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NIOSH Presents 2020 Awards for Significant Scientific Contributions

June 24, 2020
NIOSH Update:

Press Contact: Stephanie Stevens, yky0@cdc,gov, 202.245.0641

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has awarded several NIOSH researchers and partners for their significant contributions to the field of occupational safety and health.

“Dedication to the NIOSH mission has taken on a new meaning this year, as NIOSH demonstrates the ability to adjust and apply its expertise to a global cause,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., who presented the awards virtually this year. “Today, we take time to recognize the talented and dedicated staff at NIOSH and the important work happening across the institute that helps us accomplish our mission of generating new knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health and transferring that knowledge into practice.”

The 2020 NIOSH Science and Service Awards include the following:

  • James P. Keogh Award for outstanding service by an individual in the occupational safety and health field;
  • Alice Hamilton Award for scientific excellence of technical and instructional materials by NIOSH scientists and engineers;
  • Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award for exceptional efforts by NIOSH researchers and partners in applying occupational safety and health research to the prevention of workplace fatalities, illnesses, or injuries;
  • Plain Language Award, for NIOSH communication products that exemplify the content and design principles of the Plain Writing Act of 2010;
  • Service Excellence Award for staff who demonstrate excellence in administrative and managerial support to the Institute; and
  • Director’s Intramural Award for Extraordinary Science for outstanding contributions by intramural scientists and support staff to scientific excellence at NIOSH.

James P. Keogh Award

The Keogh Award recognizes a current or former employee of NIOSH whose career “exhibits respect and compassion for individual workers, with tireless leadership, courage, and a fierce determination to put knowledge into practice to enhance their well-being.”

This year, NIOSH is honoring Chris Coffey, Ph.D. Dr. Coffey is recognized worldwide as a researcher in respiratory protection. His wealth of experience as a NIOSH researcher providing national and global leadership in preventing workplace illnesses and injuries began four decades ago in respirator certification. His groundbreaking laboratory and workplace studies on respirator performance served to reduce exposures to inhalation hazards, with an emphasis on filtering facepiece respirators.

Dr. Coffey’s research improved the state of worker protection and helped lead to the establishment of a classification scheme for particulate air-purifying respirators that was established by NIOSH in 1995 and incorporated into federal regulation. Dr. Coffey concluded his public service career by serving as the Associate Director for Science for NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory from 2011 to 2020.

Alice Hamilton Awards

Named after Dr. Alice Hamilton, a pioneering researcher and occupational physician, NIOSH presents the Alice Hamilton Award for exceptional contributions in the areas of biological sciences, engineering and physical sciences, human studies, and communication and guidance materials.

The Alice Hamilton Awards honor outstanding NIOSH publications from 2019. This year’s award recipients’ papers and educational publications were judged on their scientific merit and contributions to occupational safety and health. This year’s award-winning publications covered traffic related collisions among law enforcement, hearing health in various industries, a new eTool for assessing workplace chemicals, methods for measuring vibration transmission, protecting miners from dust, birth defects, and lung disease.

Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Awards

The Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award, named for the inventor of the hard hat, Edward W. Bullard, and the inventor of the personal industrial hygiene sampling pump, R. Jeremy Sherwood, recognizes recipients for outstanding contributions in three categories: Knowledge, Intervention, and Technology.

In the Intervention Category researchers were awarded for preparedness and response efforts to ensure that NIOSH-approved air-purifying respirator canisters can protect emergency responders against emerging hazards. To that end, they developed a new process to standardize a methodology to evaluate future chemical and radiological hazards.

In the Knowledge Category, a project to better understand the exposures and health impacts of firefighting and reduce exposure and health risks was honored. Resulting data have helped identify control interventions, justify implementation of new policies and motivation for management to adopt changes in practice.

Lastly, the EXAMiner Hazard Recognition Tool won the Technology award. The tool can help mineworkers identify the safety and health hazards at their jobsite. It includes pre-loaded mine images, performance assessment features, and supplemental content to help trainees learn more about workplace hazards.

NIOSH Plain Language Awards

NIOSH Plain Language Award awards recognizes communication products, such as fact sheets, brochures, and web pages that demonstrate excellence in applying plain language principles, so that science can be accessible to all who need it. Awards are given in two categories, representing both an original project that was created using plain language principles, and a “before-and-after,” which honors a product that was redesigned to be better understood or communicated.

The award in the Original category was given to the infographic, Slip-Resistant Shoes Reduce Food Services Worker Slip Injuries and the topic page World Trade Center Health Program, “How to Apply” received the Before and After award.

Service Excellence Awards

The Service Excellence Awards recognize NIOSH staff who demonstrate excellence in administrative and managerial support to the Institute. The following individuals were recognized for their significant contributions:

  • Diane Papes, a management & program analyst in NIOSH’s Division of Science Integration, received the Excellence in Administration award;
  • The NIOSH Human Capital Management Team received the Excellence in Human Capital Management award; and
  • Imelda Wong, Ph.D., a senior service fellow in the Division of Science Integration and Suzanne Alison, a program operations assistant in the Pittsburg Mining Research Division, received awards for Excellence in Leadership.

Director’s Intramural Awards

The Director’s Intramural Award for Extraordinary Science recognizes outstanding contributions to scientific excellence at NIOSH by intramural scientists and support staff.

Robert Doug Daniels, Ph.D., an epidemiologist and certified health physicist, received the Lew Wade Distinguished Career Scientist Award for his extensive and extraordinary scientific contributions in the fields of health physics, occupational epidemiology, and risk assessment. Dr. Daniels’s dedication to advancing worker safety and health by conducting research studies and occupational risk assessments of the highest quality and integrity have had a major impact on reducing worker exposure to hazardous materials.

Brie Hawley Blackley, Ph.D., a research industrial hygienist, received the Early Career Scientist Award for her dedication and research on assessing exposures and potential health outcomes among workers in healthcare, metals manufacturing, and coffee roasting and packaging facilities. In just a short time, Dr. Blackley has made important contributions to exposure assessment and occupational health through her research and service activities.

Jeffrey Powell, M.S., a biologist, received the Scientific Support Award for his superior technical and scientific support to many research projects involving human subjects and the sweating thermal manikin. Mr. Powell has played an important role in the success of numerous complex research studies leading to co-authorship on multiple publications and presentations.

For more information about the NIOSH Science Awards, including winners and nominees for all categories, visit the NIOSH website.

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 the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).