Construction Ergonomics Paper Among 2008 Hamilton Award Winners

NIOSH on May 1 announced the winners of the 2008 Alice Hamilton Awards, a high honor named for the woman who is considered one of the founders of occupational health as a discipline.

"Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Construction Workers" (www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-122/pdfs/2007-122-full.pdf) was published in August 2007 and was written by James T. Albers of the NIOSH Division of Applied Research and Technology and Cheryl F. Estill of the NIOSH Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies. It notes that construction is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States, with back injuries occurring at a rate 50 percent higher than the average for all other U.S. industries in 1999. Sections of the document cover simple solutions for typical construction activities that cause MSDs, such as tying rebar for road construction, hand drywall finishing, overhead work, smoothing wet concrete, lifting windows and panels into place, lifting heavy loads, hand-wearying tools, moving concrete-filled hoses, cutting sheet metal, and using tools that require stooping. Each section includes costs, benefits, and resources for more information.

Other 2008 Hamilton winners were:

Biological Sciences Category: "Inhalation of Toluene Diisocyanate Vapor Induces Allergic Rhinitis in Mice," authors Johnson VJ, Yucesoy B, Reynolds JS, Fluharty K, Wang W, Richardson D, Luster MI, Journal of Immunology 179: 1864-1871, 2007; "Effect of Short-Term Stainless Steel Welding Fume Inhalation Exposure on Lung Inflammation, Injury, and Defense Response in Rats," authors Antonini JM, Stone S, Roberts JR, Chen B, Schwegler-Berry D, Afshari AA, Frazer DG, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 223: 234-245, 2007.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Category: "Explosion Pressure Design Criteria for New Seals in U.S. Coal Mines," authors Zipf RK Jr., Sapko MJ, Brune JF, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2007-144.

Human Studies Category: "Follow-Up Study of Chrysotile Textile Workers: Cohort Mortality and Exposure-Response", authors Hein MJ, Stayner LT, Lehman E, Dement JM; "Development of a Fiber Size-Specific Job-Exposure Matrix for Airborne Asbestos Fibers," authors Dement JM, Kuempel E, Zumwalde R, Smith R, Stayner L, Loomis D.; and "An Epidemiologic Study of the Role of Chrysotile Asbestos Fiber Dimensions in Determining Respiratory Disease Risk in Exposed Workers," authors Stayner LT, Kuempel E, Gilbert S, Hein M, Dement J.

The Hamilton Awards for Occupational Safety and Health recognize scientific excellence of technical and instructional materials by NIOSH scientists and engineers in these areas. Outside panels of experts review the papers.

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