NIOSH logo and tagline

NIOSH Presents 2000 Awards for Significant Scientific Contributions

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 260-8519
April 26, 2000

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today presented annual awards to recognize the scientific excellence of publications by NIOSH scientists and engineers, and to honor exceptional service in the field of workplace health and safety.

The Alice Hamilton Award for 2000 was presented to four NIOSH publications from 1999 for high scientific merit. The award was presented in the categories of biological sciences, educational materials, engineering and physical sciences, and human studies. The publications were judged by outside scientific panels under several criteria, including the complexity and originality of the research, the significance of the research for addressing serious or prevalent workplace hazards, and the clarity of the presentation. The award is named for Dr. Alice Hamilton, a pioneering researcher and occupational physician.

NIOSH also presented its first annual James P. Keogh Award for Outstanding Service in Occupational Safety and Health, honoring the late Dr. James P. Keogh, a scientist and advocate for worker health and safety who died in June 1999 at the age of 49. The award each year recognizes a current or former NIOSH employee for outstanding service in protecting workers’ health and safety.

The Keogh Award for 2000 was presented to Dr. Richard A. Lemen, whose contributions to asbestos research furthered the development of better criteria for controlling asbestos exposures in the workplace, and the prevention of asbestos-related diseases. Dr. Lemen joined the U.S. Public Health Service as a field industrial hygienist in 1970 and served in many capacities in NIOSH before his retirement, including positions as NIOSH Deputy Director and Acting Director.

“Alice Hamilton and Jim Keogh set high standards for our field,” said NIOSH Director Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H. “We are pleased to honor their memories by recognizing this year’s award recipients, who have carried on their tradition of scientific leadership and personal dedication to worker health and safety.”

The winning recipients of the Alice Hamilton Award for 2000 include:

  • A study that uses innovative approaches to identify the biochemical reactions that occur in the cells and the genes following exposure to the industrial metal chronium VI. Understanding these effects will help scientists better predict and prevent cancer risks from chromium VI exposures.
  • A training video that provides clear, meaningful instruction to miners for preventing death or serious injury from rock falls, a major hazard in underground mines. The video has been adopted widely in mine safety training programs.
  • A study evaluating new engineering controls for asphalt paving equipment. The study is part of a landmark partnership under which NIOSH has worked closely with industry, labor, and other federal agencies in significantly reducing worker exposures to asphalt fumes in asphalt paving operations.
  • A study that provides the first rigorous attempt to substantiate NIOSH’s revised lifting equation. The lifting equation is widely used for assessing whether manual lifting tasks involve increased risks for painful, costly back injuries, and which factors are responsible for the increased risk.

The winners of the Hamilton and Keogh Awards were announced at a ceremony today at NIOSH’s Alice Hamilton Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Nicholas Ashford, Professor of Technology and Policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presented the keynote address for the ceremony. The ceremony was simultaneously broadcast to NIOSH’s Robert A. Taft Laboratories, also in Cincinnati, and to NIOSH’s other facilities in Morgantown, W.Va; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Spokane, Wash.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Washington, D.C.

A complete list of the Alice Hamilton Award winners and honorable mentions, and the James P. Keogh Award winner can be found on the NIOSH homepage. For further information about NIOSH research, call the toll-free NIOSH information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) or visit NIOSH on the World Wide Web .