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NIOSH Researcher Named as Finalist for Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal

May 10, 2019
NIOSH Update:

Media Contact: Stephanie Stevens,, 202.245.0641

NIOSH researcher Emily Haas, Ph.D.

WASHINGTON – National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researcher Emily Haas, Ph.D., has been named as a finalist for the 2019 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) in the Safety and Law Enforcement category. Dr. Haas is an internationally recognized behavioral scientist in the NIOSH Mining Program whose research and leadership have directly contributed to preventing occupational illness and injury in the mining industry.

The Partnership for Public Service honored all Sammie finalists on May 9 in Washington, D.C. as part of Public Service Recognition Week.

Dr. Haas, an employee in the Human Factors Branch of NIOSH’s Pittsburgh Mining Research Division, studies organizational culture and risk management in areas specific to leadership in order to uncover ways to strengthen safety culture in mining workplaces. From 2016 to 2018, she studied aspects of safety climate with approximately 2,700 mine workers at 40 mines and helped management develop site-specific interventions to improve their health and safety processes. This work has led to improved safety training guides, which are also found online expanding their reach to tens of thousands of workers.

Dr. Haas also collaborated with NIOSH engineers to incorporate behavioral interventions into dust control approaches to reduce workers’ exposure to silica dust, which can lead to various lung diseases. She identified quick, economic controls that have the ability to reduce a worker’s exposure to silica dust up to 92% following the participation and maintenance of behavioral changes.

“Dr. Haas has demonstrated exceptional proficiency in research assignment, leadership, originality, and impact,” said Audrey Glowacki, her team leader who nominated her for the honor. “Her efforts have significantly reduced harm to mineworkers and led to widespread professional recognition.”

The author of 50 publications and a textbook about using qualitative methodology in applied research settings, Dr. Haas also teaches, presents leadership workshops, and shares her expertise at industry conferences worldwide.

In addition to the honor of this nomination, Dr. Haas received the prestigious 2017 Arthur S. Flemming Award for excellence in social science, clinical trials, and translational research, which is given annually to outstanding men and women in the federal government.

The Sammies are awarded annually by the Partnership for Public Service—a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and strengthening civil service—after a vigorous process that selects one winner in each of eight categories: Management Excellence, Science and Environment, National Security and International Affairs, Promising Innovations, Safety and Law Enforcement, Career Achievement, People’s Choice Award and the Federal Employee of the Year.

Medal recipients will be announced and honored on October 16 during a gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit