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Manufacturing Sector Program

Letter from Manager, Manufacturing Sector Program

January 16, 2013

The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Manufacturing Sector Council was created in 2006 to better move research to practice within workplaces. The Council Leadership was given the dual role of establishing and maintaining a national agenda while fostering partnerships to improve the practice of occupational safety and health. Towards these goals, diverse stakeholders, disciplines, interests and perspectives are represented in the   Sector Council  . In June 2010, with the expert input and judgment of Council members, input from participants in NORA Town Hall meetings, and information from available surveillance data, strategic, intermediate and output goals were incorporated in our national   Sector Agenda  .

Drawing on our collective experience and knowledge, the Council continues to assess the needs of the sector, encourage new research, and promote the adoption of effective, evidence-based workplace interventions. Partners are critical to conducting new research, assessing the state of the field, and for communicating findings to those in a position to make positive changes in the workplace. Comments on the sector goals and the direction of research and prevention activities are always welcome. We are always looking for ways to maximize our effectiveness and use of council resources. Please contact us at the email addresses below with your ideas and experiences on creating safer, healthful work environments for all manufacturing workers.

Greg Lotz, Ph.D.
Manufacturing Program Manager and Council Co-Chair


The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) is a partnership program to stimulate innovative research and workplace interventions. In combination with other initiatives, the products of NORA are expected to reduce the occurrence of injuries and illnesses at work. NORA entered its second decade (2006-2016) embracing the concept that occupational research and translation efforts be oriented around specific industrial groups or sectors.

Manufacturing Sector

The Manufacturing Sector includes establishments engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products. The assembling of component parts of manufactured products is considered manufacturing, except in cases where the activity is appropriately classified in Sector 23, Construction.

NIOSH Manufacturing Program

The mission of the NIOSH research program for the Manufacturing Sector is to eliminate occupational diseases, injuries, and fatalities among workers in manufacturing industries through a focused program of research and prevention. The program strives to fulfill its mission through the following: high quality research, practical solutions, partnerships, and research to practice (r2p).

The program also uses some NIOSH resources to facilitate the work of the NORA Manufacturing Sector Council. The Manufacturing Program tracks impacts achieved by NIOSH projects and partner efforts in support of sector goals.

NORA Manufacturing Sector Council

The NORA Manufacturing Sector Council sets national priorities and facilitates the development of partnerships to improve occupational safety and health in the Manufacturing Sector. The Council is made up of approximately 25 individuals who represent diverse interests from academia, state, federal, and local governments, labor unions, non-profits, and trade associations. The Council is co-led by a NIOSH representative and an individual from outside of NIOSH. The Sector Council also draws on an active group of Corresponding Members who participate in working groups to help implement action plans developed for specific priority goals. Because the Manufacturing Sector is so diverse, Corresponding Members are valuable sources of specialized knowledge that may not reside within the Council itself.

The Council has been engaged in a broad range of activities. These activities have included the conceptualization and development of a national strategic agenda, selection of priority goals and the initiation of strategies to implement priority goal-specific action plans.

Sector Council and Program Leadership Information

W. Gregory Lotz, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Applied Research and Technology
Manufacturing Sector Program Manager
Manufacturing Sector Council Co-Chair, (513) 533-8462

  	W. Gregory Lotz, Ph.D.

Gregory Lotz is the Director of the Division of Applied Research and Technology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also is the Manager of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Manufacturing Sector research program. Dr. Lotz holds the rank of Captain as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service.

Dr. Lotz received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Heidelberg College, and Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Biophysics from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York.

From his arrival at NIOSH in 1992 until 2005, Dr. Lotz was the leader of NIOSH research in the health effects of non-ionizing radiation, with emphasis on occupational exposures to both extremely low frequency (ELF) fields and radiofrequency radiation. He has been involved in research on the bioeffects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) for over three decades, has many research publications on the topic, and has served on a number of expert panels and standards-setting committees for EMF issues.

Prior to coming to NIOSH, Dr. Lotz led a research team for many years at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory in Pensacola, Florida. He has held various leadership positions at NIOSH including Section Chief, Branch Chief and Division Associate Director for Science, and has been Division Director since 2007.

Frank M. Renshaw, PhD, CIH, CSP
Managing Member
Bayberry EHS Consulting, LLC
Manufacturing Sector Council Co-Chair, (856) 795-5716

  	Frank M. Renshaw 

Frank Renshaw currently serves as Managing Member of Bayberry EHS Consulting, LLC after 35 years with Dow Advanced Materials (formerly the Rohm and Haas Company). He held various positions at Rohm and Haas including: EHS Director for the Specialty Materials Business Group, Corporate Safety Director and Corporate Industrial Hygiene Director.

Dr. Renshaw received a BS in General Science (Chemistry Emphasis) from the University of Iowa, an MS in Environmental Health from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Industrial Hygiene from the University of Cincinnati.

He is a Past President of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the AIHA Academy and AIHA Foundation. He has served as Treasurer of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and as a member of the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors. He currently serves as Co-chairman of the Manufacturing Sector Council for NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda.

He has advised and assisted NIOSH and Fortune 200 companies in implementing Prevention through Design initiatives and served as a scientific reviewer on NIOSH peer review panels for NORA intramural projects. His work for NIOSH in developing a “Model Prevention through Design Program” was published in ASSE’s “Professional Safety Journal” in March 2013.

Thais C. Morata, Ph.D.
Manufacturing Sector Program Coordinator, (513) 533-8487

  	Thais C. Morata

Thais C. Morata is an audiologist who has been working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the Division of Applied Research and Technology in Cincinnati, OH, since 1998. She was a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow also at NIOSH from 1993 to 1997, conducting pioneering work in noise interactions and hearing loss prevention. During 1997 and 1998, she was a guest researcher at the National Institute for Working Life and the Karolinska Institute, both in Sweden.

She earned degrees in Speech Pathology and Audiology and in Communication Disorders from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil, and the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Morata has taught graduate courses at different universities in Brazil and is recognized as a mentor and collaborator with researchers all across the globe. She has many research publications on the topic and has served on a number of national and international expert panels. She is a Founding Associate Editor for the International Journal of Audiology and a Founding Member of the Editorial Board of the Cochrane Occupational Safety and Health Review Group. Dr. Morata is also Project Director for the Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™. In 2008 she received the Outstanding Hearing Conservationist Award from the National Hearing Conservation Association for her contributions to hearing loss prevention in the workplace.

As the NORA Manufacturing Sector Program Coordinator, Dr. Morata coordinates the Council’s work and its strategic goals, research priorities, implementation plan and partnerships, all aimed at improving occupational safety and health in the Manufacturing Sector.

Alberto Garcia, M.S.
Senior Service Fellow
Manufacturing Sector Assistant Program Coordinator, (513) 841-4596

  	Alberto Garcia

Alberto Garcia, M.S., is a Mechanical Engineer with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch. He received an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Central University of Venezuela and a M.S. in Risk Control from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Since joining NIOSH, Garcia has been working to control worker exposure to air contaminants in a broad range of industries and applications. Alberto serves as the Assistant Coordinator for the NORA Manufacturing Sector Program.