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NIOSH eNews – June 2014


Volume 12 Number 2 June 2014

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D.
Director, NIOSH

An Update on the NIOSH Prevention Through Design (PtD) Initiative

One of the best ways to prevent and control occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities is to “design out” or minimize hazards and risks. In response to this in 2007, NIOSH launched a national initiative called Prevention through Design (PtD) to engage government, academia, industry, and labor in promoting this concept of designing out and minimizing occupational risks and achieving a cultural change so that designing out hazards is the norm.

NIOSH and its partners have just reported on our shared progress on the initiative in The State of the National Initiative on Prevention through Design (/niosh/docs/2014-123/). As the new report highlights, the initiative builds on a rich history of addressing safety in designs and is the result of extensive partnering with numerous people and organizations. NIOSH appreciates the hard work and contributions of these partners. Significant progress has been made in minimizing worker risks through four areas in the initiative: research, practice, education, and policy. Through research, the Initiative benchmarked the PtD role of the designer, following legislation in the United Kingdom, and investigated employer concerns to further PtD in the United States. Incorporating PtD concepts into the corporate safety culture begins with a policy statement to indicate management support.

NIOSH commissioned work to develop examples of policy statements and various tools and checklists (see Renshaw FM [2013]. Methods for implementing PTD accident investigation. Prof Safety 58(3):50–55) that could be useful to companies. PtD concepts are now included in 10 engineering textbooks and are in 25 consensus standards, including the 2011 American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) standard Z590.3 Prevention through Design: Guidelines for Addressing Occupational Risks in Design and Redesign Process.

While much progress has been made, there is still more to do, and NIOSH intends to obtain additional stakeholder input on the focus of the PtD initiative and continue the initiative for another 5 years.

To further the continuation and advancement of the PtD initiative, NIOSH is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Bach, CSP, CIH, PE, as the new coordinator of PtD. Mr. Bach comes to NIOSH from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he served as the occupational safety and health manager for Europe. Mr. Bach has an extensive background in industrial hygiene and designing for safety and was responsible for managing safety and occupational health programs for construction projects in Europe, Israel, Turkey, and former Soviet nations.

Please contact Mr. Bach at if you are interested in participating in the Initiative or seeking information on it. You can also find additional information and resources at /niosh/topics/PTD/. We welcome opportunities to expand the PtD community through the engagement of new partners and the infusion of new ideas.

Toward a National ROPS Program

On May 21 and 22, approximately 50 organizations from nine stakeholder groups met at the Whole-System-in-the-Room Collaborative Action Planning Retreat in Rosemont, Illinois. Through a series of facilitated exercises over 2 full days, the group created a vision for tractor safety and made organizational commitments to reduce tractor-related deaths in the United States and to promote retrofits of older tractors with roll-over protective structures (ROPS). This meeting was led by the National Tractor Safety Coalition Steering Committee and organized by the Northeast Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health. The Coalition will continue to work together toward common goals related to tractor safety and ROPS. For more information or to join the coalition, please contact Julie Sorensen at

New Document Highlights Childhood Ag Research

A new NIOSH publication A Summary of NIOSH Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Extramural Research under the Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative: A Quindecennial (1997–2011) of Progress has recently been released. The document provides a compilation of completed extramural research funded as part of the NIOSH Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative. This document will be useful for researchers, stakeholders, and others with an interest in childhood agricultural injury prevention. To access the document, go to /niosh/docs/2014-121/. For more information contact David Hard at DHard

Image of locations on a US Map

New Interactive Map Reveals Info on Fire Fighter Investigations

A new NIOSH interactive mapping application is now available at The site combines fire fighter fatality data from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) with information about NIOSH fire fighter fatality investigations. The map shows all fire fighter deaths tracked by USFA and those with “pending” or “completed” NIOSH investigations. Links to final NIOSH reports are included.

NIOSH Has MERS Information for Healthcare and Laboratories

To aid providers and facilities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed two checklists that identify key actions that can be taken now to enhance preparedness for MERS-CoV infection control. MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an emerging cause of viral respiratory illness, which is frequently very severe. MERS can spread through close contact and has been transmitted from patients to healthcare workers. Learn more at /niosh/topics/healthcare/.

Meeting Explores Projects to Improve OSH in Bangladesh

On May 7, NIOSH hosted a meeting to explore projects that could strengthen workplace health and safety in Bangladesh. This action is a response to the tragedy at Rana Plaza where on April 24, 2013, an eight-story commercial building collapsed. The vast majority killed or injured were garment factory workers. The gathering in Washington, DC, brought together representatives of occupational safety and health organizations to hear presentations on ongoing efforts to improve safety and health in the 3,600 cut-and-sew factories that make up Bangladesh’s “ready-made garment” industry. The presenters also identified the priority needs and gaps for effective occupational safety and health programs in Bangladesh. A follow-up gathering is tentatively proposed for October 2014 in Washington, DC. For more information, please contact Garrett Brown at

Call for Nominations 2015 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention AwardsTM

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards.™ The awards are given by NIOSH in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association to recognize excellence in hearing loss prevention. The deadline for self-nominations is September 8, 2014. Additional information is available at

Monthly Features

NIOSH Congratulates

Researcher Receives Award for Shift Work Research

Claire Carusowas recently awarded the RADM Julia Plotnick Publication Award for Health/Nursing Policy for her book chapter, “Shift Work and Long Work Hours,” in Occupational Ergonomics—Principles and Applications (2012; Eds: A Bhattacharya & J McGlothlin). This award recognizes publications by nurses in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that inform and educate consumers and/or healthcare practitioners about significant health-related issues. The award was presented at the 23rd Annual U.S. Public Health Service Nursing Recognition Day on May 5 in Bethesda, Maryland.

NIOSH Researcher Honored for Work on Ambulance Safety

James D. Green was recently recognized as a finalist for the 2014 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies). Mr. Green received this recognition for developing and leading a collaborative effort with the ambulance manufacturing industry and multiple federal agencies to improve the safety of ambulances for emergency medical services workers and patients. The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals pay tribute to America’s dedicated federal workforce, highlighting those who have made significant contributions to our country. Medalists will be announced in September. For more information on the award go to or for local TV coverage go to

NIOSH Mining Office Awarded for Work on Hearing Loss Prevention

The NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, Hearing Loss Prevention Branch, has been given this year’s Research and Educational Excellence Award from the largest international society of professionals in the minerals industry. The award was presented during the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc.’s (SME) Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City and their first annual awards program earlier this year. The NIOSH mining office is recognized for its research toward developing improved noise controls to better protect miners from noise-induced hearing loss. This year’s award, presented by SME’s health and safety committee, recognizes NIOSH research that seeks to understand the noise exposure experienced by underground workers and helps develop noise controls to reduce that exposure. /niosh/updates/upd-05-29-14.html

NIOSH NPPTL Presents Awards at the 2014 Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair

Nearly 1,100 students from more than 100 schools participated in the 75th Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The science fair’s mission is to connect young scientists and engineers with professionals in the field. The science fair is a major initiative of the Carnegie Science Center’s Chevron Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education and Career Development. Maryann D’Alessandro, Roland Berry Ann, and Ron Shaffer from NIOSH served as judges and presented the $50 NIOSH awards to Sanjana Adurty for her project, “COPD Due to Air Pollution and to Luke Gallagher for his project, Does Green Really Clean?”/niosh/npptl/Awards2014.html

Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Program Reports

Forest Fire Service Fire Fighter Monitoring Prescribed Burn from Roadway is struck and Killed When Smoke Obscures Visibility Following a Wind Shift—New Jersey

During a prescribed burn on March 28, 2013, a 35-year-old male state forest fire service fire fighter died after being struck by a passing motorist. The victim was monitoring a prescribed burn from an adjacent roadway while in his state forest fire service vehicle. For an unknown reason, the victim exited this vehicle and walked onto the roadway. Even though signs had been placed to warn motorists approaching from different directions of the ongoing prescribed burn, the victim was struck by a passing motorist because smoke from the prescribed burn had obscured visibility. NIOSH investigators identified the following contributing factors: working in unprotected travel lane, inconspicuousness of the victim, smoke-obscured roadway, and shifting winds in the burn area. /niosh/fire/reports/face201306.html

News from Our Partners

Preventing Asthma From Pool Chemicals

Many different workers have developed asthma or had their asthma worsened from exposure to pool chemicals and/or their byproducts. For May’s Asthma Awareness Month and the CDC’s Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week (May 19–25), the California Department of Public Health created fact sheets on preventing work-related asthma from pool chemicals. Affected workers include lifeguards, swimming instructors, maintenance employees, pool supply retail workers, janitors, and others working in pool areas, in water parks, and with hot tubs. Find out more at

Improving Safety in Logging: the Washington State Logger Safety Initiative

In 2014, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries launched the Washington State Logger Safety Initiative (LSI) in collaboration with industrial timberland owners, contract loggers, and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The LSI sets sector-wide standards for logger training, safety practices, and supervision in non-mechanized logging operations. In exchange for a reduction in their workers compensation premium, LSI contract loggers must meet and exceed the safety requirements outlined in an LSI-approved Accident Prevention Program, have a full-service safety consultation annually, and pass a safety performance evaluation by a third-party auditor. Additional details of this voluntary program are outlined at the Washington LSI website at

Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update

HHE logo

Evaluation of Employee Health Concerns and Suspected Contamination at an Office Complex

The HHE Program received a request from the manager of a federal government office complex whose employees were concerned about cancer, gallbladder problems, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Some employees believed their health problems were associated with contamination of the buildings, soil, and groundwater from an adjoining weapons component manufacturing agency. NIOSH investigators reviewed environmental sampling records, visually inspected building ventilation systems, spoke with employees about their health, and tested former and current employees with sarcoidosis (an inflammatory disease that is nearly identical to chronic beryllium disease) for sensitization to beryllium, which was used for weapons manufacturing. Investigators found no reports of chemical overexposures, no evidence of beryllium sensitization, and no cancer excess or abnormal pattern of disease. Investigators recommended

  • encouraging employees to learn about their personal cancer risk factors,
  • educating employees on what they can do to reduce their risk for cancer, and
  • stopping all investigations of cancer incidence and routine air and surface wipe sampling for chemicals.

A link to this final report is available at /niosh/hhe/whats_new.html.

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

Federal Register Notices of Public Meetings and Public Comment

NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) Entitled: Method 8324:3—Bromopropionic acid in urine; a metabolite of 1-bromopropane—Draft Document
The notice was posted on April 11. Comments must be received by June 10.

Persistence of Viable Virus in Aerosols—Revision
The notice was posted on May 5. Written comments should be received within 30 days.

Taxi Driver Survey on Motor Vehicle Safety and Workplace Violence—New
The notice was posted on May 13. Written comments should be received within 30 days.

Virtual Reality to Train and Assess Emergency Responders—Revision
The notice was posted on May 16. Written comments should be received within 60 days.

Total Worker Health for Small Business—New
The notice was posted on May 21. Written comments should be received within 30 days.

National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) 2016 Decade Review—New
The notice was posted on May 27. Written comments should be received within 60 days.

For a listing of NIOSH official publications for rules, proposed rules, and notices, go to

New NIOSH Communication Products

Presentations and Abstracts

American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
Oral presentations must be submitted by July 21. Poster presentations must be submitted by November 7.

FDIC 2015
Presentations must be submitted by June 30.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Safety 2014 ASSE Professional Development Conference & Exposition
June 8–11, Orlando, FL

2014 NFPA Conference and Expo
June 9–12, Las Vegas, NV

7th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology 2014
June 9–13, Houston, TX

23rd Annual Social Marketing Conference
June 20–21, Clearwater, FL

International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health 2014 Annual Conference: Cultivating Ag Safety and Health
June 22–26, Omaha, NE

8th Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media
August 19–21, Atlanta, GA

2014 National Safety Council Congress & Expo
September 13–19, San Diego, CA

National Symposium to Advance Total Worker HealthTM
October 6–8, Bethesda, MD

24th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Exposure Science
October 12–16, Cincinnati, OH

62nd International Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference
November 14–19, San Antonio, TX

American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
March 24–26, 2015, Savannah, GA

FDIC 2015 Conference
April 20–25, 2015, Indianapolis, IN

A comprehensive list of upcoming conferences can be found at

Did You Know?

NIOSH celebrates its diversity every day. But each year in June, diversity gets special emphasis with a formal Diversity Month celebration. This year’s theme is “Relationship and Team Building: Building a Better NIOSH for Us All.” NIOSH launched its current diversity efforts over a decade ago and now works regularly to foster diversity as a key element of the organization’s mission, research, and workplace culture. The effort has strong leadership support and an active NIOSH Diversity Steering Council that offers diversity awareness and program opportunities to all NIOSH locations, including diversity recognitions and awards and novel mentoring and coaching programs.

Please send your comments and suggestions to us by visiting /niosh/contact/.

This newsletter is published monthly via email by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to inform members of the public health community as well as interested members of the general public of Institute-related news, new publications, and updates on existing programs and initiatives.