to learn more.

New Online Training: Opioids in the Workplace
A free 1-hour online and evidence-based training program, Opioids in the Workplace: Awareness, is now available. This course is designed for workers and employers who may be impacted by the opioid crisis. The Rutgers Center for Public Health Workforce Development offers the training, which was developed based on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Opioids and the Workplace Training Tool.

Conferences, Meetings, Webinars, & Events

This page provides a list of publicly available occupational safety and health-related conferences, meetings, webinars, and events sponsored by NIOSH as well as other government agencies, and nongovernment agencies, such as universities, professional societies, and organizations.