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NIOSH eNews – October 2014

Volume 12 Number 6 October 2014

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D.
Director, NIOSH

NIOSH Announces National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) 2015

I am pleased to announce that NIOSH will hold the sixth National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS 2015) on May 19 to 21, 2015, at the Camp Dawson Training Center in Kingwood, West Virginia. Joining NIOSH as symposium co-sponsors are the American Society of Safety Engineers, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, the National Safety Council, and the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research.

NOIRS is the only national forum focused on the presentation of occupational injury research findings, data, and methods. The theme for NOIRS 2015 is “Advancing Occupational Injury Research through Integration and Partnership.” The symposium will provide opportunities to:

  • share findings and experiences aimed at preventing traumatic occupational injury through research and prevention,
  • foster collaboration among intramural and extramural researchers and others from a wide variety of scientific disciplines and prevention perspectives,
  • showcase innovative and state-of-the-art approaches to occupational injury research and prevention,
  • demonstrate the effectiveness of transferring research results to the workplace for prevention, and
  • advance the goals of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Traumatic Injury Program.

Previous NOIRSs have led to successful collaborations, such as one begun after the first NOIRS in 1997. NIOSH, BJC HealthCare, West Virginia University, and the Washington University School of Medicine formed a highly productive research partnership lasting more than 10 years. The partnership focused on safe patient-handling and -movement and slip, trip, and fall prevention in healthcare workers. Results of an intervention evaluation of a “best practices” program for safe patient-handling showed that the program was highly effective in reducing injury, and a business case was developed that showed that the program’s costs were recovered in less than 3 years. The study won numerous awards for scientific excellence and innovation, on the basis of independent evaluation by outside experts, and led to congressional testimony highlighting the value of the program for worker and patient safety.

A follow-up study to evaluate a “best practices” program for prevention of slips, trips, and falls included NIOSH, BJC HealthCare, Washington University School of Medicine, the Finnish Institute for Occupational Health, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, the Veterans’ Health Administration, and Johns Hopkins University. Results of a study at three acute care hospitals demonstrated significant reductions in slip, trip, and fall injuries and also won numerous NIOSH and CDC awards.

This is just one example of the kinds of successful collaborations that can result from face-to-face meetings among researchers from different organizations and disciplines. Partnering allows NIOSH to leverage scarce resources and also provides opportunities to showcase effective research-to-practice impacts. NOIRS 2015 will include oral and poster presentations describing research studies, methods, and findings related to traumatic occupational injury. The areas that we expect to address reflect the full range of problems that occupational safety professionals are tasked to solve today, spanning all industry sectors. We seek new methods, approaches, and technologies that will help us to reduce and eventually eliminate the costly, persistent hazards that continue to take too great a toll among workers. At the same time, our stakeholders also look to us for research to anticipate and meet new challenges associated with the ongoing dramatic changes in today’s dynamic work environments and increasingly diverse workforce.

I invite you to visit the NOIRS 2015 webpages (/niosh/noirs/2015/) for information about the symposium, including abstract submission (Call for Abstracts page) and registration (Registration page). The Call for Abstracts includes a list of research areas that we’re particularly interested in covering at the symposium. Deadline for abstract submission is December 1, 2014.

There is no registration fee for NOIRS 2015.

Additional inquiries may be made at Thank you.

NIOSH Releases Updated Hazardous Drug List

A new document, NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2014, has been released. This is the latest version of the hazardous drug list first published by NIOSH in 2004 as an appendix to the document, NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposure to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings. Hazardous drugs on the list include those used for cancer chemotherapy, antiviral drugs, hormones, some bioengineered drugs, and other miscellaneous drugs. Learn more at /niosh/updates/upd-9-8-14.html or view the document at /niosh/docs/2014-138/.

Upcoming Respirator Manufacturers Meeting

The NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) will hold a meeting for all respirator manufacturers on October 22, addressing updates to standard application procedures. The draft agenda will be available on the NPPTL website. The meeting will be held at the NIOSH NPPTL facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and remote participation will be available. Pre-registration is required for on-site as well as remote participation. /niosh/npptl/resources/pressrel/letters/Manufacturers/lttr-09082014.html

NIOSH Releases Updated Emergency Preparedness Web Page!

In recognition of September’s Emergency Preparedness Month, NIOSH would like to introduce its new Emergency Preparedness and Response Directory web page. The web page offers improved access to NIOSH topics and publications pertaining to responder safety and health, natural disasters and hazards, and NIOSH disaster response efforts, as well as links to related NIOSH programs. Visit the Emergency Preparedness and Response web page and be better prepared! /niosh/emres/?s_cid=3ni7d2eml09102014

GAO Releases Report on World Trade Center Health Program

On August 22, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a review of the approach the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) used to determine whether to add cancers to the list of conditions covered for medical monitoring and treatment. The report by the GAO states, “The Administrator of the WTCHP—a program of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—used a hazard-based, multiple-method approach to determine whether to add cancers to the WTCHP list of covered conditions for which treatment may be provided at no cost to an enrollee. Experts who participated in a meeting held by GAO indicated that the Administrator’s approach was reasonable but could be improved.” The GAO report is available online at

Website Promotes Public Access to State Surveillance and Occupational Health Outputs

Check out the NIOSH State-based Occupational Health Surveillance Clearinghouse interactive website. This application is a centralized repository and interactive website that promotes public access to surveillance and related occupational health outputs produced by the states. State publications can be searched by state, NORA industry sector, NIOSH cross-sector program, and document type. Through the use of RSS feeds, states control which publications are displayed and accessible via direct links from state websites through the Clearinghouse. Twenty-six states participate in the Clearinghouse, with over 3,600 documents available.

NIOSH Study Examines Potential for Flight Attendant Radiation Exposure from Solar Storms

During a solar storm, a pregnant flight attendant could be exposed to levels of solar radiation exceeding recommended dose limits for pregnant women, although statistically such exposures are relatively infrequent, according to results of a study by NIOSH scientists published in the August 2014 issue of the journal Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine. The study, which was part of ongoing NIOSH research to assess potential reproductive risks for flight crews, included steps that can be taken to reduce exposure where the potential may exist.

NIOSH Responds To Respiratory Protective Devices Used in Healthcare

On March 14, NIOSH published a request for information (RFI) and comment [Docket Number CDC–2014–0005, NIOSH–272] in the Federal Register [79 FR 14514]. In the RFI, “Respiratory Protective Devices Used in Healthcare,” comments were requested for four topics. The comments were summarized, NIOSH prepared a response, and this information has been posted on

Monthly Features

NIOSH Congratulates

Dr. Chuck Geraci Appointed NIOSH Associate Director for Nanotechnology

Chuck Geraci, Ph.D., CIH has been appointed Associate Director for Nanotechnology. In this role he will oversee the day-to-day management of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center and will develop initial strategies for NIOSH to participate scientifically in the growing areas of advanced nano-manufacturing technology, advanced nanomaterial science, and in the new challenges arising from the rapid trend of converging technologies.


Growing Impact on Hazardous Drug Exposures in Healthcare

During the first decade of NORA, two NORA teams developed a broad-based partnership that created a list of neoplastic and other hazardous drugs in healthcare settings and recommended methods to minimize exposure. NIOSH highlighted some impacts of these efforts in 2011 (/niosh/docs/2011-189/). The impacts of the original Alert (/niosh/docs/2004-165/) and updated lists (/niosh/docs/2014-138/) are still growing. Three states have new laws requiring implementation and several organizations who are highly influential in healthcare have recommended improved practices.

FACE Reports

Hispanic Laborer Crushed Between Lift Arms and Frame of Skid-steer Loader—New Jersey

Twenty-seven-year-old Tree-care Worker Killed by Falling Branch—New Jersey

Dairy Farm Owner Dies During Manure Pump PTO Entanglement—New York

Farm Worker Dies During Grain Bin Auger Entanglement—New York

Operator Killed When Horizontal Auger Boring Machine Overturned—New York

Truck Driver Dies After Being Run Over by Propane Transport Rolling Backward at Bulk Plant—Washington

Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program Reports

Career Captain Dies Conducting Roof Operations at a Commercial Structure Fire—Pennsylvania

On April 6, 2013, a 53-year-old male career captain died from injuries suffered from a fall during roof operations at a commercial structure fire. The victim was working in heavy smoke conditions and stepped off the edge of the roof. /niosh/fire/reports/face201307.html

Firefighter Suffers Fatal Heart Attack at Fire Station After Returning from a Fire Alarm—New York

On April 5, 2013, a 57-year-old male career firefighter died sometime during his 24-hour shift and was found unresponsive in his bunk room. He was last seen alive when the crew returned to quarters from an automatic fire alarm dispatch. /niosh/fire/reports/face201405.html

Assistant Fire Chief Suffers Fatal Heart Attack While Operating an Engine at a Residential Structure Fire—Pennsylvania

On November 20, 2013, a 58-year-old male volunteer assistant fire chief responded to a structure fire by driving an engine to the scene, where he prepared to charge a 2-inch handline, when he developed difficulty breathing, nausea, and vomiting. An ambulance was summoned, but he died en route to the hospital. /niosh/fire/reports/face201408.html

Senior Captain Suffers Sudden Cardiac Death During Training—Alaska

On March 7, 2014, a 51-year-old male career fire captain collapsed and died while participating in his fire department’s training on air management. The captain, dressed in full bunker gear, had just completed a five-story stair climb when he collapsed. /niosh/fire/reports/face201410.html

Fire Fighter Suffers Sudden Cardiac Death While Working at a Grass Fire—Mississippi

On February 1, 2014, a 57-year-old male volunteer fire fighter responded to a grass fire threatening a local residence and nearby barn. While pulling hoselines from atop the engine hose bed, the fire fighter suffered a heart attack and later died in a local hospital emergency department. /niosh/fire/reports/face201411.html

News from Our Partners

Maryland Studies Public Health Impacts of Marcellus Shale Development

Maryland recently released a report on the potential public health impacts (including potential occupational health impacts) of developing natural gas in its Marcellus Shale. The report, Potential Public Health Impacts of Natural Gas Development and Production in the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland, is available on the web site of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ( The report was prepared by a team at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Institute for Applied Environmental Health. The report offers 52 recommendations to the agencies and advisory commission established as part of the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative (

National Safety Council Journey to Safety Excellence Campaign

The 2014 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo highlighted their Journey to Safety Excellence campaign, the largest effort of its kind advocating workplace safety in companies of all sizes. The campaign offers safety measurement tools—such as the NSC Safety System Assessment, the NSC Employee Safety Perception Survey, and the NSC Incident Rate Calculator—600+ resources covering over 100 safety topics, as well as Safety Talk, a robust online safety community where you can ask questions, share ideas, and network with others in your industry. For free access to these valuable tools and resources go to

New IOM Report: Promising the Best Practices in Total Worker Health

Now Available! The Institute of Medicine releases its workshop summary report, Promising the Best Practices in Total Worker Health™: Workshop Summary. Offering a range of worker and employer perspectives from industry, academia, and government, the report discusses effective implementation of good practices for integrating occupational safety and health protection with health promotion in the workplace, including ways to overcome barriers and program evaluation.

OSHA Extends Comment Period on Proposed Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injury and Illness

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it will extend the comment period to October 14 on the proposed rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The proposal, published on November 8, 2013, would amend the agency’s recordkeeping regulation to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information that employers are already required to keep. Individuals interested in submitting comments may do so electronically at, the federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Comments may also be submitted via mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for details (

BCSP Granted Special Consultative Status by United Nations

The Board of Certified Safety Professionals has been granted special consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. BCSP will utilize this status to share findings regarding technical competencies for safety, health and environmental practitioners, and to promote safety certifications that are accessible and culturally appropriate in multiple countries. For more information, see the BCSP news release,

r2p Corner

WestON Meeting—Sharing Best Practices

The seventh annual meeting of the Western States Occupational Network (WestON) was held in September in Golden, Colorado. The meeting provided a venue for state occupational safety and health professionals and state and local public health officials throughout the western United States to meet and share ideas for collaboration, information exchange, and capacity building. Presentations, agenda, and photos can be viewed at
. The eighth WestON meeting is planned for September 17–28, 2015, in Denver. For more information on this meeting or initiatives to foster state occupational safety and health capacity in the West, please contact Yvonne Boudreau (

NIOSH Researchers Gather for Annual Engineering Control Meeting

NIOSH researchers recently met to discuss current and future engineering control research. Several presentations highlighted innovative design solutions and intelligent safety systems for protecting workers in mining, construction, and healthcare sectors. To learn more about the NIOSH Engineering Control Research Program, visit /niosh/programs/eng/default.html.

Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update

Precautions Against Heat Stress Recommended at a National Park in California

Finding signs of heat strain in employees working outdoors in extreme heat, NIOSH investigators recommended that the employer improve their heat stress prevention program. The NIOSH investigators measured environmental conditions and assessed employees’ core body temperature, heart rate, and hydration. 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 Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program
The notice was posted on July 3. Written comments must be received by October 20.

Specifications for Medical Examinations of Coal Miners—Interim Final Rule
The notice was posted on August 4. Written comments must be received by October 3.

Returning Our Veterans to Employment and Reintegration (ROVER): Work Stress and Assistances Animals (New)
The notice was posted on September 9. Written comments should be received within 60 days.

Nominations of Candidates to Serve on the Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC)
The notice was posted on September 10. Nominations must be received by December 15.

Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) Intervention Effectiveness in Material Handling Operations (Revision)
The notice was posted on September 15. Written comments should be received within 30 days.

Proposed National Total Worker Health Agenda
The notice was posted on September 23. Comments must be received by December 22.

For a listing of NIOSH official publications for rules, proposed rules, and notices, go to /niosh/fedreg.html.

New NIOSH Communication Products

Presentations and Abstracts

11th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health, Work Stress and Health 2015: Sustainable Work, Sustainable Health, Sustainable Organizations
Papers must be submitted by October 6.

Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research 2015 Conference
Abstracts must be submitted by October 17.

2015 Hazmat Conference
Papers must be submitted by October 27.

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

National Occupational Injury Research Symposium
Abstracts must be submitted by December 1.

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
Poster abstracts must be submitted by December 5.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

1st International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health
October 6–8, Bethesda, MD /niosh/twh

Healthier Federal Workers 2014
October 8–10, 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

Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research 2015 Conference
March 11-13, 2015, New Orleans, LA

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
March 23–26, 2015, Boston, MA

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

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

11th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health, Work Stress and Health 2015: Sustainable Work, Sustainable Health, Sustainable Organizations
May 6–9, 2015, Atlanta, GA

National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS)
May 19–21, 2015, Kingwood, WV

2015 Hazmat Conference
May 28–31, 2015, Baltimore, MD

American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo
May 30–June 4, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT

National Fire Protection Association 2015 Backyards and Beyond Wildfire Education Conference
October 22–24, 2015, Myrtle Beach, SC

A comprehensive list of upcoming conferences can be found at

Did You Know?

Did you know that October is National Protect Your Hearing Month. NIOSH offers resources for employers and employees on hearing protection at work? Learn more at /niosh/topics/noise/.

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.