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NIOSH eNews - October, 2018

Oct 28, 2018

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D., Director, NIOSH

Protecting the Health of our Nation’s Coal Miners

Coal mining is an important part of the U.S. economy. In 2017, about 30% of our electricity was generated by coal-fired power plants. Coal is also used to make steel and in manufacturing many types of products. And anyone who watches the news knows how important the jobs and income provided by coal mining are to our country’s coal mining regions.

EPA Releases Major BMDS Software Upgrade with NIOSH Contributions

EPA has released its premier risk assessment software, BMDS 3.0. This major upgrade of the Benchmark Dose Software (BMDS) is cobranded with NIOSH and incorporates Bayesian Model Averaging, a technique adapted by NIOSH researcher, Matt Wheeler, for quantitative risk assessment. Bayesian Model Averaging allows the statistical modeling to account for the uncertainty inherent in selecting a “best” model to describe exposure-response data. Quantitative risk assessment is used by NIOSH to characterize risks of workplace chemical exposures and set recommended exposure limits (RELs), and by EPA to assess environmental risks. BMDS is freely available and widely used in the risk assessment community.

NIOSH Scientists and Grantees Discuss Their Work on Camera!

New videos, entitled State of the Science Research Highlights, are now available online. These short vignettes feature NIOSH scientists and extramural researchers discussing the relevance and outcomes of their studies. Look at these exciting highlights, and please share with others in your professional networks.

National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) Preregistration Deadline

The last day to preregister for the 7th National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) is October 5. Registration is free. If you miss the preregistration deadline, you can register onsite. The symposium will be in Morgantown, West Virginia, at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place on October 16–18.

New Motor Vehicle Safety Resources Available

The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety recently published three new motor vehicle resources:

    • NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety Fact Sheet – Did you know that the NIOSH is the only part of the U.S. federal government whose mission includes preventing crashes and the resulting injuries for all workers, not just a specific worker group?
    • Vehicle Safety Program GIF – Learn four steps to build a workplace motor vehicle safety program. This animated image (GIF) from NIOSH will play in PowerPoint, on Twitter, and on electronic message boards.
  • Driver GIF – Who’s at risk of a work-related crash? This animated GIF from NIOSH will play in PowerPoint, on Twitter, and on electronic message boards.

Upcoming NIOSH Webinars

Overlapping Vulnerabilities in the Aging Workforce 
On October 30 from 12–1:30pm ET, the NIOSH Total Worker Health® Webinar Series, in conjunction with the National Center for Productive Aging and Work, presents the next installment in the Productive Aging and Work annual webinar series: Overlapping Vulnerabilities in the Aging Workforce. Free continuing education for this activity is available. Register now to attend via Adobe Connect.

New Insights into the Opioid Crisis and Work: Important Information for Workers and Employers 
On November 6 from 1–2:30pm ET, the NIOSH Total Worker Health® Webinar Series presents a webinar focused on new research at the important intersection of work and the nation’s opioid crisis. Speakers will explore critical insights into potential work-related risk factors for opioid misuse, the latest data on opioid overdose by industry and occupation, and primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention methods and interventions. Register now to attend via Adobe Connect.

WTC Health Program Seeks Nominations for the Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee

The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program is requesting nominations for candidates to serve on the Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). Appointments to the STAC are for up to 3 years. The Administrator of the WTC Health Program, based on program needs, determines the frequency of committee meetings. Nominations are due by November 16, 2018. Further information on nomination categories or how to submit nominations is available in the Federal Register announcement.

New Resources for Hurricane Response Workers

    • The NIOSH key message document for emergency response and recovery workers, employers, and volunteers has been updated. This document has information on how to work safely and avoid hazards such as carbon monoxide, mold, and heat stress that they may face in the aftermath of a hurricane. The key messages are available in multiple languages on the NIOSH Storm Flood and Hurricane Response webpage.

In Memoriam: Dr. Marvin Mills

NIOSH was saddened to learn of the death of former friend and colleague Dr. Marvin DeMond Mills Sr. who passed away on September 3. Marvin came to NIOSH in 1989 as an Education Specialist. By that summer, he started the first internship class at NIOSH for minority college students. Throughout his career, Marvin established programs that nurtured and mentored young professionals and minority students in occupational health.