About Us

Continuing Education Program

Hazardous Substance Training

Academic Programs

Industrial Hygiene

Occupational Health Nursing

Occupational Epidemiology

Safety and Ergonomics

Occupational Medicine







Kathleen Buckheit, MPH, RN, COHN-S/CM/SM, FAAOHN
Continuing Education Director
NC OSHERC Continuing Education and Outreach Programs

Phone 919-962-2101 | Toll free 888-235-3320 | Fax 919-966-7579

30th Annual Occupational Safety and Health Winter Institute

NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research CenterComing soon from NC OSHERCUNC School of Public Health

32nd Annual Summer Institute

St. Pete Beach, Florida
February 14-19, 2010

At the Marriott Norfolk Waterside, Norfolk, Virginia
Certification ReviewCheck out our Certification Review courses: Online courseFundamentals of Industrial Hygiene course available online

Approved for Technician Certificate Program Credit.
Asbestos trainingEPA-Approved AHERA Asbestos Training
Held throughout the year in Chapel Hill, NC

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NEW Environmental Courses offered
at the Winter Institute February 15-19, 2010

1. Hurricane Preparedness

In collaboration with the University of South Florida’s Sunshine ERC, NC OSHERC is proud to present a new Environmental Course called “Hurricane/Emergency Planning Workshop”.  This exciting two-day workshop presented by the University of Florida’s Sunshine ERC in collaboration with the University of North Carolina’s NC OSHERC will introduce the participants to the concept of Hurricane/Emergency Planning. The workshop is intended to develop the students capability for effective participation in the all-hazard emergency operations planning process including hurricane planning. The goal of the workshop is to teach the student how effective planning can save lives and protect property that may be threatened by disaster or weather related emergencies.

Don’t get caught unprepared!  Please see the website for more details:


2. Fundamentals of Environmental Health 

The “Fundamentals of Environmental Health” course is ALL NEW and presented by Scott Harris, PhD and Keith Spencer, PhD who both bring a wide variety and extensive amount of environmental health experience to the course.   It is designed to give the participant an understanding and appreciation of how human activities affect the environment and how this environment in which we live and work can then affect human health. 

Some topics include:

  • Relevant environmental regulations
  • Air quality issues affecting public health
  • Emergency responses and off-site consequences
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Accidents and injuries
  • Meth Labs
  • Water quality
  • Indoor air quality
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Current issues in environmental health

See the website for more information:


3. Healthcare Environmental Issues:  Environmental Health & Safety Management Systems in Healthcare

Management systems require organizations to say what they do, show what they do, prove it and improve it.  This would be the path less traveled for healthcare, but sometimes the path less traveled can be the most beneficial.  This course is designed to further educate healthcare environmental health & safety and industrial hygiene professionals about the option to adopt management systems such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, which have been proven successful worldwide in many other industries. 

Tony Stewart and Scott Harris provide the Healthcare industry side of Environmental issues and Solutions.  Please see the website for information on the instructors and course content: 

Topics include:

  • Healthcare EH&S regulatory and compliance needs
  • Traditional inspections focused on survey methodologies and the current options and benefits of implementing an outcomes based, process oriented management system.
  • Benefits of integrating the ISO management system standards (i.e. ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001).
  • How to incorporate an EH&S and Industrial Hygiene business plan
  • Promotion of management reviews to validate the business case for environmental health & safety and industrial hygiene
  • Identify, formulate, and prioritize risks by ranking EH&S impacts in Healthcare. 
  • How management systems help organizations formulate quality, environmental and occupational safety and health policies and objectives. 

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COHN and COHN-S/Safety Management
Certification Review Course

February 28-March 3, 2010
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The NC OSHERC's presentation of the Safety Management Certification Review Course is offered for the American Board for Occupational Health Nursing (ABOHN) Safety Management credential for certified occupational health nurses (COHNs and COHN-Ss). This ABOHN credential was developed in collaboration with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). The exam is based on the Associate Safety Professional (ASP) Certification Exam and the course covers all major topics covered in the domains of practice.  Please see for details on the certification criteria.

Holding the ABOHN Safety Management credential will allow the certified occupational health nurse to obtain a waiver of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) Safety Fundamentals examination if the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential is sought and if other BCSP requirements are met.

Visit our website at:


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Occupational Health Nursing:
An Introduction and Review of Principles and Practice

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
March 9-11, 2010
8:15 am - 4:45 pm
 Respiratory Protection for Nurses (Optional)
March 12, 2010
8:30 am - 12:30 pm

This course will provide the principles and concepts of occupational health nursing practice. Emphasis will be on the nurse's role as a member of the occupational health team, development of an occupational health service, prevention of injury and disease, health promotion of adults, and protection of worker populations. The content is designed for nurses who are relatively new to occupational health nursing or those who have had a limited scope of practice, but desire to expand that scope of environmental and occupational health nursing practice.  Nurses with many years of experience use this as a review.

Topics covered:

  • Conceptual Framework for Occupational Health Nursing Practice
  • The Various Roles of OHN
  • Resources Available for OHNs
  • Interdisciplinary Approach to Providing Occupational Health and Safety
  • OSHA Standards
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Case Management
  • Ergonomics
  • Overview of Workers' Compensation
  • Providing Occupational Health Services
  • Establishing Health Surveillance Programs
  • Introduction to Toxicology
  • Recordkeeping
  • Documentation
  • Wellness Programs - Saving the Bottom Line
  • Principles of Industrial Hygiene
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Principles of Workplace Safety
  • Conducting a "Walkthrough"

Respiratory Protection for Nurses (Optional)

March 12, 2010, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
This section will be offered for those who would like to stay for extra credit of 3.5 hours! Qualitative Fit Testing will be taught with hands-on class participation.

Topics include:

  • Quantitative and Qualitative Fit Testing - hands on
  • Types of Respirators and Their Uses- hands on
  • The Written Respiratory Protection Program
  • Medical Clearance

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New ShortCourses in Occupational Safety

The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center in collaboration with Coble, Taylor & Jones Safety Associates is excited to present the following series of Short Safety Sessions in Chapel Hill, NC. Click the sessions below to see courses to be presented in each session. You may register for one or all courses offered in each Session. Seating is limited, so register early.

Each session will offer 3-5 shortoccupational safety continuing education courses covering a variety of safety topics and will offer ABIH, BCSP and CEU credits

Courses of -day to 1-day in duration are intended for those who do not require the in-depth coverage offered in our longer courses and are presented by safety professionals and consultants well-versed and experienced in all types of occupational environments. These offerings are intended for all managers, supervisors, and safety, health, medical, and environmental staff who are responsible for assisting management and employees in maintaining regulatory compliance and establishing systems necessary for protection of people, property and resources.  

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The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center provides Hazardous Substance Training (HST) courses as scheduled and contract courses that can be tailored to a particular group's needs. The target audiences for HST training include:

  1. State and local health and environmental agency personnel;
  2. Other professionals engaged in the management of hazardous substances; and
  3. Community residents, educators, and leaders with concerns regarding the environmental contamination and issues of public health arising from exposure to hazardous substances.

The training is intended to prepare professional personnel to properly carry out their responsibilities in the hazardous substance response and site remediation activities authorized by Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. This workforce is in continuing need of training through continuing education courses with specialization in the occupational and environmental health and safety field.

Some HST courses include:

  • HAZWOPER : 40 Hour initial; and 16 Hour and 8 Hour refresher courses
  • HAZWOPER Incident Command
  • Confined Space
  • Clandestine Methamphetamine Lab Awareness Training
  • Radon
  • Mold Assessment and Remediation
  • Health Effects of Pesticides
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Disaster Preparedness
  • DOT Regulations in Transporting Hazardous Substances
  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Regulations
  • Health Effects of Exposure to Heavy Metals
  • Environmental Risk Assessment

For additional information on Hazardous Substances, go to the NIEHS Superfund Basic Research Program

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NEW HST Technician Certificate Program
Telecommunications HAZMAT Specialist Certificate

NC OSHERC Hazardous Substances Training (HST) Program has developed a new Technician Certificate Program for HAZMAT Responders.  In collaboration with AT&T, the HST faculty developed and implemented the NEW Telecommunications Hazardous Materials Specialist Certificate Program for those working in the telecommunications industry and are required to work in disaster and other hazardous areas to re-establish lines of communication.  These technicians are experience telecommunications workers with those unique set of skills and are also required to develop the skills needed to become a HAZMAT Responder to go into dangerous environments that require the use of personal protective equipment as HAZMAT protection.  We are pleased to announce that nine AT&T employees have just completed the requirements and will be awarded a certificate and plaque in March 2010.

Please see the website for more information:

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NEW EPA Lead Renovation,
Repair and Painting (RRP) regulation becomes effective April 2010

To protect against the risk of Lead contamination during activities involving lead-based paint, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning in April 2010, contractors must be certified to perform renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.  NC OSHERC applied through US EPA for accreditation to provide this training.

EPA will require that anyone performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools follow lead-safe work practices taught in the training.  All contractors should follow these three simple procedures:

  • Notify the residents with the EPA brochure of lead hazards and work to be performed.
  • Contain the work area.
  • Minimize dust.
  • Clean up thoroughly.
  • Document the activities.  

Read EPA's Regulations on Residential Property Renovation at 40 CFR 745.80, Subpart E.

For information on Lead RRP Training classes hosted by NC OSHERC, go to the Continuing Education website.

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Occupational Epidemiology Program

The program emphasizes research training at the doctoral level. Completion of the PhD typically requires three to five years following the master's or professional degree. Applicants who are interested in the PhD but do not have a graduate degree may be admitted to the doctoral program, but are expected to earn the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) as an intermediate step. The MPH in epidemiology is also available as a terminal professional degree for physicians and others with prior doctoral-level professional degrees.

The PhD in epidemiology prepares students for careers in research and teaching. Students develop skills in occupational epidemiology through course work, involvement in research projects and practice opportunities.

David Richardson, PhD
Director, Occupational Epidemiology Program
Gillings School of Global Public Health 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Campus Box  #7435
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435
Phone: 919-966-2675
Fax: 919-966-2089

For more information on the Occupational Epidemiology Program, visit:

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Richardson appointed to White House advisory board

Dr. David Richardson

David B. Richardson, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health, was appointed by President Obama on Oct. 14 to the White House Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health.

Richardson said he looks forward to joining the board and is eager to face the challenges posed by more than six decades of nuclear weapons production and testing.

"Tens of thousands of men and women have worked on building the nation's nuclear arsenal since World War II, and in the process, many were exposed to ionizing radiation, beryllium and hazards that are rare outside of the nuclear weapons production and testing complex," he said. "I hope that we can do a better job of providing timely, adequate compensation to these workers and their families."

Richardson's research investigates occupational and environmental causes of disease, with a particular focus on ionizing radiation.  He has served in various capacities at the University of North Carolina since 1996 when he began as a postdoctoral researcher.

He also has led a number of studies of workers at U.S. Department of Energy facilities focused on occupational health and radiation exposure issues. Previously, he worked at the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima, Japan.

"Dr. Richardson's appointment to this important board is a significant honor and reflects his considerable national reputation in conducting influential research on radiation and health," said Andy Olshan, PhD, professor and chair of the epidemiology department.

Richardson received a bachelor's degree in political science from Duke University and a doctor of philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Other key administrative nominations and appointments announced simultaneously by the President include:

  • Joseph F. Bader, Jessie H. Roberson, and Peter S. Winokur, nominated for positions on the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board;
  • Robert Reischauer, nominated for membership on the board of trustees of the Social Security Trust Funds;
  • Alan Kessler, nominated for a position on the board of governors of the Postal Service; and
  • Henry Anderson, R. William Field, and Richard Lemen, appointed, along with Richardson, to the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health.

In making the appointments, President Obama said, "I am grateful that these fine individuals will serve my administration in these important roles.  Whether it is working to keep our sacred trust with our veterans, upholding the rights of workers and their families, or ensuring the safety and security of our nation, I am confident that they will serve the American people well.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

From SPH News, News & Events. October 16, 2009.

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Occupational Health Nursing Program

Bonnie Rogers, DrPH, COHN-S, LNCC, FAAN
Director, NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center
Director, Occupational Health Nursing Program
Phone: 919-966-1765

Master of Public Health Program

Congratulations to one of our Master of Public Health (MPH) students who graduated in December 2009 – Lena Kalemba from Crystal Lake, IL.

Joining the OHN MPH Program this Fall is, Jill Marshall from Evansville, IN. We welcome her to our program.    

Applications for the Master of Public Health (MPH) in the Occupational Health Nursing (OHN) Concentration, fall 2010 (August) semester will be accepted until April 1, 2010.  Information about the MPH Program in the OHN concentration may be accessed at:

The Program provides partial funding for tuition through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Training Grant.

If you have questions about the program, please contact, Judy Ostendorf at 919-966-2597 or

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Dr. Bonnie Rogers
Occupational Safety and Health

Dr. Bonnie Rogers, ERC Director and Director of the OHN Program, has been very involved with occupational safety and health on a national level.  Appointed as Vice Chairperson on the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) “Committee on Respiratory Protection for Health care Workers in the Workplace Against Novel H1N1 Influenza A”, reports were generated from the committee’s work for CDC and OSHA.  An article in the New England Journal of Medicine was also published, titled “Novel H1N1 Influenza and Respiratory Protection for Health Care Workers”  (N Engl J Med 361:1823, Nov. 5, 2009 Perspective.)

Appointed to a new IOM Committee in December 2009 – “Committee on Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers During a Recent Influenza Pandemic:  Current Research Issues”, Dr. Rogers continues the original work and puts her research expertise to work.

Besides her work with the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) as Associate Editor for their 3rd edition textbook, Dr. Rogers has been appointed as the new editor for the Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting.  In addition to her research projects, Dr. Rogers has published several articles, book chapters and a new edition of her text on Occupational Health Nursing.

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Certificate Program

The Occupational Health Nursing Program (OHN) is proud to announce that three of the second group of students will complete the Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing Program in December. They are Terry Atwell from Donalsonville, GA, Joy Gravitte from Hillsborough, NC, and JoAnn Jeras from Fayetteville, NC. 

Applications for the Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing Program, fall 2010 semester (August) will be accepted until April 1, 2010.  Information about the Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing Program and the application can be accessed at:   

If you have questions about the program, please contact, Judy Ostendorf at 919-966-2597 or

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Bonnie Rogers recognized by UNC for Excellence in Management

The Excellence in Management Award is presented annually to two University employees in recognition of meritorious and distinguished accomplishments in management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Bonnie Rogers was one of the two 2009 recipients of this prestigious award for her management as the Director of the UNC NIOSH Education and Research Center and as Director of the Occupational Health Nursing (OHN) Program in Public Health Leadership in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. 

Among the many managerial and academic hats Rogers wears, she oversees occupational safety and health education and research programs, serves as principal investigator on several large grants and mentors occupational health nurse clinicians.

"Through her visionary leadership, she developed an OHN certificate program, which is a feeder program for the master's degree, providing up to 12 academic credits, and is taking the University in new directions," a nominator said.

Rogers is particularly adept at allocating resources to meet diverse needs, a critical skill in the current economic climate, one nominator said.

Co-workers also credit Rogers with encouraging educational and professional development opportunities for her staff through national and international presentations and activities that provide compensation to cover expenses. "She is a world-renowned mentor in occupational and environmental health and safety for over 30 years, "the nominator said.

Outstanding Graduating Doctoral Student Award

One of our current MPH students, Henry Guevara from Austin, TX, was named as the recipient of the Outstanding Doctoral Student Award from the School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin.  Henry was selected based upon his excellent academic standing, his essay, and input solicited from faculty references, all of which evidence his outstanding scholarship, nursing abilities, and leadership qualities.  We’re proud of you, Henry!

NC Foothills Association of Occupational Health Nurses

Kathy Dayvault, an August 2009 graduate from the MPH Program in the Occupational Health Nursing Concentration, was awarded the 2009 NC Foothills Nurse of the Year Award.  Kathy currently serves as the 2nd Vice President and Program Chair for the NC Foothills Association.

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Leena Nylander-French, PhD
Director, Occupational Hygiene Training Program
Phone: 919-966-3826

For more information on Industrial Hygiene, contact Dr. Nylander-French at or visit


NC OSHERC funds two pilot projects

Sheila Flack and Zachary Robbins

Two ESE students, Sheila Flack (MSPH 06’, Ph.D. candidate, Nylander-French Advisor), and Zachary Robbins (BS 08’, M.S. candidate, Nylander-French Advisor), were recently selected as recipients of the NC Occupational Safety and Health Education Research Center (NC OSHERC) Pilot Grant, for project entitled “Quantification of N-acetyl-1,6-hexamethylene diamine in Urine of Automotive Spray Painters”.  Exposure to diisocyanates is a leading cause of occupational asthma in industrialized countries, and this study aims to investigate metabolic pathways associated with exposure to 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and risk of developing asthma.

Sheila L. Flack completed her Master of Science in Public Health studies in December 2006; Master of Public Health technical report entitled "Dermal and Inhalation Exposure to Propiconazole among Farm Workers in North Carolina" under the direction of Professor Leena A. Nylander-French. During her Master's research, she developed a strong understanding of development and testing of monitoring methods for both inhalation and dermal exposures and GC-MS instrumentation. Her research and writing skills are manifested in the scientific peer-reviewed article based on the Master's technical report published in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring (Flack, S.; Goktepe, I.; Ball, L.M. and Nylander-French, L.A.: Development and evaluation of quantitative monitoring methods for dermal and inhalation exposure to propiconazole. J Environ Monit 10:336-344, 2008). Sheila continued directly with her doctoral studies in Professor Nylander-French's laboratory. For her doctoral research, Sheila has worked alongside with three other doctoral students (including Jennifer Thomasen and Linda Gaines, also NC OSHER IH trainees) and recruited 47 spray painters from North Carolina (15 workers) and in the state of Washington (32 workers) to investigate individual dermal and inhalation exposures to HDI monomer and oligomers in an occupational environment. During this project, Sheila, along with the other involved graduate students, is determining the breathing-zone exposure to HDI by personal filter sampling, dermal exposure to HDI by noninvasive tape-strip sampling of the stratum corneum, and systemic exposure by measuring the major HDI metabolites 1,6 hexamethylenen diamine (HDA) and acetylate HDA in blood and urine. Sheila has taken the lead in analyzing the blood samples by GC-MS and is currently developing statistical models to investigate the correlation between breathing-zone and dermal exposure levels and the biomarker levels in blood.  Sheila’s research on biomarkers of HDI exposure is presented in the scientific peer-reviewed article recently published in Annals of Occupational Hygiene (S.L. Flack, K.W. Fent, L.G. Trelles Gaines, J.M. Thomasen, S. Whittaker, L.M. Ball and L.A. Nylander-French: “Quantitative Plasma Biomarker Analysis in HDI Exposure Assessment”. Ann Occup Hyg, doi:10.1093/annhyg/mep069).

Zachary Robbins completed his Bachelor of Science degree at UNC-CH in May 2008 and joined Professor Leena Nylander-French’s laboratory in December 2008. Currently, Zachary is assessing the systemic exposure of HDI by measuring the metabolites HDA and acetylated HDA in the urine of the diisocyanate exposed workers. Zachary is specifically investigating the relationship between HDI exposure and levels of acetylated HDA to identify differences in metabolism and elimination of HDI after exposure.  Differences in HDI metabolism are a factor in individual susceptibility to developing asthma through HDI exposure because of variations in time that HDA remains in the body. The NC OSHERC pilot grant will allow Zachary to complete his research on urinary biomarkers of HDI as his Master’s project.


Matthew Pierce

A second pilot project was funded by the NC OSHERC for a proposal submitted by Matthew Pierce, JD, MPH, Doctoral Fellow, working with the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center.  His project is titled, “Can Criminal Background Checks Predict Employee Violence?” and was funded for $8,962.

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Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (OSE)
North Carolina State University Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering

David B. Kaber, PhD, CHFP
Director, Occupational Safety and Ergonomics Training Program
Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering
Phone: 919-515-3086

For more information on this program, contact Dr. David Kaber via email or visit The Ergonomics Lab website at:


Click below for more information

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“Human Factors in System Design – Taking Ergonomics to the Next Level” 

Dr. Kaber is pleased to present “Human Factors in System Design – Taking Ergonomics to the Next Level”  as a Continuing Education offering at the Winter Institute February 15-16, 2010 at Tradewinds Island Grand, St. Pete Beach, Florida. 

This course is offered for practicing engineers and designers who are working on human-machine system design and interaction. The course covers human cognitive capabilities and behavior as a basis for design of complex systems. It focuses on task analysis methods to identify operator goals, decisions and information requirements in support of interface content and format specification. It provides an overview of usability and experimental methods for evaluation of interactive system designs.

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Trainee Research Activities

In fall of 2009, several new NIOSH-supported OSE trainees participated in Ergonomics Lab research projects.

Michael Clamman (PhD student) took the lead on a new National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored project aimed at designing virtual reality-based simulations that integrate haptic control devices for motor rehabilitation and fine motor skill training. NC State is collaborating with Duke University and the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center in this research to prototype computer-based systems that use novel hardware and software technologies to assess motor capabilities of veterans, who have suffered minor traumatic brain injuries, and to support advanced therapy regimens for skill recovery. The impact of these technologies on human capability is to be objectively assessed using fMRI of brain blood flow patterns in subjects in affected regions.

Meghan Rogers (masters student) participated in a driving research project focused on assessing the impact of in-vehicle visual and cognitive distractions on driver situation awareness (SA) in operational and tactical behavior situations (i.e., car following and passing). The objective of the work is to determine the specific contribution of “eyes off the road” versus “brain off the road” on decrements in driver SA under the target task conditions. Meghan has programmed an advanced STI driving simulator to deliver specific traffic scenarios for assessing driver performance (lane maintenance, braking responses, passing success) while also completing secondary tasks, such as navigation aid use.

DSC00238.JPGKinley Taylor (masters student) participated in a research project on human-robot interaction in medicine delivery tasks as part of healthcare operations. This was a continuation of previous research conducted by The Ergonomics Lab to identify the effect of robot design features (faces, voices, interactivity) on patient emotional states when receiving medications from hospital-grade, mobile robots (see image below). In this initial work, various types of humanoid features were manipulated separately with no combinations of robot faces being presented with voices, etc. The present study involved “patients” being exposed to complex combinations of robot design features ranging for no humanoid elements to a robot with a face, voice and capability to “hand” deliver medicine.  During test trials, Kinley and two other PhD collected objective physiological responses (heart rate and galvanic skin response) of patients for inferring emotional states. They also collected patient subjective ratings of excitement and happiness after trials. In addition to determining user preferences for robot design features in the target task, the research is also aimed at identifying a concise set of physiological variables that could be observed in a hospital setting to quickly determine a patients emotion state in dealing with a “nurse” robot.


Example mobile robot test configuration
(including mask and surgeon’s coat)


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Conference Participation

This past year (summer and fall terms 2009), The Ergonomics Lab participated in several scholarly meetings, including the International Ergonomics Association (IEA) 17th World Congress, the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (HFES) and the NASA Aviation Safety (AvSAFE) Technical Conference.

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Yingjie Li (OSE PhD Candidate) giving her presentation on surgical simulator design for human performance



Several OSE trainees prepared papers for the IEA Meeting and traveled to Beijing, China, including Yingjie Li.

Papers covered a range of topics from “comparison of haptic devices for computer-based assessment of motor-control disabilities” and “usability analysis of rehabilitation equipment design” to “the effects of aging and cognitive stress on driver situation awareness” and “the role of driver cognitive abilities and distractions in situation awareness and performance under hazard conditions.”





At the HFES Annual Meeting, a previous OSE PhD student, Sang-Hwan Kim, presented his dissertation research on “assessment of the effects of conformal terrain features in advanced head-up displays on pilot performance”.

David Kaber also participated in two panels at the HFES meeting on “Cognitive Task Analysis” and “Human-Computer Etiquette”. At the AvSAFE meeting, David Kaber presented two human factors studies conducted in collaboration with NASA on “testing and validation of a psychophysically defined metric of display clutter” and “advanced computational modeling for the design of automated systems”.

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Program Trainee and Faculty Awards/Honors/Appointments/Recognitions

OSE Students

This past semester (fall 2009), Michael Clamann, Meghan Rogers, Kinley Taylor and Chad Uy joined The Ergonomics Lab as new NIOSH trainees. Michael is a previous graduate of NC State Psychology with a masters degree. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Kinley, Meghan and Chad are all working towards masters degrees in the same discipline with undergraduate degrees from NC State, Georgia Tech and Tufts, accordingly.

Image M Normal Set
NASA prototype Head-up Display for the aircraft cockpit incorporating enhanced (infrared) imagery and synthetic (GPS-based) terrain models for improved pilot situation awareness

Dr. Sang-Hwan Kim, a previous OSE Program trainee, received the HFES Aerospace Systems Technical Group Best Student Paper Award for his contribution to the HFES Annual Meeting. Dr. Kim's paper was entitled, “Assessing the Effects of Conformal Terrain Features in Advanced Head-Up Displays on Pilot Performance”, and was co-authored by Dr. David B. Kaber. The paper described the influence of enhanced and synthetic vision system displays (see image below for example display) on pilot performance and situation awareness in simulated commercial aircraft landing approaches. While at NC State, Dr. Kim worked on a NASA Langley research project through The Ergonomics Lab focused on developing measures and models of perceived clutter in aviation displays. Kim graduated from the NC State ISE department in spring 2009 and is currently working as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.



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New “adjustable lever-action coupler” design (patent pending).

Matt Diering (OSE masters student) and David Kaber filed a provisional patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for their design and prototyping of “adjustable lever-action couplers” for use with tubular frame scaffolding. The coupler development was based on ergonomics in scaffolding operations research conducted for Duke Energy. The coupler design covers both fixed-angle and swivel couplers and integrates a lever arm assembly allowing for rapid attachment and detachment of scaffold frame members (see below image). A steel cable extends from the lever arm and can be hooked around one of a set of rigid binding teeth on a lower jaw of the coupler mechanism. The couplers may be used in different applications, such as pipe assembly.


OSE Faculty

David Kaber was elected as the Chair of the Cognitive Engineering & Decision Making Technical Group (CEDM-TG) as part of HFES. He will serve in this role for two years from 2009-2011. This Technical Group (TG) focuses on the study of human decision making and cognition and the application of this knowledge to the design and development of systems and training programs in a variety of domains. The TG provides forums for member interaction and organizes a technical program for the HFES annual meeting.


This past semester, three OSE trainees participated in the NC State graduation ceremony. In June of 2009, Tao Zhang successfully defended his dissertation on, "Using Measures of Situation Awareness to Characterize Mental Models in Inductive Reasoning Tasks”. He officially graduated with his doctoral degree in summer 2009. Tao is currently working as a post-doc researcher in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Vanderbilt University. In June of 2009, Yu (Zeno) Zhang successfully defended her thesis on, " An Empirical Assessment of Driver Motivation and Emotional State, and Driving Conditions on Perceived Safety Margins." Zeno officially graduated with her masters degree in summer 2009. She passed the PhD qualifying exam in Industrial & Systems Engineering in August 2009 and is currently pursuing her PhD degree. In June of 2009, Biwen Zhu successfully defended his thesis on, "Design of Etiquette for Patient Robot Interaction in a Medicine Delivery Task." He officially graduated with his masters degree in summer 2009. He passed the PhD qualifying exam in Industrial & Systems Engineering in August 2009 and is currently pursuing his PhD degree. In December of 2009, Matt Diering successfully defended his thesis on, “Ergonomic Evaluation of Scaffolding Task Interventions for Power Plant Maintenance." Matt will officially graduate with his masters degree in May of 2010.

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From left to right: Yu (Zeno) Zhang, Biwen Zhu, David Kaber and Tao Zhang


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The NC OSHERC Occupational Medicine Program
Duke University Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic

Dennis Darcey, MD, MSPH, FACOEM
Program Director
Occupational Medicine Residency Program
Duke University Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic
Phone:  919-286-1722 Ext. 226

For more information on the Duke Occupational Medicine Program and Residency, visit:

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SouthEastern Atlantic College of
Occupational & Environmental Medicine

The Carolinas Occupational and Environmental Medicine Association (COEMA) merged with the Virginia College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (VCOEM) to form the SouthEastern Atlantic College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (SEACOEM) at its annual meeting and academic symposium in New Bern in September, 2010.  SEACOEM is the regional componenet society of the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine.  During the business meeting, Duke Occupational Medicine faculty member Brian Caveney, MD, JD, MPH was elected the Secretary-Treasurer of the organization, and Duke Occupational Medicine Division Chief Dennis Darcey, MD, MSPH was elected to the Board of Directors. 

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NC Tarheel AOHN awards, 2009 Nurse of the Year

Rita Oakes, COHN of Duke OEM and EOHW was honored as the 2009 Occupational Health Nurse of the year by the Tarheel Nurses Association.

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Sam Moon, MD, MPH, presented at the
25th Annual Sara Lee National Nurses Meeting

Sam Moon MD MPH of Duke OEM participated in the 25th Annual Sara Lee National Nurses Meeting Oct 26-30, in North Myrtle Beach SC, giving presentations on Pandemic Preparedness, Work Fitness Concepts, Occupational
Medicine Trends and Updates.

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Join the Occ-Env-Med-Listserv!

Gary N. Greenberg, MD MPH
Systems Opperator/Moderator
Occ-Env-Med-L MailList
Occ-Env-Med-L email forum, hosted at the University of North Carolina by the Occupational Health Nursing Program. This dynamic community of electronic announcements, news, commentary and debate has operated continuously since 1983 (that pre-dates the whole World Wide Web!).

There are now more than 4,000 subscribers, but the reach is much greater since many readers routinely forward their favorite (or most important) messages to professional partners who choose not to
personally receive the approximately 200 messages distributed monthly. You can choose the option to receive one Email per day, listing the topics of the day, to read or not as your choice. Among subscribers, we include more than 70 different countries and a wide distribution of professions, employment sites and special topics in Occupational & Environmental Health.



Though subscription and participation is without charge, our recent fund-drive raised hundreds of voluntary contributions, provided to maintain the moderator and technical support required for a useful resource.

Topics in recent discussion include:

  • Environmental risks from diacetyl released from microwave popcorn

  • Evidenced-based critique of the AMA guide to disability ratings

  • Pharmacokinetics of abused drug metabolities

  • Job and grant announcements from private and public sources

  • Disaster planning projects within Occupational Health

  • Was anybody really hurt by the April Fools' posting about Toxic (jello) Mold?

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    simply enter your email address at

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    OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Index

    A keyword index of OSHA Recordkeeping interpretations and terms used in 1904 – the OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping standard. Click on a term or keyword and all of OSHA’s interpretations on this subject from the standard, the preamble, the Frequently Asked Questions, the CPL, OSHA Letters of Interpretation and oral and email interpretations that CTJ has received from Federal OSHA will appear. You will receive the Index on CD ROM.  
    PRICE: $79 per year

    Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    This guide includes CTJ’s OSHA Recordkeeping Interpretative Review – a copy of the new OSHA Recordkeeping Standard plus interpretations from the standard’s preamble, the CPL, the FAQ’s and emails that we have received form Federal OSHA. It also includes the new forms, exercises, flow charts and a comparison chart of the old versus the new standard. 100 pages.
    PRICE: $45 (provided on CD or via e-mail)

    For more information on these resources please CLICK HERE!

    NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center
    Bonnie Rogers, DrPH, COHN-S, LNCC, FAAN, Director

    Supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

    North Carolina Institute for Public Health
    Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Phone 919-962-2101 | Toll free 888-235-3320 |