SHHS Contributor Organizations

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSHThe Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established NIOSH as a research agency focused on the study of worker safety and health, and empowering employers and workers to create safe and healthy workplaces. NIOSH is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It has the mandate to assure “every man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” NIOSH has more than 1,300 employees from a diverse set of fields including epidemiology, medicine, nursing, industrial hygiene, safety, psychology, chemistry, statistics, economics, and many branches of engineering.

Learn more about NIOSH.

 

General History

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established NIOSH as a research agency focused on the study of worker safety and health, and empowering employers and workers to create safe and healthy workplaces. NIOSH is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It has the mandate to assure “every man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” NIOSH has more than 1,300 employees from a diverse set of fields including epidemiology, medicine, nursing, industrial hygiene, safety, psychology, chemistry, statistics, economics, and many branches of engineering

NIOSH Charter, Mission, Vision

(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/about/default.html)

Mission

To develop new knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health and to transfer that knowledge into practice.

 

 

Values

  • Relevance – NIOSH programs are responsive to burden today’s and tomorrow’s workers.
  • Quality – NIOSH utilizes only the best science, the highest level of data quality, and the most transparent and independent peer review.
  • Partnership – NIOSH qccomplishes our misssion in partnership with industry, workers, governments, academic, and scientific and professional communities, both nationally and internationally.
  • Transparency – NIOSH openly shares information about our work processes and our customers can obtain all NIOSH products and services through traditional, electronic, and mobile sources.
  • Impact – NIOSH programs are results-oriented and are evaluated by how well they solve the occupational safety and health problems found in today’s workplaces and the workplaces of tomorrow.
  • Diversity – NIOSH employees and contractors reflect the full spectrum of diversity found in the American workforce and our research and interventions reflect the diversity of solutions needed for the American workplace.

Mission Goals and Objectives (2016-2020)

  • Goal 1: Conduct research to reduce worker illness and injury, and to advance worker well-being.
    • Track work-related hazards, exposures, illnesses and injuries for prevention.
    • Generate new knowledge through intramural and extramural research programs.
    • Develop innovative solutions for difficult-to-solve problems in high-risk industrial sectors.
  • Goal 2: Promote safe and healthy workers through interventions, recommendations and capacity building.
    • Enhance the relevance and utility of recommendations and guidance.
    • Transfer research findings, technologies and information into practice.
    • Build capacity to address traditional and emerging hazards.
  • Goal 3: Enhance worker safety and health through global collaborations.
    • Take a leadership role to share knowledge and best practices.
    • Provide workplace illness and injury reduction strategies.
    • Build professional capacity to address workplace hazards through information sharing and research experience.

    History Timeline & Milestones

    1970-1980

    Directors

    • Marcus Key, M.D. (1971-1975)
    • John Finklea, M.D. (1975-1978)
    • Anthony Robbins, M.D. (1978-1981)

    Historic Milestones

    1970

    • OSH Act created NIOSH

    1971

    • First Criteria Document on Asbestos
    • First Toxic Substances List

    1973

    • NIOSH transferred to CDC from Health Service & Mental Health Administration
    • Creation of NIOSHTIC

    1974

    • NIOSH/OSHA Standards Completion Progral was the basis for 387 new standards, immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) values and the Pocket Guide

    1975

    • First Current Intelligence Bulletin published, (chloroprene, trichloroethylene, ethylene dibromide, asbestos (during brake and clutch work), hexamethylphoshoric triamide, polychlorinated biphenyls)

    1977

    • First nine Eduation and Research Centers Portfolio (ERC)s were awarded (Harvard, U. Cincinnati, Johns Hopkins, U. Texas Houston, U. Minnesota, U. North Carolina, U. Washin gton Seattle, U. Illinois Chicago, and U.Arizona)
    • Courts affirm authority to enter workplaces,k examine medical records, and disseminate research findings
    • NIOSH publishes Occupational Diseases: A Guide to Their Recognition

    1978

    • NIOSH/OSHA Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards first published

    1980

    • First State-based occupational health cooperative agreements

    1981-1991

    Director

    J. Donald Millar, M.D. (1981-1993)

    Historic Milestones
    1984

    • First meeting of the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors (BSe)
    • 1985
    • On the 15th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) issued a report concluding that the Act had led to the reduction of exposures to vinyl chloride, cotton dust, and lead

    1986

    • NIOSH reIeases the Proposed National Strategies for the Prevention of Leading Work-Related Diseases and Injuries (Top Ten Work-related Diseases and Injuries)
    • NIOSH, OSHA, and EPA establish the ONE Committee to coordinate the agencies’ research efforts
    • Collaboration with ILO International Program on Chemical Safety to establish peer reviewed hazard communication cards (International Chemical Safety Cards)

    1987

    • Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk (SENSOR) program established at NIOSH
    • NIOSH publishes landmark studies showing hazards of vermiculite from Libby, MT

    1989

    • The Alice Hamilton Award for Excellence in Science in Occupational Safety and Health was initiated
    • Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) program and State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program established

    1990

    • Centers for Agricultural Disease and Knjury Research, Education, and Prevention established

    1991

    • NIOSH issues Current Intelligence Bulletin on environmental tobacco smoke in the workplace

    1992-Present

    Directors

    • Linda Rosenstock, M.D. (1994-2000)
    • John Howard, M.D, (2002-2008, 2009 – Present)

    Historic Milestones

    1996

    • NIOSH website launched
    • National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) established
    • NIOSH issues findings and recommendations for preventing workplace homicides and assaults

    1997

    • Mine safety research transferred to NIOSH following the elimination of the U.S. Bureau of Mines
    • NIOSH issues Engineering Control Guidelines for Hot Mix Asphalt Pavers – this represents a new paradigm for conducting research by developing a partnership between labor, industry, and government
    • Latex Alert issued Preventing allergic reactions to natural rubber latex in the workplace

    1999

    • NIOSH issues recommendations for preventing job-related stress
    • NIOSH issues recommendations for preventing work-related needlestick injuries

    2001

    • NIOSH provides technical assistance for responder safety and health in the World Trade Center rescue and recovery
    • NIOSH en Espanol Web site launched
    • NIOSH eNews debuts

    2004

    • Research to Practice (r2p) initiative established

    2005

    • NIOSH provides technical and humanitarian assistance after Hurricane Katrina

    2006

    • Second decade of NORA begins
    • NIOSH partnered with SKC Inc. To commercialize two low-cost, NIOSH-designed field methods to help first responders, public health officials, and remediation workers quickly detect the presence of methamphetamine on various environmental surfaces

    2007

    • NIOSH Science Blog debuts

    2009

    • NIOSH publishes a literature review and critical analysis of Qualitative Risk Characterization and Management of Occupational Hazards: Control Banding (CB)

    2010

    • NIOSH provides technical assistance for responder safety and health in the Deepwater Horizon containment and cleanup

    2011

    • World Trade Center Health Program established

    Biographies of NIOSH Directors

      John Howard, M.D. (2002-2008, 2009-Present)

      NIOSH Biography

      (Written circa 2009)

      Dr. John Howard is currently serving as a distinguished consultant in the Public Health Law Program at CDC. Dr. Howard was the sixth Director of NIOSH and served in this capacity from 2002 to 2008. Prior to joining NIOSH, Dr. Howard provided outstanding service as the Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health in California’s Department of Industrial Relations. His work there was hailed as one of the most proactive health and safety programs.

      Dr. Howard exemplifies the Keogh Award’s goal of outstanding service in occupational safety and health through his leadership and efforts to make the nation’s primary investment in occupational safety and health information, research, and guidance more relevant to workers and employers in the U.S. and around the world. During his tenure at NIOSH, Dr. Howard was tireless in his desire to improve the relevance, impact, and stakeholder responsiveness of NIOSH research through strong and effective partnerships with labor and industry. He was highly instrumental in fostering partnerships that support and participate in achieving these goals. He was a champion of strong research to practice efforts in order t()assure that NIOSH research is translated into meaningful advances for workers. He continually anticipated the needs of workers. For example, he was one of the first people in the world to identify and move:!to address the occupational hazards associated with nanotechnology. Dr. Howard also supported the development of a major initiative to design out hazards when designing tools, processes, and structures. This Prevention through Design Initiative is a seven year national effort involving a wide range of partners from industry, labor, academia, government, and others to institutionalize the concept of thinking about worker health and safety in any design. Dr. Howard promoted a broad inclusionary view bringing all stakeholders into the dialog to solve workplace safety and health problems, supported the focus on the Hispanic workforce and the need to target programs to vulnerable populations, and strongly promoted a global view towards occupational safety and health. Workers around the world have benefitted from his leadership.

      The changes directed bv Dr, Howard have resulted in an increased focus of information to prevent work-related disease and injury. His efforts have affected workers by ensuring the priorities of NIOSH align with the most important issues concerning worker safety and health. Dr. Howard’s commitment to occupational safety and health has been amply demonstrated by his work at high levels of government. Throughout his career, he has made state and federal institutions more responsive to the needs of workers through ongoing systemic changes in research, policy, and practice.

      Linda Rosenstock, M.D. (1994-2000)

      NIOSH Biography

      (circa 2011)

      Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H., is Dean of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCA), School of Public Health and Associate Dean of the UCA School of Medicine. She holds academic appointments as Professor of Medicine and Environmental Health Sciences.

      After receiving an A.B. in psychology from Brandeis University, Dr. Rosenstock earned her M.D. and M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University in 1977. She was Chief Resident in Primary Care Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, as well as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. She began her career in 1982 as a faculty member of the University of Washington, becoming full professor in 1993 in the Departments of Medicine and Environmental Health. She also served as the director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic at

      Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and the director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program at the University of Washington.

      In 1994, Dr. Rosenstock was appointed as the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. During her six-year tenure, she created the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), a national framework in which more than 500 partners identified research priorities in occupational safety and health in the country. For her accomplishments at NIOSH, she received the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award in 2000, the highest Senior Executive Service award.

      The leadership and expertise of Dr. Rosenstock is widely recognized nationally and internationally. An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, she is on the Planning Committee of the Interest Group on Environmental and Occupational Health and chairs the committee on Preventive Services for Women. In January, she was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. She is a member of the International Climate and Health Council and the International Commission on Occupational Health and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

      Wikipedia Article Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Rosenstock

       

      Linda Rosenstock is a public health specialist and administrator”.  She served as the director for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health from 1994 through2000and has been the dean of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health since 2000.

      Early career

      Linda Rosenstock was born in New York City In 1950. She studied psychology, receiving an A.B. from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She continued her education at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she studied medicine and public health simultaneously. In 1977 she received her M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

      With both an M.D. and M.P.H., Rosenstock opted to emphasize public health over clinical health, expressing a desire reach as many people as possible. She articulated this decision later, saying “Who wouldn’t want to improve health for thousands or millions at-a time?

      Rosenstock began post-graduate training at the University of Washington, completing her residency in 1980. She continued on at the university as a chief resident in primary care internal medicine. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from 1980 to 1982. In 1993, Rosen stock attained the rank of full professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington, and professor in the Department of Environmental Health in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Over this time, she published numerous articles and three books. From 1993 to 1994, Rosen stock chaired the United Auto Workers/General Motors Occupational Health Advisory Board.

      Director of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

      In 1994 Dr. Rosenstock was named director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Washington, D.C. She led a staff of 1,500 at the only federal agency with a mandate to undertake research and prevention activities in occupational safety and health. However, after only six months in the position, Rosen stock was threatened with the dissolution of the Institute. The 104th Congress attempted to dismantle NIOSH in 1995, though it was ultimately unsuccessful. Following this threat, NIOSH’s responsibilities, staff, and budget grew.

      NORA

      As director of NIOSH, Rosentock was instrumental in creating the National Occupational Research Agenda, a framework for guiding occupational safety and health research. She led this effort, which involved hundreds of external partners, to identify pressing workplace health risks and to collaborate among the partners to address them. During Rosenstock’s tenure, NIOSH acquired the health and safety functions of the former Bureau of Mines and its staff of 400 in the Pittsburgh and Spokane research centers. Rosenstock emphasized practical recommendations, including new NIOSH respirator testing and certification requirements and the use of engineering controls in industry.

      Awards

      For her work at NIOSH, Rosenstock received the Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award, the government’s highest executive service award! Additionally, the institute’s successes were honored by Vice President Gore with a Hammer Award for excellence in reinventing government.

      J. Donald Millar, M.D. (1981-1993)

      Wikipedia Article Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Donald_Millar

      John Donald Millar (February 27, 1934 – August 30,.2015) was a physician and public health administrator who rose to prominence as the director of the National Institute for Occupational ‘Safety and Health from 1981 through 1993 . .:;

      Education

      Donald Millar was born February 27, 1934, in Newport News, Virginia, to Dorothea (nee Smith) and John Millar. Donald attended the University of Richmond, earning a B.S. in chemistry in 1956. He continued his education at the Medical College of Virginia. in 1957, he married Joan Phillips and two years later he completed his M.D. He completed his residency at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

      Millar began working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1961. Beginning in 1963 he directed CDC’s Smallpox Eradication Program and its predecessors, an effort he led until 1970. In 1972, while Chief of the CDC Venereal Disease Control Program, he famously said of the Tuskegee long-term study of untreated syphilis in African Americans, “They were not denied drugs, rather, they were not offered drugs.” In 1966, he was awarded a D.T.P.H. (Lond.) – a degree equivalent to a Master’s of Public Health degree in the United States – from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

      Early Career

      Millar began working for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health under then-director John Finklea. Finklea was the Institute’s second director. Since taking over the head spot in 1975 from Dr. Marcus M. Key, Finklea had tried to change the Institute’s direction, taking a more aggressive approach than Key had. Finklea began to feel pressure to resign from stakeholders inside and outside of the organization. He resigned abruptly in March, 1978, which left Millar as NIOSH’s acting director. Millar held the post, sorting out conflicts within the Institute, until Anthony Robbins was appointed director 1979. Following Robbins’s appointment, Millar was hired as the director of the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH). He served in that capacity until Robbins resigned in 1981. Millar was appointed in his place as director of NIOSH, a position he held untiI1993.

      NIOSH Director

      In his more than decade as director of NIOSH, Millar established the Institute as a mature organization. He expanded NIOSH’s focus beyond chemical hazards, an area which had consumed the attention of his predecessors. He led studies concerning such varied topics as vibration syndrome (caused by vibrating tools such as pneumatic hammers and gasoline chain saws); electrocution from metal ladders being too near power lines; and occupational fatalities in confined spaces. His approach to occupational safety was typified by his manner of addressing tractor roll overs, which he referred to as an “occupational obscenity”. He advocated the use of a rollover protective structure (ROPS) on every tractor in use, saying, “There is no scientific excuse for the persistence of this problem. This is something we know how to prevent.”

      In addition to his work at NIOSH, Millar chaired the executive committee of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) from 1989 to 1993. He maintained an adjunct professorship of occupational and environmental health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta (1989-1998). He served on a panel of occupational health experts for the World Health Organization, and he continued his efforts to eradicate smallpox. In 1987, he was presented with the Gorgas Medal from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS).

      For his work, Dr. Millar has been twice honored with the Distinguished Service Medal (1983 and 1989), highest honor bestowed by the United States Public Health Service. He was named Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, London (U.K.). He received the William S. Knudsen Award from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine for “outstanding contributions to occupational medicine.” In 1993, Millar was given the William Steiger Memorial Award from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, the Health Watch Award for “outstanding contributions toward improving the health of minority populations”, and the Surgeon General’s Medallion for “exceptional skill and fortitude.

      Workplace Health Consultant

      Millar retired from NIOSH and the US Public Health Service with the rank of Rear Admiral in 1993, turning his directorship over to Linda Rosen stock. He started a consulting company in 1993, Don Millar & Associates, Inc., in Murrayville, GA. As president of the company, Millar provided his services in the occupational and environmental health industry. He chaired several scientific panels and workshops, and served as vice chairman of the Public Health Policy Advisory Board (PHPAB}, a Washington “think-tank” fostering science-based public health policy. He also served on editorial and advisory boards of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

      Anthony Robbins, M.D. (~1978-1981)

      TBD

      John Finklea, M.D. (1975-1978)

      Wikipedia Article Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John Finklea

      John F. (Jack) Finklea was a physician, professor, researcher, and public health administrator notable for his leadership at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

      Background

      John Finklea, a native of Florence, South Carolina, earned his B.S. from Davidson College at Davidson, N.C., and M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina. He also received master’s and doctorate degrees in public health from the University of Michigan. Finklea began his medical career as a physician and a professor at a series of medical schools. His interest in public health took root as he researched air pollution health hazards for the Federal government.

      EPA

      From 1970 through 1974, Finklea served as head to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Research Laboratory in Durham, N.C. At the EPA, Finklea gained a reputation as an agitator (according to Business Week) for controversial research on the health effects of atmospheric sulfates from power plants. The research connected sulfur dioxide emissions to acid rain, a conclusion that rankled many in the power industry. He opposed the use of catalytic converters to control auto emissions because of their adverse environmental impact, a stand that directly conflicted with EPA policy. These controversies put pressure on Finklea to resign, which he did at the end of 1974.

      Appointment as Director of NIOSH

      Finklea took over as director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ln April, 1975. He replaced Dr. Marcus M. Key, the Institute’s first director. Following Key’s resignation, deputy director Edward Baier had served as acting director and many within the Institute expected Baier to be appointed to the post. Finklea took over NIOSH in the midst of Congressional complaints that NIOSH was too soft on industry, industry claims that NIOSH’s research was sloppy, and organized labor accusations that NIOSH was overly slow in sharing important health data.

      Finklea worked to accelerate health hazard research, especially in the chemical industry. Over Finklea’s tenure, NIOSH identified 65 potentially dangerous substances found at job sites, as compared to the 23 such warnings issued during the first four years of NIOSH’s existence. Within months of his appointment, Finklea had NIOSH issuing a steady stream of alerts on toxic substances.

      Dr. Finklea had the reputation, which he had earned, of knowing everything that ‘was going on in NIOSH research. When he was doing his quarterly “rounds” in Morgantown and Cincinnati, he would often stop random people and ask them where they worked. When they told him, he would tell them what project they worked on and how they were doing. He was a “hands-on” administrator, and he was missed when he left NIOSH.

      Chemical Identification

      Under Finklea’s leadership, NIOSH issued a register of 100 chemical compounds considered potential carcinogens. He encouraged co-operation between NIOSH, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration {OSHA}, chemical process companies in the effort. His was one of several voices working to increase awareness for birth defects, miscarriages, and other reproduction-related problems stemming from chemical and radiological exposure. Additionally, Finklea called on Congress to adopt toxic substances legislation related to carcinogenic pesticides and Kepone in particular.

      Resource Constraints

      Finklea suggested that NIOSH did not have the resources to fully execute its mandate. For the millions of workers who Finklea claimed were at risk, NIOSH “would require the combined efforts of all government agencies involved in evaluating or regulating substances to which workers are exposed. He was forced to drop a number of projects because of budget and workforce constraints, among them a study of workplace stress.

      With NIOSH’s limited resources, Finklea chose to direct the researchers under him toward the completion of criteria documents-scientific literature surveys that determine the relative dangers of workplace substances. Preparation of the documents accounted for over 40% of NIOSH’s budget.

      Departure

      After nearly three years as its director, John Finklea abruptly resigned. He did not publicly announce the departure or offer any specific reason. The Washington Post speculated that Finklea had been under pressure to resign because of what it called, “bureaucratic feuding”. Finklea served temporarily as a special assistant to William Foege, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His spot as direct was filled by J. Donald Millar, who described NIOSH at that time as being afflicted with “alienation and conflict”.

      Marcus Key, M.D. (1971-1975)

      Wikipedia Article Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus M. Key

      Marcus M. Key is a public health administrator and practitioner who served as the first director for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, signed by President Richard Nixon, gave new responsibilities to the Department pfHealth, Education, and Welfare (HEW), including the mandate to perform research on occupational safety and health.problems, hazard evaluation, toxicity determinations, manpower development and training.

      The Act established in the establishment of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Marcus M. Key was appointed as the new Institute’s first director. Previously Key had been the Assistant Surgeon General and director of the Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health. At NIOSH, Key oversaw 475 employees and worked with an initial budget of $17.8 million.

      In 1974, B.F. Goodrich Chemical Company contacted NIOSH concerning deaths and illnesses in its Louisville factory. After a coordinated investigation, Key issued recommendations for exposure limits to vinyl chloride. His published recommendation suggested that vinyl chloride used in the factory resulted in four fatalities from angiosarcoma of liver. By 1975, Dr. Key had resigned as director and was eventually replaced by John Finklea, who had overseen the Environmental Protection Agency’s national laboratory in Durham, N.C.

      NIOSH “Wall of Honor”

      Individuals identified as being significant in NIOSH history are listed below.  Select the individual name to read their background history and contribution to the profession.

        Alice Hamilton, MD, (February 27, 1869 - September 22,1970)

        (Source: https//www.cdc.gov/niosh/awards/hamilton/hamhist.html)

        Many of the first laws and regulations passed to improve the health of workers were the direct result of the work of one dedicated and talented woman, Alice Hamilton, MD. Born into a prominent family in Indiana (her sister is the well-known classicist, Edith Hamilton), Dr. Hamilton graduated from medical school at the University of Michigan in 1893. After accepting a teaching position at the Women’s Medical School of Northwestern University in 1897, she moved into Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago. There she opened a well-baby clinic for poor families in the local settlement house neighborhood. As she acquainted herself with the families, she learned of their pains, strange deaths, lead palsy, “wrist drop,” and of of widowed women. Encouraged by the reformers of Hull House, she began to apply her medical knowledge to these social problems and thus began her scientific inquiry into occupational health for which she became known.

        Dr. Hamilton quickly realized that while some progress in understanding occupational illness and disease was being made in Europe, little was written or understood about occupational disease conditions in the U.S. In 1908, she published one of the first articles on occupational disease in this country and was soon a recognized expert on the topic. Starting in 1910, under the sponsorship initially of a commission of the State of Illinois, and later the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, she considered a series of brilliant explorations of occupational toxic disorders. Relying primarily on “shoe leather epidemiology” and the emerging laboratory science of toxicology, she pioneered occupational epidemiology and industrial hygiene in the U.S. Her findings were so scientifically persuasive that they caused sweeping reforms, both voluntarily and regulator, to improve the health of workers.

        In 1919, Dr. Hamilton was appointed Assistant Professor of Industrial Medicine at Harvard Medical School and became the first female faculty member at Harvard University. There she served two terms on the Health Committee of the League of Nations. When she retired from Harvard at the age of sixty-six, she became a consultant to the U.S. Division of Labor Standards and served as President of the National Consumers League.

        Alice Hamilton Laboratory for Occupational Safety and Health

        On Friday, Februay 27, 1987, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health dedicated its facility located at 5555 Ridge Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio, to the memory of Alice Hamilton, M.D. The facility will be known as the “Alice Hamilton Laboratory for Occupational Safety and Health” in honor of the first American physician to devote her professional Life to the practice of occupational health.

        Construction of this facility began in the fall of 1952 and was completed in November 1954. For several years it was used as the world headquarters and manufacturing plant of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). In this facility, “ldent-o-Tags,” miniature license plates for key chains, were manufactured by disabled veterans for distribution throughout the United States.

        In the early 1960’s, a portion of the facility was leased to the Federal Government to provide space for a small number of Federal employees. From the early 1960’s to the early 1970’s more and more of the facility was used by the Federal Government, until by 1973, the entire building was leased for Federal offices and laboratories. In September of 1974, the first employees of NIOSH were assigned to space in the facility. In December 1982, the U.S. Public Health Service purchased the facility for three and one-half million dollars. It now houses the Division of Physical Science and Engineering and the Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies. Over 200 people are at work here in engineering, epidemiology, general administration, industrial hygiene, and laboratory research. The facility contains some of the most advanced laboratories and sophisticated scientific equipment in the Institute.

        Edward W. Bullard

        Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/awards/bullard-sherwood/default.html

        Edward W. Bullard designed the first “hard hat” as protective headgear for rnirters. He combined his experience with doughboy Army helmets during World War I and his understanding of customer needs to develop the “Hard Boiled Hat.” The name was derived from the use of steam during the hat manufacturing process. Joseph Strauss, the engineer in charge of constructing the Golden Gate Bridge, requested that Mr. Bullard adapt his mineworker helmet to help protect Bridge workers from falling rivets. The Bridge site became the first designated “Hard Hat Construction Area.” In related history, the steel used in building of the Bridge oxidized during transport to San Francisco from Pennsylvania, and therefore required sandblasting before it could be painted. As a result, Mr. Bullard designed and sold another helmet to the sandblasting workers. This helmet was similar to the Hard Boiled Hat but included a hood or “canopy” over the hat, a window to see through, and supplied air for respiratory protection in its design. Tody, approximately six million hard hats, also know as “skull buckets,” are sold annually throughout the world to protect workers. Bullard’s family-owned company, new entering its fifth generation, still produces many of those hard hats as well as more modern sandblasting helmets.

        R. Jeremy (Jerry) Sherwood

        Source: From https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/awards/bullard-sherwood/default.html

        R. Jeremy (Jerry) Sherwood successfully merged research and industrial hygiene by inventing the first practical personal sampling pump in the late 1950s. He identified a need for sampling pumps that could b worn by workers and not impede their processes. Until then, sampling was done on an area basis or an industrial hygienist followed a worker while carrying heavy, bulky, and short-term sampling equipment. Using the newly developed personal sampling pump, he demonstrated that area sampling often severely underestimated worker exposures. Within a few years of the invention, personal sampling pumps became the staple in industrial hygiene work that they are today. He also developed a miniature sampler for sulfur dioxide which became commercially available and was widely used throughout Europe. His research on repirators led to the first fit testing. While at the International Labour Organization and later at the World Health Organization, Mr. Sherwood put his own knowledge and research experiences into practice by training other in occupational safety and health, particularly in develping countries. This became one of his greatest passions and many workers around the world have benefitted from his efforts.

        Charles C. Shepard

        Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/awards/shephard/default.html

        Dr. Charles C. Shepard, an internationally recognized microbiologist whose career was marked by a pursuit of scientific excellence. Dr. Shepard served as chief of the Leprosy and Rickettsia Branch at CDC for more than 30 years, until his death on February 18, 1985.

        James P. Keogh

        Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/awards/keogh/default.html

        James P. Keogh, MD was a tireless advocate for worker safety and health who died in June 1999 at the age of 49. His earliest work in academic medicine identified dimethylaminopropionitrile as the causal agent in an outbreak of bladder neuropathy in the 1970s. Dr. Keogh was able to make this determination because, unlike many of the clinicians initially contacted by the workers, he took their complaints seriously and applied clear public health principles to his investigation. Throughout his life, he listened carefully to workers, characterized hazards and diseases, and then fearlessly worked to identify compensation for the individual and prevention strategies for others. Dr. Keogh was instrumental in the inclusion of construction workers in the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health lead standard, a full decade before the Federal standard did the same. He was a leading medical educator who always focused on the need to incorporate clinical compassion with public health prevention. His most outstanding legacy, however, was his fierce determination to put knowledge into practice to benefit the worker.

        Pin It on Pinterest