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Research to Practice (r2p)

  Scientist with optical wire  Worker wearing respirator and chemical protective clothing  r2p logo

r2p in Action

Several NIOSH successes highlighted on this page exemplify the types of activities the r2p initiative is designed to promote and enhance. These success stories show how NIOSH developed and transferred relevant knowledge, intervention and technology products. These stories also show how partners were integral to bringing NIOSH innovations into the workplace. NIOSH invites potential partners to learn more from these achievements and to work with us on existing and future partnering opportunities. Please contact the NIOSH Scientific Contact listed within the r2p in action story below for more information about their project or an r2p representative to learn more about the r2p initiative at NIOSH. For more r2p in action stories and what the r2p initiative has featured previously, see Archived r2p in Action.

Featured r2p in Action Stories

NIOSH Research and Highly Effective Partnership Influences Consensus Standards and Federal Regulations

Scientific Contact: William Murphy, (513-533-8125)
Through an active interagency agreement (IAG) between NIOSH and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation, the EPA Office of Policy Analysis and Review recently proposed a revised rule for labeling requirements of Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs). The original rule, 40 CFR 211 subpart B was promulgated in 1979. The proposed rule will require passive, active and impulsive noise reduction ratings for a new generation of HPDs designed to be used in a wide variety of noise environments such as rock bands, manufacturing operations, construction, aviation activities, and military operations. Over the history of this IAG, NIOSH was actively engaged in an initial public workshop held in 2003, the development of the hearing protector testing and rating standards ANSI S12.6-2008, ANSI S12.68-2007 and the most recent testing standard which is out for ballot, ANSI S12.42 -2009. For questions regarding NIOSH's involvement in the IAG, contact William Murphy at 513-533-8125. For questions regarding the proposed rule, contact Ms. Catrice Jefferson or Mr. Ken Feith at EPA.

Developing a MBA Class on the Business Value of Safety and Health

Scientific Contact: Steve Wurzelbacher, (513-841-4322)
Economics is the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Studying economics can provide guidance for the design of practical safety and health interventions and can illuminate the benefits and cost-effectiveness of such interventions. The application of economics in occupational safety and health provides a framework to identify economic inefficiencies associated with poor safety and health outcomes and points to the prevention opportunities with the greatest impact. To advance the safety and health of workers, NIOSH developed a MBA course titled, "Business Value of Safety and Health," in collaboration with Xavier University's Williams College of Business in Cincinnati, Ohio. This graduate course addresses how businesses can use occupational safety and health improvements and initiatives for long-term planning, operations management, and other decision-making processes. The course emphasizes real-world cases from industries that incorporated occupational safety and health strategies into their respective business models. More information about Developing a MBA Class on the Business Value of Safety and Health can be found at NIOSH and the Williams College of Business, Xavier University, Partner to Advance 'Business Case' for Job Safety, Health, or NIOSH Program Portfolio Economics page.

Engineering Noise Controls for Roof Bolters

Scientific Contact: J. Shawn Peterson, (412-386-4995)
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a common occupational illness in the United States with roughly 30 million workers exposed to excessive noise levels that could prove hazardous to their hearing. Studies indicate that 70%-90% of miners have NIHL great enough to be classified as a hearing disability. Research by Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) indicate that roof bolting machine operators are among workers who are overexposed to noise. NIOSH further determined that the drill steel is the primary noise source for the operator. In collaboration with industry, labor, manufacturers, and governmental partners, NIOSH developed a collapsible drill steel enclosure (CDSE) to encapsulate the drill steel during operations and reduce the sound power emissions of roof bolting machines. Several mines have used the CDSE, and operators have provided testimonies that they observe a clear reduction in the noise level of the roof bolting machine. In addition, MSHA has publicly recognized the CDSE as a "promising" noise control technology.