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NIOSH eNews - December 2019

Dec 08, 2019

From the Director's Desk

John Howard, M.D., Director, NIOSH
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the invention of the hard hat. The hard hat is one of the most recognizable pieces of safety equipment in the world. Hard hats were first worn by construction workers beginning in the 1920s. Over the years, hard hats have come to symbolize the strength of the construction industry and its workers. Read More

Research Rounds

Inside NIOSH: Information Framework Helps Inform First Responders

When a pipe in a chemical-manufacturing facility broke, a highly flammable chemical spilled out and started a fire, killing three workers and injuring several others. Following guidelines for the specific type of chemical, emergency responders not only extinguished the fire, but also evacuated approximately 2,000 residents from the surrounding area.

As this case study shows, we depend upon first responders to know how to protect us during a chemical spill or other emergency involving hazardous materials. Each emergency, however, can present a unique challenge to first responders, who may not have experience with every type of hazardous material. In these cases, information-gathering skills are critical to a quick and effective response, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Emergency Management.

Outside NIOSH:

Manufacturing Workers With Eldercare Demands Report More Stress

Manufacturing workers who care for older relatives reported more stress and other problems than workers without these eldercare demands, according to a NIOSH-funded study published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology.

While childcare demands are well recognized as possible causes of work-family conflict, eldercare demands are increasingly the focus of research. Recently, researchers at the University of Connecticut looked at how eldercare demands affected workers. Researchers defined “eldercare” as helping an adult aged 65 years or older because of disability or illness, and they characterized “demands” as persistent, past, newly acquired, or none. Read More


NIOSH Seeks Deputy Director for Respiratory Heath Division

NIOSH is looking for a Supervisory Research Physician (Status Candidates), Industrial Hygienist (Status Candidates), or Health Scientist (Status Candidates) to serve as the Division Deputy Director of the NIOSH Respiratory Health Division in Morgantown, West Virginia. This position will provide technical direction and administrative oversight to broad research, public health surveillance, and service portfolio in work-related respiratory health, leading to advances in preventing occupational respiratory disease and improving workers’ respiratory health. The vacancy closes December 17.

Follow NIOSH for Winter Safety Tips for Workers

Winter is almost here! Now is the time to take precautions and make sure workers are prepared to stay safe and healthy while working in the cold or in cold environments. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest resources all winter long. #workingincold

Funding Available to Study Use of Robotics in the Workplace

NIOSH in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and others, announced funding available to study workplace use of collaborative robots (co-robots). The December 2, announcement calls for proposals for the National Robotics Initiative 2.0 (NRI 2.0). NIOSH seeks fundamental and applied research on co-robots for reducing workplace risk exposures, research to identify potential risks of co-robots to workers, and research to evaluate different control strategies. The proposal submission window is February 12-26, 2020. More information is available on the NSF web site.

NIOSH and the U.S. Coast Guard Announce 2020 Commercial Fishing Safety Research and Training Grants

Six million dollars in funding is now available to support both research on improving the occupational safety of workers in the commercial fishing industry, as well as critical training for this high-risk occupation. The fishing safety research and training grants will provide up to 50% of an organization’s costs, ranging from $150–$650 thousand per grant over a two-year funding period. In 2019, nine research and training projects were awarded $5.25 million in funding. The research and training grant funding opportunities are listed as RFA-OH-20-002 and RFA-OH-20-003, respectively. The deadline to apply for both grants is January 21, 2020.

Special Issue on Health and Safety in the Fishing, Aquaculture, and Seafood Processing Industries Available

The Journal of Agromedicine recently published a special issue dedicated to papers presented at and inspired by the Fifth International Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference (IFISH 5). The special issue continues the discussion started at IFISH 5 on the effects of fisheries management policy on health and safety, the state of the science in aquaculture, the health effects of bioaerosols in seafood processing, and many other practical and relevant solutions for improving safety and health in these high-risk industries. As editor of the special issue, Jennifer M. Lincoln, Co-Director of the NIOSH Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies, contributed an editorial on the importance of IFISH and future directions for the conference.

Monthly Features


This monthly e-newsletter is published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to inform members of the occupational safety and health community, including partners, employers, workers, and other stakeholders, of NIOSH-related news, new publications, and updates on programs, research, and initiatives.

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