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People and Events

Dreger, Marianne

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 1 - p 122-123
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31819759ba
People and Events: News Highlights

Department Editor

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), acting on recommendations from professional societies such as the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the American Thoracic Society, has mandated that on January 1, 2009, certificates of successful completion of NIOSH spirometry training programs must indicate an expiration date 5 years from the date of the course. Technicians who wish to maintain a valid NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Course certificate must complete a NIOSH-Approved Refresher Course (or repeat the full Course) every 5 years as follows:

  • All technicians whose NIOSH- Approved Spirometry Course certificates are dated January 1, 2006, or later must successfully complete a NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Course (or repeat the full Course) within 5 years of the date of their initial course to maintain a valid NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Course certificate;
  • All technicians whose NIOSH- Approved Spirometry Course certificates are dated January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2005, must successfully complete a NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Course (or repeat the full Course) by December 31, 2010, to maintain a valid NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Course certificate;
  • Technicians with NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Course certificates dated prior to January 1, 2000, are not eligible to take a NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Course. To maintain valid certificates, these students will need to successfully repeat the full NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Course.
  • For more information, contact the NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Training Program, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Mail Stop H-G900.2, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505; telephone: 304-285-5792; e-mail:; web site:

The NIOSH recently awarded Paul Leigh, PhD, of the University of California, Davis, the NIOSH Director's Award for his work on developing estimates of the national costs of occupational injuries and illnesses and his efforts to promote the use of these estimates to improve worker safety and health. An article he coauthored related to this topic appeared in the January 2004 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “An Estimate of the U.S. Government's Undercount of Nonfatal Occupational Injuries” presents his research and has been cited by others in congressional testimony.

Dr Leigh has worked to generate a scientific estimate of national costs of occupational injuries and illnesses for civilian workplaces across the nation as well as for 19 separate occupational illnesses since the need to understand the costs of occupational illnesses and injuries has become increasingly important as national medical spending on all diseases, injuries, and conditions surpasses 17% of the U.S. gross domestic product. He provided testimony on his work to the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies last year and will be forecasting costs from 2010 to 2015.

NIOSH presents this award annually to recognize outstanding scientific research achievement in the field of occupational safety and health that has made a major impact or has the potential of making a major impact on worker safety and health. It highlights the work being conducted by NIOSH and NIOSH-funded researchers to further the understanding of the hazards faced in the workplace that will help to focus their work to address the highest research priorities.

The National Hearing Conservation Association's 34th Annual Conference will be held February 12–14, 2009. The venue for “Hearing to Conserve the Future” will be the Atlanta Sheraton Hotel, Atlanta, Ga.

February 12 workshops include All-Day Basics, Recreational Firearm Hearing Safety, and Expert Witness/Forensic Audiology. February 13–14 programming will include a variety of presentations by experts in the field.

For additional information contact NHCA by telephone at 303/224-9022 or visit their web site at

The annual meeting and conference of the Society for Occupational and Environmental Health and the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics will be held February 17–18, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Conference cosponsors include the NIOSH, the Center for Construction Research and Training (formerly the Center to Protect Workers' Rights - CPWR), and the University of Maryland Work and Health Research Center.

The conference “Healthy Aging for Workers: Anticipating the Occupational Safety and Health Needs of an Increasingly Aging Workforce” will refine the research agenda proposed in the 2004 National Academy of Science Report on the Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers and will develop near-term intervention strategies for preventing work-related illness and injury associated with a growing workforce of aging workers. Recommendations developed will be in the context of NIOSH's NORA health disparities and their research to practice initiative – the NIOSH WorkLife initiative and the U.S. Public Health Service's “Healthy People 2010” objectives for the nation.

Topics include: “NAS Report Update”; “Current Demographics”; “International Approaches”; “Public Policy Options”; “Aging Issues in the Construction Industry”; “Aging Issues in the Health Care Industry”; and “Aging Issues in Other Sectors.”

For additional information and registration, contact the Society for Occupational and Environmental Health, 6728 Old McLean Village Drive, McLean, Virginia 22101; telephone: 703/556-9222; fax: 703/556-8729; web site:

The 3rd National HealthCare Ergonomics Conference will be held March 9–12, 2009, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. This conference will provide a forum for sharing information and best practices regarding employee and patient safety, and economics and practicality relating to ergonomics. Solutions discussed can be applied to any health care environment including hospitals, long-term and skilled nursing care, nursing homes, rehabilitation, clinics, home health, mental health facilities, and health care educational institutions.

This Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety program is offered in collaboration with the Washington Safe Patient Handling Steering Committee and the Oregon Coalition for HealthCare Ergonomics, and is presented in conjunction with the Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference.

The Oregon GOSH Conference “Safety and Health in Action: Making a Difference in Today's Workplace and Beyond” is March 9–12 at the same location. This conference is a joint effort of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the Department of Consumer and Business Services of the Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division (Oregon OSHA).

Topics covered include emergency preparedness and response; environmental issues; industrial hygiene and occupational health; safety and health management; workplace health and wellness promotion; and workplace violence prevention and security among others.

For additional information call 503/378-3272; e-mail:; or visit the conference web site at

The Harvard School of Public Health is offering “Occupational and Environmental Radiation Protection: Principles and Practices of Radiation Safety” on April 27–30, 2009. This continuing education course will offer emphasis on the basic concepts and practices in radiation protection. The format includes lectures, breakout sessions, laboratory exercises, discussions with regulatory agency personnel, and case studies that present real-world problems and demonstrate successful resolution and prevention practices.

For additional information or to register, call 617/384-8692; visit their web site at; or e-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine