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NIOSH e-News – May 2019

May 13, 2019

NIOSH Annual Science Award Ceremony Highlights

On April 25, NIOSH held its annual Science Award Ceremony that recognizes excellence in occupational safety and health research and communication by NIOSH staff. This event is held annually on the last Thursday in April. The NIOSH laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia, hosted the event this year.

NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard Issues Annual Workers Memorial Day Statement

Workers Memorial Day, observed annually on April 28, recognizes workers who were injured, became ill, or died because of exposures to hazards at work. Each year, NIOSH Director John Howard releases a statement. This year, the statement reflects on how NIOSH is addressing worker safety around emerging technologies through its Center for Occupational Robotics Research. Dr. Howard’s statement also reflects on how NIOSH is actively addressing the opioid crisis from an occupational perspective through development of such tools as a framework that looks at workplace conditions that can be risk factors for medically prescribed opioid use becoming opioid misuse. Read the full statement here.

Follow #MySafeSummer Job for Young Workers Safety Info

NIOSH has teamed up with OSHA, CareerSafe, and others to provide workplace safety and health information and resources to employers of youth, young workers, parents, and educators with a goal of keeping young workers safe at their summer jobs. Follow along on the NIOSH Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter through mid-May. Visit the My Safe Summer Job website and the NIOSH Science Blog for materials, resources, and information.

Burden, Need, and Impact (BNI) Article Explains Need for BNI Method in Research

NIOSH Director John Howard, MD, and other NIOSH researchers recently published an article, Burden, Need and Impact: An Evidence-Based Method to Identify Worker Safety and Health Research Priorities, in the Annals of Work Exposures and Health. The article helps to explain the purpose and the need of the Burden, Need, and Impact (BNI) method for research prioritization. Learn more about how NIOSH identifies research priorities using BNI on our Burden, Need, and Impact webpage.

New Article Provides Recommendations for Keeping Law Enforcement Safe from Opioid Exposure

NIOSH Director John Howard, MD, and other NIOSH researchers published an article, Health Effects From Unintentional Occupational Exposure to Opioids Among Law Enforcement Officers: Two Case Investigations, in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. The article summarizes findings from a series of interviews with law enforcement officers who have been exposed to opioids. The article states that "while health risks from occupational exposure to drugs during law enforcement activities cannot currently be fully characterized with certainty, steps to prevent such exposures should be implemented now. The creation and implementation of appropriate controls plus education and training are both important to protecting first responders from these hazardous agents. To more fully characterize potential exposures, timely prospective toxicological evaluation of affected responders is recommended."

NIOSH Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator Update

NIOSH has released an updated version of the NIOSH Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator. In addition to a scissor lift scenario, the updated Simulator now includes a boom lift scenario. Both scissor and boom lift operators can use this free simulator to refresh their knowledge or familiarize themselves with hazards they may encounter on the job—all from the safety of a computer.

Save the Date: Safe + Sound Week: August 12–18

Once again, NIOSH, OSHA, and their partners are sponsoring Safe + Sound Week August 12–18. Safe + Sound week is a nationwide event to celebrate the successes of businesses that have implemented safety and health programs in the workplace. Every August, businesses that have implemented these programs in the workplace are invited to celebrate their safety successes and efforts to be #SafeAndSoundAtWork.

Free Webinar on Controlling Exposure to Silica Dust

A free webinar on the dangers of silica dust and how to protect workers from severe and fatal lung disease is being hosted by the NIOSH NORA Respiratory Health Cross-Sector Council, OSHA, the California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch, CPWR, and the Natural Stone Institute. This webinar will be held May 14, 2:00–3:30 p.m. (ET), and will focus on how to protect workers from inhaling silica dust.

NIOSH Offers B-Reader Course for Pulmonologists in Kentucky

NIOSH has teamed up with the Central Appalachian Regional ERC to provide a B-Reader course in Lexington, Kentucky, June 16–20. The course is open to everyone, but those in the pulmonologist community are especially encouraged to attend in hopes of increasing the number of pulmonologists who are certified B Readers in the state.

Nominations Open for the 2020 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™

Nominations will be accepted for the 2020 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award™ until July 15. The award, given by NIOSH in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association and the Council on Accreditation of Hearing Conservationists, recognizes those who demonstrate, by example, the benefits of developing or following good hearing loss prevention practices. Safe-in-Sound Award™ winning stories are shared and showcased at special award ceremonies and in press releases disseminated to the occupational health and hearing research communities.

NIOSH Joins Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing

NIOSH recently announced that it has joined Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM), the nation’s leading collaborative in robotics and workforce innovation. As a member of ARM, NIOSH will contribute its perspective on issues related to worker safety and health and research needs associated with advancing industrial applications.

Final Rule for the Removal of Compliance Deadline for Closed-Circuit Escape Respirators (CCERs) and Clarification of Post-Approval Testing Standards for CCERs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has revised regulatory language to remove a deadline by which respirator manufacturers were to have discontinued the manufacturing, labeling, and sale of certain self-contained self-rescuer models. In addition to removing the compliance deadline, HHS is also modifying regulatory language to clarify that post-approval testing of CCERs may exclude human subject testing and environmental conditioning of test samples, at the discretion of NIOSH. The entire announcement is in the April 19, 2019, Federal Register.