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NIOSH eNews — June

Jun 17, 2019

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

The Human Face of Artificial Intelligence

The term artificial intelligence, usually referred to as AI, first came into use in the 1956, when computer scientists began to predict that machines had the potential to be programmed to “think” and learn from experience, just like human beings. It was in the 2010s that AI became more of a reality, thanks to the availability of practically unlimited storage capacity on computers, along with faster, cheaper processing power, and a flood of big data.

Recently, many articles have been published in the popular press about various uses of AI in areas such as robotics, healthcare (e.g., to identify lung cancer from x-ray images), visual and speech recognition, and text translation.

In addition, the U.S. government’s interest in understanding the benefits and risks of AI has also increased, as highlighted in a 2018 White House Summit report . Recently, NIOSH established its own Artificial Intelligence Interest Group (AIIG) which held its inaugural meeting in May 2019. Through AIIG, NIOSH is bringing together individuals from across NIOSH to share information about how AI is being used, what successes and pitfalls come from using AI, and what new ways AI may be applied to solve problems relevant to the NIOSH mission. Read More

June is National Safety Month—Join Us in Celebrating Safety

NIOSH is once again partnering with the National Safety Council (NSC) in observing June as National Safety Month. Please join us in recognizing National Safety Month and in taking steps to improve safety in our lives and the lives of those we care about. Free resources, including posters, tip sheets, and other items, are available on the National Safety Council’s website. Follow NIOSH social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for our latest resources and information throughout June.

NIOSH Publishes Revised Method for Asbestos and Other Fibers by PCM

The NIOSH recently published a revised version of NIOSH Method 7400: Asbestos and Other Fibers by PCM in the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM). This updated method includes an alternative filter clearing procedure, an alternative mounting medium, a generic description of the phase-shift test slides, and guidance on the calculation of an expanded uncertainty budget. For more information, please contact Rosa Key-Schwartz.

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.

New Podcast Available on Case Investigations of Infectious Diseases in the Workplace

NIOSH recently published a podcast for CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases series. The podcast is based on the manuscript led by Chia-ping Su, featuring coauthors from HETAB, SB, and RHD. The manuscript, entitled Case Investigations of Infectious Diseases Occurring in Workplaces, United States, 2006–2015, was published in the March 2019 issue of Emerging Infectious Disease.

r2p Activities
  • The NIOSH Center for Occupational Robotics Research recently signed a partnership agreement with the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE), effective until May 2024. Both groups have mutual interests, laboratory facilities, and expertise conducting research in occupational robotics safety and health research. This partnership will help to further occupational robotics research by enabling collaborative research between NIOSH staff and ISE faculty, guest research appointments, and experiential learning opportunities for NCSU ISE students.
  • The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and NIOSH have renewed their partnership agreement committing to collaborate over the next five years. ASSP and NIOSH will work together to advance safety research; promote workplace implementation of research results; promote best practices and professional development opportunities in the occupational safety and health profession; encourage employers to develop and utilize safety and health management programs; and other joint ventures that advance occupational safety and health outcomes worldwide. Photo (L-R): Scott Earnest, Abay Asfaw, Frank Hearl, Jennifer McNelly, and John Howard (NIOSH); Rixio Medina and James Thornton (ASSP); and Chia-Chia Chang (NIOSH) at the signing event.