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NIOSH eNews – June 2015

Volume 13 Number 2 (June 2015)

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D.
Director, NIOSH

National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2015: Advancing Occupational Injury Research through Integration and Partnership

In May, I had the pleasure of serving on an opening plenary panel for the 2015 National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS). This was the sixth in a symposia series that was initiated in 1997. NOIRS yet again proved to be a valuable forum for those focused on and committed to worker safety. More than 230 researchers and key stakeholders came together for 2-1/2 days to learn from each other and build partnerships to advance research and prevention.

Plenary speakers at NOIRS: Dr. John Howard Director NIOSH; Dr. David Michaels Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, OSHA; Thomas F. Cecich, Senior Vice President, American Society of Safety Engineers; and Deborah A.P. Hersman, President %26 CEO, National Safety Council.

Plenary speakers at NOIRS: Dr. John Howard Director NIOSH; Dr. David Michaels Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, OSHA; Thomas F. Cecich, Senior Vice President, American Society of Safety Engineers; and Deborah A.P. Hersman, President & CEO, National Safety Council.

The focus on occupational injuries is warranted and critical. In 2013, work-related injuries alone claimed more than 4,500 lives. Data on nonfatal work-related injuries, which are recognized to fall far short of the true injury burden, suggest 140,000 hospitalizations and millions of other injuries treated in emergency departments and reported on employer logs. Far too many workers are killed and maimed each year, with significant impacts on workers and their families, employers and their businesses, and communities. Research by J. Paul Leigh published in 2011 in Milbank Quarterly estimated annual societal costs for occupational injuries at $192 billion. Occupational injury research is needed to make inroads on legacy hazards, such as falls from heights, which persist despite identification of effective injury prevention strategies, as well as emerging issues that have and will arise due to dramatic changes in how work is organized and new technologies, epitomized by the driverless truck that is now being piloted.

The theme for the 2015 NOIRS was “Advancing Occupational Injury Research through Integration and Partnership.” Partnerships were critical in the success of the 2015 NOIRS and are critical to advancing the prevention of occupational injuries. NOIRS was co-sponsored by NIOSH, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (LMRIS), the National Safety Council (NSC), and the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR). NIOSH thanks these co-sponsors for their support and contributions to NOIRS 2015 before, during, and after the conference.

Presentations in the opening and closing plenaries and throughout the conference highlighted and provided concrete examples of how partnerships can advance occupational injury research and the translation of research into practice. An example is the exemplary research that was recognized by the NSC Award for Stakeholder Collaboration, Immigrant Workers in Dairy—A Health and Safety Intervention Using the Community Health Worker Model. Thanks to NSC for sponsoring this award, and congratulations to the research team: Amy Liebman and Patricia Juarez-Carrillo of the Migrant Clinicians Network; and Iris Reyes, Yurany Ninco Sanchez, and Matthew Keifer of the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. With respect to integration, another facet of the symposium theme, NOIRS brought together NIOSH intramural scientists and outside colleagues supported by competitive NIOSH funding, researchers funded by other organizations (including the military, insurance companies, and trade associations), and key stakeholders (including labor groups). The symposium served as a forum for attendees to learn about the research interests of key stakeholders and the breadth of occupational injury research being conducted both inside and outside of NIOSH and provided opportunities for attendees to talk with each other and build partnerships. This awareness can help ensure that future research builds upon what has been done, is relevant to those positioned to act upon the findings, and addresses the most compelling needs.

The NOIRS scientific program included more than 180 oral and poster presentations on topics such as occupational injury surveillance (including underreporting of injury), injury hazards on the job (e.g., falls, motor vehicles, violence, machines), industry sector-focused research (e.g. construction, agriculture, public safety, transportation, manufacturing and utilities), implications of work organization for occupational injury risk, control technologies, and research methods (including systematic review research). Presented research drew from multiple disciplines, including epidemiology, statistics, engineering, economics, organizational psychology, education, communications, and numerous examples of interdisciplinary research. We were pleased to have the participation of a considerable number of students, which will help integrate them into the occupational injury research community. Finally, the opening and closing plenary presentations encouraged and provided practical tips for the integration of researchers and stakeholders to ensure the relevance of occupational injury research that is being conducted and to foster the translation of the research into practice.

NOIRS provided an opportunity to celebrate up-and-coming student researchers. Thanks to ASSE/ASSE Foundation and LMRIS for sponsoring student awards, and congratulations to the winners who we anticipate will be future leaders in the occupational injury research field:

  • ASSE/ASSE Foundation Award: Timothy D. Read, a doctoral candidate in the Occupational Injury Prevention Program at the University of Texas School of Public Health, for his paper “The Role of the Safety Professional in Workplace Injury Prevention Research—Will You be an Advocate?”
  • LMRIS Award: Jennifer Jones, a doctoral candidate in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for her paper “Types of Employee Resistance and Employee Injury in Commercial Robberies.”
  • LMRIS Award: Emily Sparer, a doctoral candidate in the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University, for her paper “Improving Safety Climate through a Safety Recognition and Communication Program: A Mixed Methods Study.”

I would also like to congratulate the winners and honorable mentions of the NIOSH Intervention Evaluation Award. Intervention evaluation research is critical to ensure that interventions not only feel and sound good but are proven to be effective. Congratulations to these researchers for their rigorous evaluations of promising prevention programs:

  • Winner: “The UK-CROPS Project—Cost-effective Roll-over Protective Structures.” Contributors: Joan Mazur, Stacy Vincent, Jennifer Watson, Susan Westneat, Morgan Schafbuch, and Kyle S. Wood (all with the University of Kentucky and Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention).
  • Honorable mention: “Evaluation of NIOSH Workplace Violence Prevention for Nurses, Online Course.” Contributors: Maria Brann (Indiana University—Purdue University) and Daniel Hartley (NIOSH).
  • Honorable mention: “A Universal Rig for Supporting Large Hammer Drills: Reduced Injury Risk and Improved Productivity.” Contributors: David Rempel and Alan Barr (University of California Berkeley).

I encourage you to be on the lookout for follow-up NOIRS activities that will feature research presented at NOIRS. These include topic-specific webinars in conjunction with SAVIR and a special issue of the Journal of Safety Research.

NIOSH is committed to continually improving NOIRS and, in conjunction with the NSC, is conducting an evaluation of the conference. In addition to requesting feedback on logistical issues, attendees are being queried on how the symposium will enhance their work, if attendance led to new professional relationships and partnerships, periodicity for the symposium, and how the symposium could be improved. This evaluation will be used to document the impacts of the 2015 NOIRS and in the planning for future symposia. We want to ensure that NOIRS continues to help advance occupational injury research and the application of that research to improve the safety of workers.

John Howard, M.D.
NIOSH Director

NIOSH and ASSE Release New Report on Safety of Young Immigrant Workers in Small Construction Firms

In May, NIOSH and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) released a joint report entitled Overlapping Vulnerabilities: the Occupational Safety and Health of Young Immigrant Workers in Small Construction Firms. The report explores how the combination of risk factors may result in overlapping vulnerabilities for workers such as young immigrants in small construction firms and discusses the implications for occupational safety and health professionals. The release of the report coincided with North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, and the story was picked up by several Spanish and English media outlets. For more information go to or /niosh/docs/2015-178/default.html.

NIOSH Releases New Shift Work Training for Nurses

NIOSH has launched a new online training program, NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours. The purpose of the online training is to provide nurses with information about the risks associated with shift work and long work hours and strategies to reduce these risks. Continuing education is also available for completion of the course. For more information go to /niosh/docs/2015-115/. For more information about NIOSH research related to healthcare go to /niosh/topics/healthcare/.

NIOSH MSD Cross-sector Program Seeks Partners

The leadership of the Musculoskeletal Disorders Health and Safety Cross-sector Program would appreciate receiving responses from individuals willing to partner with or provide input to the program as it develops strategies and research plans in the coming weeks. Individuals may contact the Dr. Stephen Hudock, manager, at

NIOSH/OSHA Releases Hospital Respiratory Protection Toolkit

NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently released a toolkit for employers to use to protect hospital staff. This toolkit can assist hospitals in developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on preventing the transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases to healthcare personnel. /niosh/docs/2015-117/

Query Site Released for Nonfatal Occupational Injuries

NIOSH has released the Work-Related Injury Statistics Query System (Work-RISQS). This query system allows users to produce national estimates of occupational injuries treated in emergency departments. Queries can produce reports by demographics, natures of injury, and injury incident characteristics. Queries can be performed for any year from 1998 to 2012. To access the query site, go to Contact Audrey Reichard ( for more information.

NIOSH Awards Two Cooperative Agreements for Workers’ Compensation Surveillance

NIOSH announced new funding for cooperative agreements with California and Massachusetts for workers’ compensation surveillance. The awards total nearly $400,000 per year for 3 years. Read more at /niosh/updates/upd-05-27-15.html.

Partners Wanted: Assessment of Occupational Exposure to Flame Retardants

NIOSH is currently conducting a study on worker exposure to flame retardants to better understand potential health concerns of these chemicals. Flame retardants are used in a broad range of industries and are found in multiple items including building materials and consumer products. NIOSH is actively searching for spray polyurethane companies that are willing to participate in a study. Companies that have workers who apply spray polyurethane foam are asked to participate. If your company is interested in this study and would like more information, please contact CAPT Cherie Estill at or 513-841-4476.

Monthly Features

NIOSH Congratulates

AIHce Awards and Recognition

Several NIOSH researchers received recognition at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce) May 30–June 4:

  • The NIOSH Nanotech field team and Todd Niemeier received two of the top awards given at the conference. Learn more at /niosh/updates/upd-06-3-15.html.
  • The Nanotechnology Working Group Executive Committee was selected as a Volunteer Group Outstanding Project Team. Charles Geraci and Mark Hoover are on that working group.
  • Lorenzo Cena’s paper titled “A Novel Method for Assessing Respiratory Deposition of Welding Fume Nanoparticles,” published in the Journal of Environmental Health, won the David L. Swift award for best aerosol-related paper published in 2014.
  • Mark Hoover was named as a Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.


Multidisciplinary Successes

The NORA Healthcare and Social Assistance Sector Council has helped achieve notable successes in promoting improved occupational safety and health through multidisciplinary approaches. The American Nurses Association standards Safe Patient Handling and Mobility were developed and require implementation by a multidisciplinary team that includes nurses, physical therapists, occupational health specialists, occupational therapists, and others. An international working group published Cleaning and Disinfecting Environmental Surfaces in Health Care: Toward an Integrated Framework for Infection and Occupational Illness Prevention. A review that appeared in the May issue of the journal published by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology endorsed the workgroup’s call for hospitals to have multidisciplinary infection prevention teams that include occupational health. For more information, contact

Research Translation

Occupational safety and health researchers are learning more about causes of disease and injury and about the preventative interventions that work. A challenge is how best to translate research results and disseminate interventions into workplaces. The Manufacturing Sector Council is exploring new, coordinated translation mechanisms with Council members and partners like the National Safety Council and with tools like blogs and Twitter to engage those responsible for safe and healthy workplaces. Different metrics such as number of visitors to our website, comments submitted, and number of views of our web pages and videos indicate that this coordination had a measurable impact on our information dissemination efforts. Contact Thais Morata at for more information and partnership opportunities.

News from Our Partners

Case of Silicosis in a Countertop Fabricator Identified in Texas, 2014

In May 2014, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) was notified of a case of silicosis in a male who worked for an engineered stone countertop company as a polisher, laminator, and fabricator. This is the first reported case of silicosis associated with exposure to quartz surfacing materials in North America. DSHS requested NIOSH assistance in conducting a workplace health hazard evaluation (HHE), which included interviewing employees and collecting area and personal air samples. For a comprehensive description of the federal- and state-level investigation of this novel case of silicosis, access CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report at

Wisconsin Occupational Health Program Develops New Brochure

The Wisconsin Occupational Health Program has developed a brochure, A Young Worker’s Guide to Working Safely in Wisconsin, as part of youth outreach and education in area high schools. Initial evaluation results indicate an overall 33% increase in knowledge from pre- to post-class. A link to the publication can be found at

Colorado Releases FAQ on Oil and Gas Extraction

In response to the high fatality rate in the oil and gas industry, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) fact sheet on occupational health and safety in the industry. The FAQ answers questions about hydraulic fracturing, injury and death risks, applicable OSHA standards, and future research needs. Motor vehicle accidents, explosive injury, and toxic exposures are a few of the risks for oil and gas extraction workers. The FAQ, with full descriptions of the health and safety risks, can be found at

Respiratory Protection Education AAOHN Education & Resources Webkit Free Online Learning

The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses has released a Respiratory Protection Webkit ( that includes a 10-module Respiratory Protection Course and accompanying resources. The course is ideal for the occupational and environmental health professional who wants to learn more about OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard and the role of the Occupational Health Nurse (OHN) as the Respiratory Protection Program Administrator. The course is free and runs approximately 90 minutes. It is self-paced and can be done anywhere, anytime. Upon completion of the training and the accompanying evaluation tool, 1.5 CNE will be awarded. The survey, education, and resources are brought to all OHNs at no cost thanks to a NIOSH Grant #0000HCCL-2012-48066.

Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education

The Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education recently released 21 tailgate training guides for logging and forestry safety. The brief guides include an incident summary, discussion questions, and a take-home message. For more information, contact Amanda Wickman at 903-877-5998 ( or browse and print the guides at

NVFC Launches Volunteer Recruitment Portal for Fire Departments to Combat Declining Volunteerism

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) recently launched the department portal component of its new Make Me a Firefighter volunteer recruitment campaign. Departments can now sign up at to join the campaign and showcase their volunteer opportunities.

FACE Reports

Foreman Falls into Running Auger after Stepping on Door Panel with Broken Door Interlocks—Kentucky

On May 17, 2014, a 21-year-old foreman and two coworkers were assigned to clean a mixing plant and free a clogged feeder. As the foreman started to leave, he stepped on a door that had broken hinges and missing interlocks. The foreman fell in the running auger mixer and died from his injuries. /niosh/face/stateface/ky/14ky022.html

Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program Reports

Two Career Fire Fighters Die in a Rapid Fire Progression While Searching for Tenants—Ohio

On January 26, 2014, two male career fire fighters (42 and 31 years old) died in a two-story attached garage apartment fire. Rapidly deteriorating fire conditions caused the crew to declare a Mayday. Rescue crews located the two fire fighters in the second-story apartment. Both fire fighters were transported to the hospital but died from their injuries. /niosh/fire/reports/face201402.html

r2p Corner

Second Comment Period on Proposed USP Standard on Handling Hazardous Drugs Closes

A second review and comment period closed at the end of May for the proposed Chapter <800> of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). The proposed Chapter <800> will apply to all healthcare personnel who handle hazardous drug preparations and all entities that store, prepare, transport, or administer hazardous drugs. Hazardous drugs will be identified using NIOSH-adopted criteria that are published in the most recent NIOSH list of antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs, which was posted in September 2014. When Chapter <800> is implemented, it will add to existing compounding USP chapters: Chapter <797> for sterile compounds and Chapter <795> for nonsterile compounds. More information for pharmacies preparing for the new proposed USP standards can be found at

Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update

Noise and Ergonomic Recommendations Provided to an Electronics Recycling Facility

Although employee exposures to metals in air were low, some employees were overexposed to noise and others may be at risk for low-back injuries. HHE Program investigators recommended reducing noise levels, starting a hearing conservation program, and evaluating risks for musculoskeletal disorders. A link to this final report is available at /niosh/hhe/whats_new.html.

Indoor Environmental Quality Recommendations Provided to a College Campus Building

Although HHE Program investigators found no current water damage or mold, they did identify deficiencies in the ventilation systems and mixing of air between offices, classrooms, and a dental clinic. Investigators recommended checking with a ventilation engineer to change how return air is mixed and to improve airflow. A link to this final report is available at /niosh/hhe/whats_new.html.

Evaluation of an Electronic Scrap Recycling Facility

HHE Program investigators’ evaluation of employee exposure to metals found some employees with blood lead levels above 10 micrograms per deciliter, a level considered elevated. Investigators provided recommendations to prevent exposure to lead and other metals and to prevent unintentionally exposing family members. 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!

New NIOSH Communication Products

Federal Register Notices of Public Meetings and Public Comment

International Labour Office (ILO) Reference Radiographs
The notice was posted April 6. Electronic or written comments must be received by June 5.

Enhancing Mine Workers’ Ability to Identify Hazards at Sand, Stone, and Gravel Mines—New
The notice was posted on April 8. Written comments must be received on or before June 8.

Metal and Nonmetal Miner Health Program (MNMHP)—New
The notice was posted on April 24. Written comments must be received on or before June 23.

Request for the Technical Review of 14 Draft Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) Value Profiles
The notice was posted on May 1. Written comments must be received on or before June 30.

Request for the Technical Review of 19 Draft Skin Notation Assignments and Skin Notation Profiles
The notice was posted on May 1. Written comments must be received on or before June 30.

Employer Perspectives of an Insurer-sponsored Wellness Grant—New
The notice was posted on May 4. Written comments must be received by July 6.

Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery—Extension
The notice was posted on May 22. Written comments must be received within 30 days.

NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings: Proposed Additions to the NIOSH Hazardous Drug List 2016
The notice was posted on May 28. Electronic and written comments must be received by July 27.

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

Call for Abstracts

GTCbio’ 4th Influenza Research and Development Conference
Call for oral abstracts and posters. Deadline for submission is June 8.

ASSE Professional Development Conference & Exposition Safety 2016
Call for presenters and proposals. Deadline for submission is July 15.

International Society for Respiratory Protection Annual General Meeting and Biennial Technical Conference
Call for abstracts. Deadline for submission is August 20.

International Conference on Occupational Health and Safety 2016
Call for abstracts. Deadline for submission is November 1.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

GTCbio’ 4th Influenza Research and Development Conference
July 8–10, Boston, MA

Ninth Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media
August 11–13, Atlanta, GA

International Society for Respiratory Protection Annual General Meeting and Biennial Technical Conference
September 15, Morgantown, WV

2015 National Safety Council Congress & Expo—Building Safer Workplaces
September 26–October 2, Atlanta, GA

Infectious Disease Week
October 7–11, San Diego, CA

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

Tenth Symposium on Performance of Protective Clothing and Equipment: Risk Reduction through Research and Testing
January 28–29, 2016, San Antonio, TX

International Conference on Occupational Health and Safety 2016
March 1–2, 2016, Miami, FL

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
April 11–14, 2016, Jacksonville, FL

ASSE Professional Development Conference & Exposition Safety 2016
June 26–29, 2016, Atlanta, GA

A comprehensive list of upcoming conferences can be found at

This Month In History

NIOSH issued the revised Occupational Diseases: A Guide to their Recognition in response to the “national recognition and the impetus of a national research and enforcement effort” afforded by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (Preface p. iv). At the time of its release in 1977, the 600-plus-page document divided occupational diseases into eight main categories, including:

  1. Biological hazards
  2. Dermatoses
  3. Diseases of the airways
  4. Plant and wood hazards
  5. Chemical hazards
  6. Chemical carcinogens
  7. Pesticides
  8. Physical hazards, including radiation, atmospheric variations, and oscillatory vibrations

Read the full guide.