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eNews: Volume 21, Number 1 (May 2023)

Volume 21, Number 1 (May 2023)

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D. Director, NIOSH

Join the National Firefighter Registry for Cancer Today!

NIOSH is pleased to announce the launch of the long-awaited National Firefighter Registry (NFR) for Cancer. The NFR is a voluntary registry of U.S. firefighters. It was developed by NIOSH to understand and reduce cancer among firefighters. All firefighters—career or volunteer, active or retired, with or without cancer—can join.

With the support of fire service organizations and leaders, NIOSH hopes to enroll at least 200,000 firefighters from the numerous and diverse backgrounds of the U.S. fire service. Achieving this goal will help NIOSH better understand cancer risk among firefighters across the country, including those who have been under-represented in previous studies.

Multiple organizations have provided written support for the NFR for Cancer. This was on display at the recent Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC). There, the NFR project lead, Dr. Kenny Fent, was joined by Fire & Rescue Media Editor-in-Chief, David Rhodes; International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) 4th District Vice President, Andrew Pantelis; National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Managing Director, Victor Stagnaro (NFFF); and Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) Chief Operating Officer, Joe Schumacher, to officially announce the launch of the NFR for Cancer. A video featuring fire-service members discussing why they think firefighters should join was also played.

You can help support this important effort to understand and reduce cancer in firefighters. If you previously served or currently serve as a firefighter, join the NFR today. Sign up by visiting NFR.CDC.GOV on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Signing up should take about 30 minutes and involves four steps:

  1. Create an account. You will create a new account or sign into an existing account.
  2. Give informed consent. Participation is voluntary. You must provide informed consent to participate.
  3. Create a profile. This includes your name, email address, work status, and communication preferences.
  4. Complete the NFR questionnaire. The questionnaire collects information about demographics, work history, and health and lifestyle history. The work history section is one of the most important parts of the NFR enrollment process. By collecting detailed information about past volunteer and paid work, including fire departments, job titles, and fire/hazmat incidents, NIOSH researchers can understand firefighters’ exposures to specific workplace risk factors. This will make it possible to study the relationship between firefighting and cancer.

If you need help during enrollment, review this fact sheet for tips or contact the NFR Help Desk.

You can also help support this effort by spreading the word about the NFR for Cancer. Visit our website to find materials you can share in your network. Having many types of firefighters from diverse backgrounds join the NFR is vital to examining the relationship between firefighting and cancer.

In closing, we thank everyone who is supporting the mission of the NFR and to firefighters for their service!

Research Rounds

Traumatic Injuries Among Alaska’s Young Workers: Linking Cases From Four Data Systems

NIOSH study authors: Richard Evoy, Laura Syron, Samantha Case, and Devin Lucas

Why is the study important?
Compared with older workers, young workers aged 15–24 years are at higher risk of workplace injury. In Alaska, where work in hazardous industries, such as aviation, logging, commercial fishing, and seafood processing, is prevalent, the risk of workplace injury is even greater. Since research across industries is lacking among young Alaskan workers, we aimed to identify workplace injury patterns to inform prevention.

How did you do the study?
We linked and analyzed data from Alaska Workers’ Compensation, Alaska Occupational Injury Surveillance System, Alaska Trauma Registry, and Alaska Fishermen’s Fund.

What did you find?
During 2014–2018, nearly 13,000 young Alaskan workers experienced a workplace injury, including 20 fatalities. By occupation, food processing and other production jobs accounted for the most injuries at 14%, followed by food preparation and transportation or material moving. The most common cause of workplace injury was struck-by object or equipment events, accounting for 21%, followed by overexertion and struck against object or equipment. Sprains, strains, or tears were the most common type of injury, accounting for 29%, followed by cuts or lacerations and bruises or contusions.

What are the next steps?
Lawmakers, employers, parents, educators, and young workers themselves all play a large role in ensuring that young workers are protected from harm. Employers have a responsibility to protect these workers by maintaining safe and healthy workplaces. This includes complying with safety, health, and child labor laws; closely supervising young workers and developing a good safety culture where workers can feel confident expressing concerns; and delivering job-specific safety training. Resources are available to help educators, parents, and young workers proactively learn about labor laws and request safety training for specific workplace hazards. Young workers have a right to refuse to perform unsafe tasks or work in unsafe conditions.

Thriving From Work Questionnaire: Dimensionality, Reliability, and Validity of the Long and Short Form Questionnaires

Study authors: Susan Peters, Daniel Gundersen, Jeffrey Katz, Glorian Sorensen, and Gregory R. Wagner, Harvard Center for Work, Health, and Well-being

Why is this study important?
Quality of work is a powerful determinant of workers’ health and well-being. “Thriving from Work” is defined in this study as “the state of positive mental, physical, and social functioning in which workers’ experiences of their work and working conditions enable them to thrive in their overall lives, contributing to their ability to achieve their full potential in work, home, and community.” We designed the Thriving from Work Questionnaire to measure the extent to which workers are thriving from their work, in their workplaces, communities, and homes. It is a comprehensive measure of work-related well-being that can also help identify and evaluate intervention priorities designed to improve worker well-being. The questionnaire can be used in both research and practice.

How did you do the study?
Following a literature review, we held workshops and interviews with experts to conceptualize and identify candidate items for the questionnaire. We then tested and evaluated the questionnaire to develop a long and a short version and tested the ability to measure psychological differences.

What did you find?
Both versions, when applied across different jobs and work settings, were found to be responsive and reliable. They accurately gauged worker well-being by measuring what they were designed to measure: thriving from work. The long form has 30 items across six dimensions, while the short form has eight items and is particularly useful for brief surveys.

What are the next steps?
Further testing is necessary to assure that the questionnaire applies and has utility across various occupations, industries, and regions and when translated into different languages.

Kenny Fent (NIOSH) shakes hands with David Rhodes (Fire & Rescue) on stage at FDIC after signing up for the NFR. Andrew Pantelis (IAFF), Victor Stagnaro (NFFF), and Joe Schumacher (FCSN) also shared their support for the NFR.

Kenny Fent (NIOSH) shakes hands with David Rhodes (Fire & Rescue) on stage at FDIC after signing up for the NFR. Andrew Pantelis (IAFF), Victor Stagnaro (NFFF), and Joe Schumacher (FCSN) also shared their support for the NFR. Photo 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
Sabrina Nur, Web Developer

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Workers Memorial Day 2023: Statement by NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard
Each year, NIOSH pauses on April 28th, Workers’ Memorial Day, to honor those who were killed or injured on the job. While tremendous progress has been made since Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act on this day in 1970, much still needs to be done. Read the full statement from NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., for the 2023 Workers Memorial Day.

Oil and Gas Extraction Companies: NIOSH Needs Your Help
NIOSH is looking for well servicing and drilling companies to collaborate on a study about motor vehicle safety. Researchers are conducting virtual one-hour interviews and focus groups with workers, managers, and supervisors across the United States. As a research partner, you will get access to a combined summary of the collected data findings, with identifying information removed, which you can share with your company. Contact Rosa Rodríguez-Acosta for more information.

NIOSH Seeks Associate Director for Mining Program

Job Vacancy!

Qualified candidates have until May 8 to apply for an exciting career opportunity as the NIOSH Associate Director for Mining. The associate director is responsible for managing, directing, coordinating, overseeing, and evaluating all activities of the Institute’s mining programs. The chosen candidate may reside in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Morgantown, West Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; or Spokane, Washington. Apply at USAJobs via General Health Science or General Engineering.

Nominations Open for Annual Safe-In-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award
NIOSH, the National Hearing Conservation Association, and the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation are accepting nominations for the 2023 Safe-In-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award. Submit your nomination email describing why the individual or the organization deserves the award to Deadlines are June 8 to nominate others and August 18 for self-nominations.

Monthly Features

Federal Register Notices

Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations: Reducing Fatigue Among Taxi Drivers
The notice was posted on March 10. Comments must be received by May 9.

Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
The notice was posted on April 17. Comments must be received by June 7. The meeting will be held on June 14.

World Trade Center Health Program; Youth Research Cohort; Request for Information
The notice was posted on April 26. Comments must be received by August 24.

News from Our Partners

UMass Lowell Safe Home Care Project Launches Innovative Home Care Safety Resources
The Safe Home Care Project, funded by NIOSH, has rolled out a set of home-care safety-practice resources as part of the Safe Home Care Intervention Study. The resources include a safety handbook and companion video, as well as an online course offering one nursing CEU that teaches motivational interviewing methods for home-care safety coaching. Industry partners have given these resources positive feedback and want to distribute them to their constituents. Learn more or download the resources on the UMass Lowell Safe Home Care and Hospital’s website.


NORA AgFF Sector Council Announces Spring Meeting
The NORA Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Sector Council will meet virtually May 16 and 17 from 1–3 p.m. (ET). This spring’s meeting will feature innovative partnerships using emerging technologies, as well as a discussion of heat management solutions for small- and large-scale AgFF operations. Anyone with interest in the sector is welcome to register for the meeting by emailing

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.