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NIOSH eNews – June 2011


Volume 9 Number 2 June 2011


From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D.
Director, NIOSH
June eNews 2011

Leading the Evolution toward Total Worker Health

Anniversaries are often a time for reflection on past accomplishments, present challenges, and future directions. Over our 40-year history, NIOSH has generated a flow of knowledge that has been used to directly fulfill the most commonly quoted purpose of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, “… to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions … .” Even though we still have much to accomplish, we are proud of the progress we have made in protecting our Nation’s workers. Yet, as we reflect on the present challenges facing workers, employers, and the Nation, we find renewed purpose in the less frequently quoted Congressional intention (that follows the phrase above), “… and to preserve our human resources.”

In many ways, the health risks and challenges facing today’s workers and employers are significantly different than they were 40 years ago. The American workforce is rapidly aging as more workers choose to, or by economic necessity are forced to, remain in the workplace. The workforce is increasingly burdened by epidemic levels of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Middle-aged and young workers are facing earlier onset of chronic health conditions, such as obesity and diabetes.

There is increasing evidence that the work environment and the overall health of the workers within it are inextricably linked. Disease and injury, whether caused by work, nonwork activities, or lifestyle, reduce quality of life, opportunity, and income for workers and those dependent upon them. For employers, the collective burden of diminished workforce health and ability adversely impacts recruitment, retention, productivity, and, ultimately, economic viability.

Nationally, the competitiveness of the U.S. workforce is of increasing concern. What is NIOSH doing to preserve our Nation’s human resources?

Since 2004, the NIOSH WorkLife program (and its predecessor “Steps to a Healthier U.S. Workforce”) has supported a multifaceted approach to workplace health and safety. This approach seeks to understand the whole worker and attempts to create environments, practices, and policies that optimize total worker health. From the beginning, the program has emphasized the interplay of workplace conditions, including the organization of work, policies, and management strategies, with individual lifestyle risk factors in the safety, health, engagement, and productivity of workers. For the past five years, NIOSH has funded and partnered with three national WorkLife Centers of Excellence to further explore and research these concepts (/niosh/TWH/centers.html). As we now set our sights on future directions for 2011 and beyond, NIOSH will begin building an intramural research program focused on evolving the WorkLife program concept for integration of health and safety protection and health and wellness promotion into a comprehensive intramural program for Total Worker Health.™

We believe that NIOSH can lead efforts to integrate the protection of worker health and safety on the job with evidence-based health promotion and wellness programs that target organizational and individual health and well-being. In fact, a growing body of evidence indicates workplace interventions that integrate health protection and health promotion programs are more effective in safeguarding and improving total worker health than traditional, fragmented programs.

This comprehensive approach will include stimulating the development of intramural research through the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) competitive process. To guide the development of this program, an internal Steering Committee has been formed and we are exploring options for input by members of the stakeholder community.

There will be opportunities for you to get involved and I encourage you to do so. You can follow the progress of the NIOSH Total Worker Health™ program on our website (/niosh/twh). I am confident that together we will expand our capabilities to pursue new research, generate data, report case studies, and celebrate success stories.

For more information contact L. Casey Chosewood, MD, manager (; Anita Schill, PhD, manager (; Jeannie Nigam, MS, program coordinator (; or Heidi Hudson, MPH, assistant program coordinator (

Tornado Cleanup and Response Resource

A new NIOSH topic page has recommendations and resources to help state and local emergency response personnel, healthcare workers, shelter workers, and other personnel stay safe during tornado response and cleanup.

Dr. Linda Rosenstock Receives Prestigious NIOSH James P. Keogh Award

NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard presents Dr. Linda Rosenstock with the James P. Keogh Award.

NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard presents Dr. Linda Rosenstock with the James P. Keogh Award.

Dr. Linda Rosenstock, former NIOSH director and current dean of the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, and associate dean of the UCLA School of Medicine, was the recipient of the 2011 NIOSH James P. Keogh Award for outstanding service in occupational safety and health. NIOSH is pleased to present Dr. Rosenstock with this award in appreciation of a lifetime of extraordinary leadership in occupational health and safety. /niosh/awards/keogh/.

Call for Nominations: 2012 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards.™ The awards are given by NIOSH in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) to recognize excellence in hearing loss prevention. The deadline for self-nominations is September 1, 2011. Additional information is available at

NIOSH Supports Fire EMS Safety Week

NIOSH is once again pleased to support the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) in promoting the Fire / EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week, June 19-25. The theme for this year’s Safety Week is “Surviving the fireground – fire fighter, fire officer and command preparedness.” More information is available at

Registration Open for Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work Conference

Registration is now open for a two-day conference on occupational health and safety disparities, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois. The conference will bring together representatives from multiple disciplines to understand the social, cultural, and economic factors that create and perpetuate occupational health and safety disparities. It will examine major research accomplishments and gaps and identify and share promising practices for eliminating disparities through innovative intervention programs. For more information or to register go to

Deadline Extended to Submit Abstracts for Manufacturing Conference

The NORA Manufacturing Sector Council will be accepting abstracts for presentations and posters through June 30 for the NORA Manufacturing Sector Conference, September 7–8, Hyatt Regency, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Partnership Renewed with Association of periOperative Nurses

On March 22, NIOSH and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) renewed a memorandum of understanding that shows the commitment by both groups to continue to use collaborative efforts and expertise to promote best practices associated with workplace safety and health issues in the periOperative setting.

Charlotte Guglielmi, 2010%26ndash;2011 AORN president; Debra Novak, NIOSH; Linda Groah, AORN Executive Director/CEO; Jackie Krah, NIOSH at the MOU signing.

Charlotte Guglielmi, 2010-2011 AORN president; Debra Novak, NIOSH; Linda Groah, AORN Executive Director/CEO; Jackie Krah, NIOSH at the MOU signing.

NTSB Truck and Bus Safety Forum

In May 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board convened a public forum titled Truck and Bus Safety: A Decade of Progress to discuss further actions to improve safety and to review progress on issues such as carrier oversight and operations, training and licensing of commercial drivers, driver safety and health, and crash avoidance technologies. Dr. Stephanie Pratt, coordinator of the NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety, participated as a federal agency representative and as a subject matter expert on driver safety. To view the archived webcast, please visit For more information on NIOSH motor vehicle safety research, please visit

World Trade Center Health Program Updates

On May 12, NIOSH posted a federal register notice on the establishment of the WTC Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee.

NIOSH Congratulates

…Dr. Eugene (Tony) McKenzie
NIOSH engineer Dr. Eugene (Tony) McKenzie was recently recognized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for his leadership in the development of a new standard that defines minimum performance requirements for manufacturers and designers in the initial development of auto-deployable ROPS (roll over protection system). John Powers, a supervisory general engineer, also of NIOSH, was also recognized for his work on this team. Dr. McKenzie will receive formal recognition at the general session during the ASABE annual meeting in August.

…Dr. Vic Johnson
NIOSH associate service fellow Dr. Vic Johnson was honored for his outstanding scientific accomplishments in the field of immunotoxicology at the annual Society of Toxicology Meeting. He is the 2011 recipient of the “Outstanding Young Investigator Award” in immunotoxicology.

Federal Register Notices

NIOSH is currently accepting comments on the Personal Protective Technologies Conformity Assessment Docket. The docket provides an opportunity for input on the NIOSH, NPPTL strategy addressing the recommendations issued in November 2010 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its report Certifying Personal Protective Technologies: Improving Worker Safety. /niosh/docket/review/docket237/default.html

For a listing of NIOSH official publications for rules, proposed rules, and notices for 2011 go to /niosh/fedreg.html.

News from Our Partners

Work-related Asthma Awareness

In 2010, the New Mexico Occupational Health Surveillance Program (NMOHSP) found that an estimated 69% of adults with asthma felt that their asthma could be related to exposures at their workplace. However, only 31% of adults with asthma had ever talked to their doctors about the relationship of asthma to their workplace. To promote the awareness of asthma triggers in the workplace, the NMOHSP has published a fact sheet titled Could you have work-related asthma? It is available as a PDF in both English and Spanish at

Teens Develop Job Safety and Health Awareness Posters

The winners of a “Safe Jobs for Youth” poster contest for Massachusetts teens were recently announced. The contest asked participants to design eye-catching graphic messages that promote the importance of youth worker safety. The contest was sponsored by a partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Health, which was established to engage young people themselves in advocating for safer workplace environments for everyone. NIOSH is part of this partnership. For more information, go to For copies of the winning poster, e-mail

Making Green Jobs Safe in Construction

Researchers at Oregon State University have developed The Sustainable Construction Safety and Health rating system, a tool to help reduce construction worker injuries and fatalities by eliminating hazards and minimizing risks. The rating system assesses the extent to which construction worker safety and health is given priority and is addressed in planning, design, and construction of a project. To use the ratings system or for more information go to

New Health Hazard Evaluation Reports Now Available

HHE logo Determining Base Camp Personnel Exposures to Carbon Monoxide during Wildland Fire Suppression Activities

HHE Program investigators responded to a request regarding concerns about carbon monoxide (CO) exposures of personnel working at wildland fire base camps. Investigators found that most base camp employees’ CO exposure levels were very low, but some employees had occasional levels over peak occupational exposure limits. Investigators recommended that a program be developed to measure base camp employees’ exposures to CO and particulates and that managers consider developing action levels for CO and particulates. Employees at the base camp were told to avoid working near sources of CO, including gasoline&45; and diesel-powered vehicles and equipment. /niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2008-0245-3127.pdf

Evaluation of Respiratory Protection Practices for Employees at Federal Immigration and Customs Agency Workplaces

Investigators from the HHE Program evaluated concerns about federal immigration and customs agency employees’ respiratory protection during the pH1N1 pandemic. After surveying employees nationwide and reviewing the agency’s respiratory protection procedures and fit-testing sessions, investigators found existing procedures and policies to be comprehensive. Investigators recommended that managers provide fit testers with information on the technical capabilities of respirators and specific instructions on fit-testing procedures. Investigators recommended that employees do a face seal check each time before using a respirator, undergo tuberculosis screening at least yearly, and get the influenza vaccine annually.


Bill Stuffers: Slow Down To Get Around

Decreasing injuries and deaths of solid waste workers is a priority in the National Services Sector Agenda (/nora/). A partnership between NIOSH, the National Solid Waste Management Association, and several companies has developed an awareness campaign for drivers to slow down when they approach waste collection trucks. Bill stuffers will be customized with a picture of a local garbage truck and sent to hundreds of thousands of customers to get drivers’ attention ( For more information, contact

Update on NORA Symposium 2011…

  • The reduced early registration rate will end June 30 for the NORA Symposium, Achieving Impact through Research and Partnerships, to be held July 11–12 in Cincinnati OH.
  • Dr. Jim Dearing of Kaiser Permanente will be the keynote speaker on July 12. Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has been confirmed as keynote speaker on July 13.
  • Poster abstracts are posted and the program promises stimulating learning and networking opportunities. The full program is available at

r2p Corner

r2p logo NIOSH & CPWR Engage in 20 Years of Partnership

In 1990, CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training and NIOSH formed a partnership to promote occupational safety and health within the construction industry. CPWR is the NIOSH-funded National Construction Center. Over the past 20 years, this successful collaboration has resulted in many impacts, which are described in the recently released report, Highlights 2010: 20 Years of Partnerships. Two examples include the National Academies 2008 report citing “significant progress” for preventing injury, illness, and fatality in construction, and the development of an award-winning storyline for a popular Spanish-language TV series to educate viewers about the risks of occupational injury associated with falls from ladders. To learn more about construction safety and health at NIOSH, please visit For more information about this long-term partnership and its impacts and to read the Highlights report mentioned above, visit

What’s new on the NIOSH Science Blog?

Titanium Dioxide: A Changing Paradigm in Occupational Risk Management

Read about and/or comment on the new NIOSH guidance document (/niosh/docs/2011-160/) on handling titanium dioxide (TiO2) powders in the workplace and the suggested innovative approach that might have implications beyond TiO2. /niosh/blog/

New Communication Products

Using Lockout/Tagout for Machine Safety

Newly released NIOSH document uses lockout and tagout procedures to prevent injury and death during machine maintenance.

Protecting Workers from Heat Illness

A new fact sheet from OSHA and NIOSH provides information to employers on measures they should take to prevent heat-related illnesses and death.

Safety Video to Prevent Man Overboard Events

NIOSH, in cooperation with the American Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) and Alaska Sea Grant, has created the video Man Overboard: Prevention and Recovery designed to help crews prevent and respond to man overboard events.


To see other new NIOSH communication products, including documents and topic pages, go to the NIOSH “What’s New” page. /niosh/whatsnew/

Call for Abstracts

NORA Manufacturing Sector Conference: Partnerships to Improve Occupational Safety and Health
Call for poster and presentation abstracts. Deadline for submission is June 30.

22nd Annual Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference
Call for break-out session proposals. Deadline for submission is July 1.
Call for art and Science presentation proposals. Deadline for submission is October 14.
Call for peer presentation proposals. Accepted September 15–March 9.

Upcoming Conferences & Workshops

National Fire Protection Association Conference and Expo—Look for us! Booth 1370
June 12–15, Boston, MA

The American Society of Safety Engineers, Safety 2011 Exposition—Look for us!
June 13–15, Chicago, IL

National Sheriffs Association 2011 Annual Conference—Look for us! Booth 1023
June 17-22, St. Louis, MO

Association of Infection Control Practitioners—Look for us! Booth 1203
June 27-28, Baltimore, MD

NORA Symposium 2011: Achieving Impact Through Research and Partnerships
July 12-13, Cincinnati, Ohio

The ASTM Johnson Conference 2011 on The On-Going Debate—What We’re Learning after a Quarter Century of Johnson Conferences
July 25–July 29, Burlington, VT

5th Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media
August 9–11, Atlanta, GA

5th International Conference on Nanotechnology Occupational and Environmental Health
August 9-12, Boston, MA

International Association of Firefighters Redmond Symposium—Look for us!
August 14–19, New York, NY

Prevention Through Design Conference—A New Way of Doing Business: A Report on the National Initiative
August 22–24, Washington, DC

CIB W099 Prevention: Means to the End of Construction Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities
August 24–26, Washington, D.C.

NORA Manufacturing Sector Conference: Partnerships to Improve Occupational Safety and Health
September 7–8, Cincinnati, OH

Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work
September 14–15, Chicago, IL

Association of Occupational Professionals in Healthcare —Look for us!—Look for us!
September 28 – October 1, Minneapolis, MN

Pennsylvania Governors Occupational Safety and Health Conference—Look for us!—Look for us!
October 3-4, Hershey PA

National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS)
October 18-20, Morgantown, WV

A comprehensive list of upcoming conferences can be found at /niosh/exhibits.html.

Word of the Month

Conformity Assessment — is the “demonstration that specified requirements relating to a product, process, system, person, or body are fulfilled” as defined in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 17000.

NIOSH envisions that personal protective technology (PPT) conformity assessment for personal protective equipment and technologies involves the following components: standards, testing, inspection, certification, registration, accreditation, supplier’s declaration of conformity, communication, postmarket testing and evaluation, and health surveillance. The leadership responsibilities of PPT Program conformity assessment undertaken by NIOSH include developing the conformity assessment strategy for personal protective equipment other than respirators.

Please send your comments and suggestions to us at

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.