Improving Worker Health & Safety


September 2013
Our wonderful ERC group at the Fall Technical Conference
NIOSH Directors to Meet Next Week! 
We are excited to host the NIOSH Directors from around the country on October 3 and 4 to discuss our work together.
Stay tuned for a debrief from our meeting
You're Invited!
Join us to honor and support our Occupational Medicine Residency  
Special Fundraiser Event 
October 17, 2013
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Cool River Cafe
For more information and to register please click here.
Save the Date!
The Rocky Mountain Academy will host its annual Occupational & Environmental Medicine Conference at the Anschutz Medical Campus
January 31 - February 1, 2014
This year's theme: "Emerging Issues and Other Occupational and Preventive Medicine Matters."
Registration information is soon to follow.

National Worker Health & Safety Conference


Save the date !

 When: December 11 & 12, 2013 

Where: Baltimore, MD



Click here for more information


The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries is looking for a new team member 


The Department is looking for a new project manager for their Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program. This surveillance program focuses on preventing work-related fatalities.  


Click here to see a detailed job description and to apply.

September at a Glance
September seems to be a synonym for "conference." Take a look at all the fun we've had!
EHS Safety Fair - On Sept. 11 the MAP ERC promoted our training programs and continuing education to the Anschutz Medical Campus at the Annual EHS Safety Fair. We had a lot of fun talking to a variety of people from students to medical professionals.
AOHP - Lee an Lili got to spend some time in Orlando, FL educating the attendees of the Association of Occupational Health Professionals about our programs for worksite wellness.
Fall Tech Conference - On Sept. 17, the MAP ERC had a booth at the ASSE/AIH Fall Technical Conference. Outreach director, Ken Scott, gives us a highlight in this month's Research & Practice, but our staff and trainees had a lot of fun networking and highlighting their work.
Red Cross Business Preparedness Academy - On September 18, our worksite wellness program, Health Links, got to spend some time up in Blackhawk identifying ways in which emergency preparedness can be integrated into worksite health and safety.
Public Health in the Rockies - On Sept. 18 - 20, many of our student workers got to spend time networking in Breckenridge and learning about various Public Health initiatives throughout Colorado at the annual Public Health in the Rockies conference.
WestON - The NIOSH Western States office hosted their annual conference in Golden, CO on Sept. 26 & 27 where they had a variety of national speakers come and talk about the various occupational health and safety projects going on around the country.
Check out our Social Media Sites for fun pictures!

Health Links is excited to announce their first training event for community and business members! 


The Health Links Kick-Start program for funding helps businesses start or improve their wellness programs by conducting one-on-one advising sessions. In order to create greater relationships and empower communities, we are recruiting individuals from across the state who are passionate about health and safety and training them up to become our team of Health Links Advisors.


Train-the-Trainer is scheduled for October 2, from 8am - 1pm at the Penrose House in Colorado Springs.


Contact Michelle Haan ( for more details.

Michelle Haan

Surprise! Our fearless director is off taking his "summer" vacation. To fill in, we were inspired by his travels to remind ourselves about our own practice of Total Worker Health as applied to work-life-balance.  What better way to de-stress than kicking back and catching up on the latest RoadMAP?


We hear the phrase "work-life balance" often in today's society. Have you ever taken the time to really think about it? I don't think I've met someone who didn't wish they had a few more hours in the day at some point in their life. So what does it mean? It seems like a general consensus is that you have to find a balance between the time you spend doing work and the time you spend outside of work with family and friends or doing something fun. A good work-life balance looks like being productive with the work hours between 8am and 5pm and spending the rest of the evening and the weekends relaxing and enjoying time away from the desk. I think there are a handful of people that would not agree with this definition of work-life balance. What does balance look like when you love what you do and don't mind spending time in the evening or on Saturday mornings "working" because you actually enjoy it and feel like when you work you are living your life the way that you want to?


For some, pleasure reading is picking up the latest Journal and reading the newly published articles; socializing is networking and coming up with new ideas for projects to start; some people don't really mind writing that next paper because their work fascinates them. Yes, they still have some tasks that are not a favorite, the small tasks that keep things moving, but all in all they enjoy what they do and have fun doing it. These people don't have to step away and take a breather too often because their work is their entertainment and relaxation. It's the life outside of the office that can be stressful.


Another group of people do not feel the same way, some have to turn off the email when they get home at night and separate themselves from the office to focus on life at home away from a desk on the weekends. They feel balanced when they take the time to read a novel for pleasure and go for a run just for fun or exercise rather than running to relieve stress and take a break from work. Life outside of the office is wonderful and Sunday nights come too quickly.


So how can we define work-life balance when each of us is different and thinks of it in a different way? I think that balance comes when you can take the time to see and enjoy the small moments in life that make it worth living: laughing with friends, catching the sunrise or sunset, seeing the colored leaves in the fall, the little things that fill you with joy and happiness. Whether your closest friends are your co-workers or your favorite thing to do is close the computer at the end of the day, make the most of every moment and live the life that makes you happy. Balance will follow when you allow yourself to live fully.


In the Spotlight
Dave Gilkey & John Rosecrance

Each month we like to shine the spotlight on a trainee or student who is doing great things within the Center and the MAP ERC. This month we'd like to extend a warm welcome to our first international exchange student, Federica Masci, a new ergonomics trainee.  


 Federica is a doctoral student at the University of Milan and is working with students and faculty at Colorado State University to enhance her skills in ergonomics exposure assessment. Her Italian advisor is Dr. Claudio Colosio an occupational health physician and collaborator in the International Dairy Research Consortium with Drs. Rosecrance and Reynolds. Federica is supported by the High Plains Center for Agricultural Health and Safety and the MAP ERC to study risk assessment methods for work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Federica is interested in expanding her knowledge and skills in ergonomics to develop injury risk profiles for dairy tasks. She will create risk profiles associated with upper limb disorders due to repetitive activities unique to large-herd milking parlor work processes. Federica will be at CSU throughout the fall semester while she collects exposure assessment data at local dairies and enjoys Colorado.


Continuing Education News & Updates
Lili Tenney, Associate CE Director
Early this month, our Continuing Education (CE) Director, Dave Gilkey and I traveled to Chicago to attend the annual NIOSH ERC CE Director's Meeting.  We met for a day and a half with a great group of 18 CE Directors and others to discuss new programs, trainings, eLearning opportunities and the plan that our Center has proposed as the hub for NIOSH ERC online learning.  As always the meeting was nicely organized and facilitated by Mitch Rosen from Rutgers School of Public Health.  We gave a warm welcome to Amber Kidd, the new CE Director at the Central Appalachian Regional ERC.  Many thanks to Joe, Marilyn, Karen and others at UIC School of Public Health for hosting the rowdy group.  For more information on the MAP ERC CE program, please visit website.


Research & Practice
Ken Scott

How the Public Health Approach Can Apply to Worker Health & Safety


Since it was founded, the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center has been a proud sponsor of the annual Fall Technical Conference organized by the American Society for Safety Engineers' Colorado Chapter and the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. This year, I had the opportunity to give two presentations at the conference. My presentations summarized some of NIOSH's work over the years. After all, as one of the eighteen Education and Research Centers funded by NIOSH, we are in a unique position to spread the word about NIOSH's good work. In my first presentation, I described the remarkable achievements that NIOSH has made in Alaska. In the early 1990's, when NIOSH founded the Alaska Field Station, Alaska's occupational fatality rate was five times the national average and more than ten times the rate in Norway - a country with a similar environment as Alaska, as well as high hazard industries such as commercial fishing. Over the course of twenty years, by following the public health approach - incorporating surveillance data, epidemiologic analysis, partnerships with local organizations and targeted interventions - Alaska's occupational fatality rate plummeted by 84% to a rate that is much closer to the national average. The Alaska Pacific Office continues to make progress in fishing and aviation, with its eyes still focused on Norway's low rate.


My second presentation described the Total Worker HealthTM Initiative. I recounted the staggering rates and costs of chronic diseases we face in our country, as well as a history of NIOSH's efforts to promote health in the workplace. From the Steps to a Healthier US Workforce Initiative to the WorkLife Initiative to what is now the more mature and robust Total Worker HealthTM Initiative, NIOSH has been building momentum over a decade, honing its approach and building capacity through its Total Worker HealthTM centers.  


In some ways, while the obesity epidemic is very different from helicopter logging fatalities, the two presentations were natural complements. Both through it's efforts in Alaska and through its approach to promoting Total Worker HealthTM, NIOSH continues to demonstrate how the public health approach - identifying priorities based off of surveillance data, conducting epidemiological analysis, forming partnerships and developing targeted interventions - can be applied to improve the health and safety of working people.


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