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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health B Committee Methods for Gathering Information This appendix details the methods used by the National Research Council Committee to Review the NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research Program to gather information to carry out its work. The methods were reviewing written information from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, inviting comments from stakeholders, and hearing presentations at two information-gathering meetings. WRITTEN INFORMATION FROM NIOSH The NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research Program (AFF Program) provided a roughly 500-page notebook of information to the committee in advance of the committee’s first meeting. The notebook, referred to by NIOSH and the committee as the evidence package, contained information on the history of the AFF Program; the program’s resources, goals, and objectives; intramural research activities; extramural research funded by NIOSH; program products and technology transfer; and relevant NIOSH-wide processes and activities. The AFF Program and others in NIOSH provided extensive additional information to the committee in response to questions that arose during the evaluation process. All interactions and follow-up with NIOSH were carried out through staff. A list of materials provided to the committee by NIOSH is found in Appendix C. In addition to written materials provided by NIOSH, the committee had independent access to other NIOSH papers and conference materials.
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health STAKEHOLDER COMMENTS The committee was directed by the Framework Document to consider stakeholder input in assessing the impact and relevance of the NIOSH AFF Program. Issues of interest included whether stakeholder input was taken into consideration in shaping the program and stakeholders’ views on the program’s research activities and products. The Framework Document did not specify the means of eliciting input from stakeholders. The committee determined that conducting a systematic survey was not feasible within the constraints of the project. As an alternative, the committee invited stakeholders to provide comments relevant to its evaluation of the impact and relevance of the NIOSH AFF Program. The objective was to assemble comments from a diverse group of organizations and individuals. Individual invitations to comment were sent to about 200 people and organizations. The invitation was also posted on a publicly available Web site. Identification of Stakeholders The committee identified possible stakeholders in the NIOSH AFF Program through several means. The intramural research program provided a list of its stakeholders, who included collaborators and partners. Working independently and drawing on suggestions from committee members and staff, the committee identified as possible stakeholders individuals and organizations with an interest in equipment safety, child and youth safety in agriculture, occupational chemical exposures, farmworker safety and health, logger safety and health, fishing vessel safety, and labor issues. The group included researchers in academe and private organizations, professional societies, organizations representing labor and industry, and others that deal directly with AFF safety and health or were considered likely to be aware of safety and health issues. Stakeholders were identified in the various sectors associated with AFF: academe, government, non-profit interests, and labor. The committee also identified potential stakeholders among minority-group professional organizations and small business associations. The list of stakeholders included representatives of federal and state agencies and of researchers and organizations in other countries. Letters to Stakeholders The invitation to comment on the NIOSH AFF Program was issued in a letter from committee Chair Paul Gunderson (see Box B-1). The committee staff sent the letter by e-mail in early April 2007 to each of the identified stakeholders. Committee
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health BOX B-1 Letter Inviting Comment on the NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research Program Dear Colleague: As the Chair of the National Academies Committee to Review the NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AFF) Research Program, I invite your input to our committee’s work. The committee’s charge is to evaluate the impact and relevance of NIOSH’s work in reducing workplace injury and illness and identify future directions NIOSH might take. The Committee to Review the NIOSH AFF Program is seeking input and advice from a variety of individuals and organizations that we believe are likely to have an interest in agriculture, forestry, and fishing safety and health and associated research. You have been identified as a potential source for such inputs and advice. The committee’s charge is to examine the following issues for the NIOSH AFF Research Program: Progress in reducing workplace illness and injuries through occupational safety and health research, assessed on the basis of an analysis of relevant data about workplace illnesses and injuries and an evaluation of the effect that NIOSH research has had in reducing illness and injuries. Progress in targeting new research to the areas of occupational safety and health most relevant to future improvements in workplace protection. Signigicant emerging research areas that appear especially important in terms of their relevance to the mission of NIOSH. The committee will evaluate the AFF Safety and Health Research Program using an assessment framework developed by the NRC/IOM Committee to Review the NIOSH Research Programs. The evaluation will consider what the NIOSH program is producing as well as whether the program can reasonably be credited with changes in workplace practices, or whether such changes are the result of other factors unrelated to NIOSH. For cases where impact is difficult to measure directly, the committee reviewing the AFF Safety and Health Research Program may use information on intermediate outcomes to evaluate performance. The NIOSH AFF Safety and Health Program provided the NRC evaluation committee with information on its work in five goal areas: Hazard Surveillance—reduce hazards, illnesses, and injuries in the AFF workforce by conducting population-based and hazard surveillance; Priority Populations at Risk—reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among subgroups of the working population determined to be at high risk or underserved by traditional occupational health approaches; Chemical Exposures—determine the chronic effects of agricultural exposures/health outcomes from toxic exposures and develop appropriate interventions to reduce the incidence of disease; Hazard Control Systems—reduce injuries and illnesses in AFF Program-related industries by developing and demonstrating control systems and making them available; and
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Outreach—reduce injuries and illnesses by informing and educating employers and employees about occupational safety and health hazards and control systems. We would be very grateful for your comments on any or all of these areas. It would be valuable for the committee to know whether you are familiar with NIOSH activities and products related to agriculture, forestry, and fishing safety and health and what kind of experience you may have had working with the agency or its products. The committee would be particularly interested in comments you may have on the relevance and impact of NIOSH’s work in agriculture, forestry, and fishing safety and health over the past 10 years in any of the five areas of research it has defined. In addition, we would value your views on two other matters included in the committee’s charge. First, what have you seen as the major research needs and challenges over the past 10 years in agriculture, forestry, and fishing safety and health? Second, what do you see as significant emerging research needs or opportunities concerning agriculture, forestry, and fishing safety and health? The committee will review the comments it receives at its remaining meeting, which will be held on May 30-31, 2007. We encourage you to submit your comments in time for consideration at the May meeting. You are welcome to comment as an interested individual or from the perspective of your organization. In addition, please feel free to share this letter with other individuals or organizations with an interest in the AFF safety and health research program. Please provide your comments through our National Academies staff, using any of a variety of routes: e-mail, mail, fax, telephone, or through our web-based comment form, where providing name and affiliation is optional. However, note that any written comments submitted to the committee (whether by mail, e-mail, fax, or the project’s comment form) will be included in the study’s public access file. If you have any questions about contacting the committee or providing materials for the committee’s consideration, I encourage you to speak with our study director Peggy Tsai. Contact details are provided at the end of this letter. Thank you very much for any assistance you can provide to our study committee as we conduct our review of the NIOSH AFF Safety and Health Research Program. Sincerely, Paul Gunderson, Ph.D. Chair, Committee to Review the NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research Program Submitting Comments to the Study Committee Mail: Peggy Tsai Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health members did not contact any stakeholders directly. The letter was also made available publicly from early April through early June 2007 in a posting on a National Academies Web site. In addition, a NIOSH Web page noted the opportunity for NIOSH stakeholders to provide input to the review and provided a link to the National Academies site. Interested stakeholders were asked to send their comments to the study staff via postal mail, e-mail, or the project Web site. Responses could be submitted anonymously through the Web site. The committee invited stakeholder comments on several points: familiarity with NIOSH activities and products related to AFF, experience in working with NIOSH, the relevance and impact of NIOSH’s work over the last decade in reducing occupational injuries and fatalities, and the major research challenges over the last decade and significant emerging research needs in AFF safety and health. By June 2006, 64 responses had been received. Stakeholder comments are available to the public through the National Academies Public Access file and were provided to NIOSH in their original form. Overall, the NIOSH stakeholders who responded provided favorable comments. The committee recognizes that the responses to the request for comments are not necessarily representative of all NIOSH stakeholders. However, the comments provided to the committee gave helpful insights into respondents’ perspectives on the NIOSH AFF Program and informed the committee’s understanding of the program’s relationship with some of its stakeholders. Comments on Emerging Research Needs or Opportunities To assist the committee in reviewing stakeholder input, the staff compiled the comments on emerging research needs or opportunities. The compilation is presented in Box B-2; some comments are captured in abbreviated form, and others are presented nearly verbatim. No attempt was made to evaluate the merits of individual stakeholder suggestions or to set priorities within or between the broad research categories used by the staff to group the comments. The presentation of suggestions in Box B-2 does not represent an endorsement by the committee. Respondents The following responded to the committee’s invitation for comments on the NIOSH AFF Program: Brian Aldrich Cornell University Steven Banks Farmer
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health BOX B-2 Emerging Research in Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Safety and Health Suggested by Stakeholders Social Attitudes Gain better understanding of the social factors on farms that affect safety practices. Children’s Safety With changes in the global marketplace, it is important to understand the changing role of children as sources of labor on farms and society’s tolerance of putting children at undue risk. Hearing Impairment and Loss Assess the prevalence of hearing loss in workers in agriculture (and in rural areas in general). Effectiveness of hearing-loss prevention programs must be assessed and established before widespread implementation. Additional research is needed to explore the association between hearing impairment and traumatic occupational injury in agriculture. Healthcare Affordable healthcare should be available to farmers and rural workers. Healthcare availability and affordability may be factors in the demise of family farms. Surveillance Implement a comprehensive surveillance program on a national scale to monitor occupational disease, injury, and death. Resources can then be focused better to address and prevent disease, injury, and death. A more comprehensive surveillance system is needed. Less emphasis should be placed on writing papers and reports, and more on implementing surveillance in the workforce and working face to face with organizations and workers. James Bittner Singer Farms Donald S. Bloswick University of Utah Roy Buchan Colorado State University Bob Callender New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Paul Clemente New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Henry P. Cole University of Kentucky
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Ergonomics Design of equipment and tools. Educational Collaboration More involvement with the universities that offer agriculture degrees is needed. In the last 4 or 5 years, that appears to have fallen drastically. Web sites for the University of Texas center are all but useless. High-school agricultural science teachers need an intensive laboratory safety workshop and certification. NIOSH is perhaps the best-positioned entity to assist in this endeavor by providing funding to conduct week-long safety certification workshops. Immigrant and Migrant Workers Immigrants do more of the low-quality at-risk work than non-immigrants. Communication should be made available in their own languages so that their exposure to risk can be reduced. There should be less emphasis on migrant labor. There needs to be much more emphasis on sustaining the work of older producers and laborers. Applied Research Pulmonary disease, ergonomic issues, noise exposure, and traumatic injury associated with farm machinery will be important research topics. Applied field research is necessary to address the problems of occupational safety. There are so many unknowns that regional and local research may be needed. Translational methods that are participatory should be developed and demonstrated. Prevention and Treatment Gain better understanding of risk and protective factors for stress-related illness on the farm. Miscellaneous Implement safety standards in areas that are being placed into land trusts. Emerging subjects include zoonotic infectious diseases, special populations, and the psychosocial impact of diminishing natural resources on AFF workers. Mary Lou Wranesh Cook SUNY Institute of Technology George Cook University of Vermont Jim T. Criswell Oklahoma State University George Daniels Farm Employers Labor Service Helene Dembrowski Dembrowski Orchards, Inc. Mike DeSpain Tribal EPA Eileen Douglas Unknown Daniel Dructor America Loggers Council
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Linda Fetzer Pennsylvania State University Kimberly Fleming Cornell Cooperative Extension Ralph Gaiss Northeast Equipment Dealers Association Judith Gillan The New England Small Farm Institute Kevin Hackett Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Program Dan Hair Workers’ Compensation Fund George F Henning Pennsylvania Agromedicine Ron Jester University of Delaware Katherine H. Kirkland Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) Richard Klossner Farmer Jeffrey Levin Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education John May NYCAMH/Northeast Center Karen Mountain Migrant Clinicians Network Cynthia Mulbury Northern Orchard Co., Inc Melvin L. Myers University of Kentucky Emory University Anne Nolan Hudson River HealthCare Inc. Mike Olin Farmer Sharon Pahlman Cooperative Extension, University of Maryland Dwayne Pavelock Sam Houston State University William Pickett Queen’s University Mark Purschwitz Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation Deborah Reed University of Kentucky Marie Reed Texas Department of State Health Services Heidi Roeber Rice HealthPartners Occupational and Environmental Medicine
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Dan Roth Finger Lakes Coalition of Farmworker Agencies Charles V. Schwab Iowa State University Charles Siepel New Mexico State University, Cooperative Extension Service Jim Steinke Farm Equipment Safety Source James Tollett Southern Arkansas University Robin Tutor East Coast Migrant Head Start Project Doug Ullrich Sam Houston State University Peter Wallingford Wallingford’s Fruit House Louise Waterman Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets John R. Wheat The University of Alabama Catharine Young The New York State Senate Tom Zangrillo Scattered Acres Farm COMMITTEE MEETINGS The committee held three face-to-face meetings during the course of its study. The first two included open sessions for information gathering. The agendas for the open sessions appear below. The third meeting was closed. After the third meeting, the committee held a subcommittee meeting and several e-mail exchanges to finalize its report. Meeting I January 19, 2007 Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. Friday, January 19, 2007 10:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductory Remarks Paul Gunderson, PhD Committee Chair
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 10:05 a.m. NIOSH Overview Lewis V. Wade, PhD NIOSH Senior Scientific Advisor 10:30 a.m. NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research Program Overview George Conway, MD, MPH Director, NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Program 11:00 a.m. Surveillance (Chapter 3) John P. Sestito, JD, MS NIOSH Surveillance Program Coordinator 11:30 a.m. Children Working in Agriculture (Chapter 4.1) Dawn N. Castillo, MPH Chief, Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch NIOSH Division of Safety Research 12:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00 p.m. National Children’s Center Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety Program Barbara C. Lee, RN, PhD Director, National Farm Medicine Center, National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, Marshfield Clinic 1:30 p.m. Commercial Fishing Safety (Chapter 4.4) Jennifer M. Lincoln, PhD Commercial Fishing Research Program Officer Assistant Program Manager, NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing 2:00 p.m. Chemical Exposures and Health Effects (Chapter 5) Teresa M. Schnorr, PhD, MS Director, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies 2:30 p.m. Break 2:45 p.m. Tractor Safety (Chapter 6) John R. Myers, MSF Health Statistician, NIOSH Division of Safety Research 3:15 p.m. Health Communications/Outreach (Chapter 7) Larry Chapman, PhD Department of Biological Systems Engineering University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 3:45 p.m. Public Comment (Individuals should sign up ahead of time at the registration table to provide comment) 4:15 p.m. Wrap-up of Open Session Paul Gunderson, Committee Chair 4:30 p.m. Adjourn Meeting II March 28-29, 2007 Beckman Center of the National Academies 100 Academy Drive Irvine, CA Wednesday, March 28, 2007 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions Description of study charge and goals for the meeting Paul Gunderson, Committee Chair 9:10 a.m. Panel on the NIOSH Ag Centers ○ Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center Richard A. Fenske, Director ○ Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Marc B. Schenker, Director ○ High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Stephen J. Reynolds, Director ○ Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education Jeffrey L. Levin, Director 11:10 a.m. Break 11:25 a.m. Forestry Landscape John J. Garland, Professor Emeritus of Forest Engineering Oregon State University 12:00 p.m. Fishing Landscape Michael M. Rosecrans, Chief of Fishing Vessel Safety, U.S. Coast Guard 12:30 p.m. Lunch 1:30 p.m. Agricultural Health Study Michael Alavanja (via teleconference), NIH Senior Investigator
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 2:00 p.m. Regulatory Perspective—Cal/OSHA William Krycia, Regional Manager, Department of Industrial Relations 2:30 p.m. Pesticide Safety—California Environmental Protection Agency Charles M. Andrews, Chief of Worker Health and Safety Branch, Department of Pesticide Regulation 3:00 p.m. Break 3:20 p.m. Producer Communities ○ Organics David Runsten, Executive Director, Community Alliance with Family Farms ○ Dairy Ray Souza, President, Western United Dairymen ○ Crops and Growers George Daniels, Executive Vice President, Farm Employers Labor Service 4:50 p.m. Wrap-up for the day 5:00 p.m. Adjourn Thursday, March 29, 2007 8:30 a.m. LaborPanel * ○ California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. Ilene Jacobs, Director, California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. Michael Marsh, Director, Agricultural Worker Health Project, California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. ○ International Brotherhood of Teamsters Mike Johnston (via teleconference), Campaign Coordinator, Strategic Research and Campaigns Department 9:30 a.m. Break 9:45 a.m. The Future of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing ○ Vision of forestry for the future Robert B. Rummer (via teleconference), USDA Forest Service, Project Leader of Forest Operations and Engineering Research ○ Vision of agriculture for the future Brad Rein, USDA National Program Leader ○ Vision of fishing for the future Jerry Dzugan, Director of Alaska Marine Safety Education Association
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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 11:15 a.m. Public Comment (Individuals should sign up ahead of time at the registration table to provide comment) 11:40 a.m. Wrap-up of Open Session Paul Gunderson, Committee Chair *Representatives of the United Farm Workers of America, United Food and Commercial Workers, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and Frente Indigena De Organizaciones were invited to speak to the committee but declined. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee extends its gratitude to the NIOSH staff. The AFF Program staff faced the substantial task of assembling the initial set of materials that were provided to the committee for this study. They also assembled a considerable amount of material in response to the committee’s requests for additional information. The committee extends particular thanks to the NIOSH staff who gave presentations or responded to questions from the committee at its meetings, including Lewis Wade, George Conway, John Sestito, Dawn Castillo, Barbara Lee, Jennifer Lincoln, Teresa Schnorr, John Myers, Larry Chapman, Richard Fenske, Marc Schenker, Stephen Reynolds, and Jeffrey Levin. The committee also thanks the many members of the agriculture, forestry, and fishing communities outside NIOSH who contributed to the study by providing comments on the NIOSH AFF Program, making presentations at the committee’s meetings, or providing additional information in response to committee requests. In addition to those listed earlier in this appendix, the committee acknowledges David Wegman of the National Academies Committee for the Review of NIOSH Research Programs, Michael Alavanja, Charles Andrews, George Daniels, Jerry Dzugan, John Garland, Ilene Jacobs, Mike Johnston, William Krycia, Michael Marsh, Brad Rein, Michael Rosecrans, Robert Rummer, David Runsten, and Ray Souza. The committee recognizes especially the assistance of George Conway. Dr. Conway served as the committee’s point of contact for the NIOSH AFF Program and was tireless and gracious in his efforts to respond to the committee’s many information requests and questions. The committee is also grateful for the assistance of Raymond Sinclair, who ably and patiently acted as a liaison between the committee and NIOSH as a whole. The committee appreciates the support of Andrew Pope, director of the Institute of Medicine Board on Health Sciences Policy, Greg Symmes, deputy executive of the Division of Earth and Life Studies, and Evan Douple and Sammantha Magsino, who serve as staff to the Committee for the Review of NIOSH Research Programs.