jueves, 22 de septiembre de 2016

NIOSH Research Rounds September 2016

NIOSH Research Rounds September 2016


In This Issue

Demonstration Project Retrofits 50 NIOSH Cost-effective Rollover Protective Structures

A tractor chugging across a peaceful country field may look harmless but is, in fact, the main cause of occupation-related deaths among farmworkers. Most of these deaths occur when the tractor tips or rolls over, ejecting or crushing its occupant. In ongoing efforts to protect at-risk farmworkers, particularly youth, investigators at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently undertook a demonstration project on how to retrofit an older model tractor with an engineering control called the cost-effective rollover protective structure, or CROPS, a type of rollover protective structure developed by NIOSH engineers. Working with two state partners, the demonstration project successfully retrofitted 50 tractors with a CROPS. These efforts, along with participants’ attitudes toward rollover protective structures, are described in a recent report in the Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. The demonstration project was part of a longstanding program of NIOSH partnerships with manufacturers, farmers, and state agencies to address challenges in retrofitting older tractors with rollover protective structures and encourage their use.

Study Correlates Indium in Workplace Air with Respiratory Health Effects

In our reliance on modern technology, previously obscure chemical compounds are making their way into the manufacturing mainstream. One of these compounds is indium-tin oxide (ITO), used to make products such as flat-panel displays, touch screens, solar panels, energy-efficient windows, and many others. Although these high-tech products may benefit the consumer, a growing body of research indicates workers making and reclaiming products containing ITO are at risk for indium lung disease. Studies describe this as a serious and potentially fatal condition that can progress from early filling of the lung’s air sacs with fluid to later lung scarring and emphysema. Indium can be detected in the blood of ITO workers, and workers with higher concentrations of indium in the blood appear to be at greater risk.

Improved Fire Simulation Aids Training for Mine Emergencies

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a leading cause of death in underground mine fires. To identify safe emergency escape routes, investigators at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), where mine worker safety and health is a research priority, study how to predict the spread of smoke and toxic gases throughout the mine’s ventilation network. Depending on the size of the mine, this vast network can comprise hundreds to thousands of junctions and airways. One way to predict the spread of deadly toxins is through computer programs that simulate a fire in a virtual underground mine.

Work Process Classification System Identifies Hazardous Fishing Tasks by Vessel Gear Type

Seafood is part of a healthy diet, but for the fishermen who harvest the catch work presents many hazards. In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States fishing industry is one of the most dangerous in the country, with a fatality rate 35 times higher than the national average. This number, however, does not account for nonfatal injuries. Nonfatal injuries constitute the majority of all occupational injuries and can result in lowered productivity, lost wages, lowered quality of life, and disability.

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