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NIOSH eNews - January, 2015

NIOSH eNews - January, 2015

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The Monthly Newsletter of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

From the Director’s Desk

John Howard, M.D., Director, NIOSH

NORA Decade Review

In 1996, NIOSH unveiled the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). NORA is a partnership program to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices. Since its inception, NORA has become a research framework for NIOSH and the nation. Diverse parties collaborate to identify the most critical issues in workplace safety and health. Partners then work together to develop goals and objectives for addressing these needs.

In 2016, NORA will celebrate 20 years of accomplishments. In 2005, the accomplishments of NORA’s first decade (1996–2005) were collected and reviewed. Currently, an evaluation of the second decade (2006–2015) is being conducted. This review is focusing on the accomplishments of the decade and progress toward meeting goals and objectives. Part of the review is the collection of input from stakeholder groups as to the strengths and weaknesses of the second decade of NORA, including general strategic approach and tactical execution of the approach. The evaluation is designed to answer three main questions: What did we do in the second decade of NORA? How well did we do it? What was the impact?

Audiences for the evaluation include funding agencies, stakeholder groups, NIOSH researchers, policy-making groups, other occupational safety and health organizations and agencies, and thought leaders. NIOSH data on intramural and extramural research activities, outputs, and impacts during the second decade of NORA will be analyzed. NIOSH program leaders and NORA sector council members will be asked to respond to questionnaires about council and program activities, effectiveness, and impacts. A NIOSH docket will open in early 2015 to accept comments and insights from the general public and from NORA partners about NORA during the second decade.

Congressman Highlights Visit to NIOSH

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa) recently visited the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory in Bruceton, Pennsylvania. While there, he met with NIOSH researchers who conduct research and evaluations on technologies that protect workers from hazardous substances in their workplace. In the wake of this year’s Ebola outbreak, the facility has placed a special focus on validating test methods and evaluating the performance of personal protective equipment used by doctors and nurses to prevent work-related exposures to the virus. Read more at http://murphy.house.gov/latest-news/enews-from-congressman-murphy128/#Focus.

New NIOSH Publication on Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers

A new NIOSH publication highlights how workers in grocery stores can reduce strains and sprains when moving materials from the delivery truck to the sales floor. Designed for retail workers and safety experts, Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers uses a series of illustrations to show how and where employees in a retail setting, such as a grocery store, would use mechanical assist devices to lift, push, or pull heavy materials—job tasks that can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Learn more at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-11-25-14.html.

NIOSH and OSHA Provide New Resource to Help Ebola Responders Prevent Fatigue

A new factsheet is now available to help healthcare workers, responders, and employers prevent work-related fatigue in tending to Ebola cases. NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) together released the document Preventing Worker Fatigue Among Ebola Healthcare Workers and Responders, which provides practical tips and resources for employers and workers involved with cases related to Ebola. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ebola/pdfs/preventingworkerfatigue

Institute of Medicine Releases Report for Healthcare Stakeholders

The Institute of Medicine Use and Effectiveness of Powered Air-Purifying Respirators in Health Care Report, published January 6, 2015, was commissioned by NIOSH in an effort to gather and compile information regarding the needs of the healthcare stakeholder. NIOSH is moving toward more contemporary approaches to updating the standard in accordance with the 1995 National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (Public Law 104-113) to address innovative technologies and contemporary applications for PAPRs. The report is being used as one of many significant inputs to revising the standards and prioritizing the performance requirements to be incorporated in the standards that are underway at this time. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/ptprogram.html#national

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