National Institute for Occupational Health

Johannesburg, South Africa

National Institute for Occupational Health

Johannesburg, South Africa
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News Article | May 16, 2017

New August Date & Location Allow for Continued Attendance and Expo Growth -- The National Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo®, the longest-running, and largest ergonomics conference and expo in North America will be held in a new month and venue for 2017. The ergonomics event will be held August 22 – 25, 2017 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.  Experiencing more than 70% growth in the last four years, conference organizers believe the change in dates and venue will allow the event to continue to grow.ErgoExpo® is the premier event for ergonomics, safety and workforce wellness professionals. This August the conference will have exclusive use of all available conference and expo space at the Paris Las Vegas to accommodate larger sessions and a sold-out exhibitor space in the ErgoExpo®."The 2016 ErgoExpo® had a buzzing show floor, leading most exhibitors to immediately renew.  Ergotron, Fellowes, Interstuhl, Magline, OM Seating, SiS Ergo and other companies significantly increased their space for this year's Expo," said Lenore Higgins, Trade Show and Direct Advertising Manager, ErgoExpo.  "2017 exhibitors will also include  BodyBilt by ErgoGenesis, Caster Connection, Darcor, Contour Design, Herman Miller, Kinesis, LINAK, PowerPusher, and Workrite Ergonomics."Exhibitors also have an opportunity to enter the annual ErgoExpo® Attendees' Choice Awards ( choice.html ), the only program recognizing products offering the best opportunities for advancements in workplace ergonomics, safety and productivity.This year industry thought leaders from well-known organizations such as Cargill, Chevron, Duke University and Health System, Liberty Mutual, Microsoft and Southern California Edison are scheduled to speak and share their secrets to success.Dr. Alan Hedge, CPE, Professor of Ergonomics at Cornell University, and ErgoExpo® Conference Chair, has brought together engaging Keynote presenters, including L. Casey Chosewood, MD, Director of the Office of Total Worker Health®, National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOSH); and Lance Perry, PE, CPE, Senior Ergonomist, Risk Engineering at Zurich North America."These Keynotes, in conjunction with the conference program, will explore ways ergonomics professionals can adapt workplace design and safety procedures to meet the demands of an ever-evolving workforce and workplace," Hedge said. "Whether ErgoExpo® attendees are responsible for the employee wellbeing in a traditional office, a warehouse or manufacturing setting, or a state of the art healthcare facility, the conference will provide real-world strategies and proven methods that attendees can implement at their organization."Additionally, ErgoExpo® features programming in 5 distinct tracks:  Program Management; Office Ergonomics; Material Handling, Tools & Workstation Design; Industrial Ergonomics & Safety; Healthcare Ergonomics, Aging Workforce & Wellness, and will also include workshop offerings, from novice to advanced levels.Ergonomics professionals that register by June 18 will save $300.00 off the on-site rate. Registration, the conference agenda, and the growing exhibitor list are available at Companies interested in exhibiting should contact Lenore Higgins at or 800-287-0257 ext. 8623.  Media inquiries should be directed to Rennette Fortune at or 561-622-6520, ext. 8674.# # #The National Ergonomics Conference and ErgoExpo®  is the most important annual event for ergonomics professionals. Ergonomists as well as health, safety, productivity and risk management professionals attend each year in search of innovative ways to increase productivity and profitability while improving workplace health and safety. For more information, visit Conferences is a producer of nearly a dozen professional conferences and trade shows including National Ergonomics Conference and ErgoExpo®, HR Technology Conference & Exposition®, and the National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo. For more details, visit

Vetten M.A.,National Institute for Occupational Health | Vetten M.A.,University of Witwatersrand | Yah C.S.,Human science Research Council | Singh T.,National Institute for Occupational Health | And 3 more authors.
Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine | Year: 2014

This review outlines and compares techniques that are currently available for the sterilization of nanoparticles and addresses the topic of endotoxin contamination. Several techniques are available for the removal of microbial contamination from nanoparticles developed for use in nanomedicine applications. These techniques include filtration, autoclaving and irradiation, as well as formaldehyde, ethylene oxide and gas plasma treatments. Of these sterilization methodologies, filtration may potentially remove microbial contamination without altering the physicochemical properties of the carrier nanoparticles, nor affecting their toxicity and functionality. However, no single process may be applied to all nanoparticle preparations and, therefore, it is recommended that each nanoparticle-drug system be validated on a case-by-case basis. From the Clinical Editor: This comprehensive review covers the currently available methods for removal of microbial contaminations from nanoparticles for nanomedicine applications. The review highlights the pros and cons of each available method. Authors conclude that there is no single best method and recommend a customized approach for each nanoparticle system. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Nelson G.,National Institute for Occupational Health | Nelson G.,University of Witwatersrand | Girdler-Brown B.,University of Pretoria | Ndlovu N.,National Institute for Occupational Health | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2010

Background: Eliminating silicosis is a priority of the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization. Prevalence is particularly high in developing countries. oBjectives: We describe trends in silicosis among South African gold miners who had had an autopsy between 1975 and 2007 and quantify the contributions of age at autopsy and employment duration to these trends. Methods: South African miners and ex-miners are eligible for autopsy examination for occupational lung disease, regardless of the clinical cause of death, and the families of deceased mine workers may receive compensation from the government of South Africa. Miners who died from external causes and who had been employed in the gold mines for > 1 year were stratified by population group because of differences in exposure, patterns of employment, and autopsy referral patterns. We extracted data from PATHAUT (Pathology Automation System) and used Stata 10 to estimate trends in relative proportions of silicosis that were standardized for age and employment duration. results: The crude proportion of silicosis for white miners was six times that of black miners in 1975. By 2007, it was 1.5 times higher for black miners. The proportion of miners with silicosis increased from 0.03 to 0.32 for black miners and from 0.18 to 0.22 for white miners. The increase can be explained by increasing age and employment duration for white miners. For black miners, it can be only partly explained by these two factors. conclusion: As miners continue to age and work for longer periods, the burden of silicosis will continue to rise. South Africa is committed to global efforts to eliminate silicosis by 2030. The autopsy database allows for disease surveillance, which is necessary to monitor the success of this initiative.

Glynn J.R.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Murray J.,National Institute for Occupational Health | Murray J.,University of Witwatersrand | Nelson G.,National Institute for Occupational Health | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

Background: The rate of recurrent tuberculosis disease due to reinfection, compared with the incidence of new tuberculosis, in those with and without HIV infection is not known. Methods: In a retrospective cohort study of South African gold miners, men with known dates of seroconversion to HIV (from 1991 to 1997) and HIV-negative men were followed up to 2004. Rates of tuberculosis recurrence >2 years after the first episode were used as a proxy for reinfection disease rates. Results: Among 342 HIV-positive and 321 HIV-negative men who had had≥1 previous episode of tuberculosis, rates of recurrence were 19.7 cases per 100 person-years at risk (PYAR; 95% confidence interval [CI], 16.4-23.7) and 7.7 cases per 100 PYAR (95% CI, 6.1-9.8), respectively. The recurrence rate did not vary by duration of HIV infection. Recurrent pulmonary tuberculosis rates >2 years after the first episode were 24.4 cases per 100 PYAR (95% CI, 17.2-34.8) in HIV-positive men and 4.3 cases per 100 PYAR (95% CI, 2.2-8.3) in HIV-negative men, compared with incidence rates of new pulmonary tuberculosis of 3.7 cases per 100 PYAR (95% CI, 3.3-4.1) in HIV-positive men and 0.75 cases per 100 PYAR (95% CI, 0.67-0.84) in HIV-negative men in the same cohort. Conclusions. Tuberculosis recurrence rates, likely due to reinfection, were much higher than incidence rates. The findings suggest heterogeneity in susceptibility, implying that a vaccine could still provide useful protection in the population and strengthening the case for secondary preventive therapy COPY RIGHT: 2010 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Glynn J.R.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Murray J.,National Institute for Occupational Health | Murray J.,University of Witwatersrand | Shearer S.,Gold Fields Ltd | Sonnenberg P.,University College London
AIDS | Year: 2010

In a cohort of 1950 HIV-positive men with known dates of HIV seroconversion, 399 developed tuberculosis. Mortality rates following tuberculosis were greatly increased (hazard ratio, adjusted for age at seroconversion, 4.7, 95% confidence interval 3.7-6.1), and this ratio was similar at different times following seroconversion. Overall mortality was similar to that in western seroconverter cohorts with much lower rates of tuberculosis, suggesting that tuberculosis is more a marker of HIV progression than a cause of it. Copyright © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Batterman S.,University of Michigan | Su F.-C.,University of Michigan | Jia C.,University of Memphis | Naidoo R.N.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | And 2 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2011

Despite the toxicity and widespread use of manganese (Mn) and lead (Pb) as additives to motor fuels and for other purposes, information regarding human exposure in Africa is very limited. This study investigates the environmental exposures of Mn and Pb in Durban, South Africa, a region that has utilized both metals in gasoline. Airborne metals were sampled as PM2.5 and PM10 at three sites, and blood samples were obtained from a population-based sample of 408 school children attending seven schools. In PM2.5, Mn and Pb concentrations averaged 17±27ngm-3 and 77±91ngm-3, respectively; Mn concentrations in PM10 were higher (49±44ngm-3). In blood, Mn concentrations averaged 10.1±3.4μgL-1 and 8% of children exceeded 15μgL-1, the normal range. Mn concentrations fit a lognormal distribution. Heavier and Indian children had elevated levels. Pb in blood averaged 5.3±2.1μgdL-1, and 3.4% of children exceeded 10μgdL-1, the guideline level. Pb levels were best fit by a mixed (extreme value) distribution, and boys and children living in industrialized areas of Durban had elevated levels. Although airborne Mn and Pb concentrations were correlated, blood levels were not. A trend analysis shows dramatic decreases of Pb levels in air and children's blood in South Africa, although a sizable fraction of children still exceeds guideline levels. The study's findings suggest that while vehicle exhaust may contribute to exposures of both metals, other sources currently dominate Pb exposures. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Nielsen M.B.,National Institute for Occupational Health | Nielsen M.B.,University of Bergen | Einarsen S.,University of Bergen
Occupational Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Exposure to workplace sexual harassment (SH) has been associated with impaired mental health, but longitudinal studies confirming the relationship are lacking. Aims: To examine gender differences in prospective associations between SH and psychological distress. Methods: Baseline questionnaire survey data were collected in 2005 in a representative sample of Norwegian employees. Follow-up data were collected in 2007. SH was measured with the Bergen Sexual Harassment Scale. Psychological distress was measured with the 25 item Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25) with cases of psychological distress defined as having a mean score of <1.75. Variables were measured at both baseline and follow-up. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyse data. Results: Response rates were 57% in 2005 and 75% in 2007 when the final cohort comprised 1775 respondents. After adjusting for baseline distress and age, exposure to SH at baseline was associated with psychological distress at follow-up among women [odds ratio (OR): 2.03; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2-3.39] but not men (OR: 1.32; 95% CI: 0.72-2.43). Baseline distress was significantly related to SH at follow-up among men (OR: 3.03; 95% CI: 1.74-5.26) but not women (OR: 1.15; 95% CI: 0.69-1.92). Conclusions: The study found that SH contributed to subsequent psychological distress among women. Workplace measures against SH would be expected to lead to a reduction in mental disorders. The finding that psychological distress predicts SH among men may indicate either a vulnerability factor or a negative perception mechanism. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved.

Avenant-Oldewage A.,University of Johannesburg | Milne S.J.,National Institute for Occupational Health
Acta Parasitologica | Year: 2014

There are eight life stages in the life-cycle of Diplozoon paradoxum and limited knowledge of the life-cycle for other diplozoid genera exists. The aim of this study was to record the number of life-stages of Paradiplozoon ichthyoxanthon obtained from, Labeobarbus aeneus and Labeobarbus kimberlyensis, in the Vaal Dam from 2005 to 2007. Six larval life stages and one adult stage of P. ichtyoxanthon were identified from specimens collected in vitro and in situ. In vitro, eggs hatched after 21 days at 18°C. Eggs collected during winter were significantly larger than those laid during spring or summer. Paradiplozoon ichthyoxanthon oncomiracidia have peripheral eyes with pink pigmentation, a tubular anterior bladder-like structure, bicuspid basal pharynx valve and a branched digestive caecum and residual shell material or vitellaria in the caecum. Immature reproductive tissue connected to the ventral sucker and dorsal papillae were noted for the first time in diporpa. Large nervous ganglia and innervation of muscle were observed around the ventral sucker. © 2014 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien.

Ndlovu N.,National Institute for Occupational Health
Global health action | Year: 2013

Environmentally acquired asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) are of concern globally. In South Africa, there is widespread contamination of the environment due to historical asbestos mining operations that were poorly regulated. Although the law makes provision for the compensation of occupationally acquired ARDs, compensation for environmentally acquired ARDs is only available through the Asbestos Relief Trust (ART) and Kgalagadi Relief Trust, both of which are administered by the ART. This study assessed ARDs and compensation outcomes of environmental claims submitted to the Trusts. The personal details, medical diagnoses, and exposure information of all environmental claims considered by the Trusts from their inception in 2003 to April 2010 were used to calculate the numbers and proportions of ARDs and compensation awards. There were 146 environmental claimants of whom 35 (23.9%) had fibrotic pleural disease, 1 (0.7%) had lung cancer, and 77 (52.7%) had malignant mesothelioma. 53 (36.3%) claimants were compensated: 20 with fibrotic pleural disease and 33 with mesothelioma. Of the 93 (63.7%) claimants who were not compensated, 33 had no ARDs, 18 had fibrotic pleural disease, 1 had lung cancer, and 44 had mesothelioma. In addition to having ARDs, those that were compensated had qualifying domestic (33; 62.2%) or neighbourhood (20; 37.8%) exposures to asbestos. Most of the claimants who were not compensated had ARDs but their exposures did not meet the Trusts' exposure criteria. This study demonstrates the environmental impact of asbestos mining on the burden of ARDs. Mesothelioma was the most common disease diagnosed, but most cases were not compensated. This highlights that there is little redress for individuals with environmentally acquired ARDs in South Africa. To stop this ARD epidemic, there is a need for the rehabilitation of abandoned asbestos mines and the environment. These issues may not be unique to South Africa as many countries continue to mine and use asbestos.

Nattey C.,National Institute for Occupational Health
Global health action | Year: 2013

Disparities in health outcomes between the poor and the better off are increasingly attracting attention from researchers and policy makers. However, policies aimed at reducing inequity need to be based on evidence of their nature, magnitude, and determinants. The study aims to investigate the relationship between household socio-economic status (SES) and under-five mortality, and to measure health inequality by comparing poorest/least poor quintile mortality rate ratio and the use of a mortality concentration index. It also aims to describe the risk factors associated with under-five mortality at Rufiji Demographic Surveillance Site (RDSS), Tanzania. This analytical cross sectional study included 11,189 children under-five residing in 7,298 households in RDSS in 2005. Principal component analysis was used to construct household SES. Kaplan-Meier survival incidence estimates were used for mortality rates. Health inequality was measured by calculating and comparing mortality rates between the poorest and least poor wealth quintile. We also computed a mortality concentration index. Risk factors of child mortality were assessed using Poisson regression taking into account potential confounders. Under-five mortality was 26.9 per 1,000 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI) (23.7-30.4)]. The poorest were 2.4 times more likely to die compared to the least poor. Our mortality concentration index [-0.16; 95% CI (-0.24, -0.08)] indicated considerable health inequality. Least poor households had a 52% reduced mortality risk [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 0.48; 95% CI 0.30-0.80]. Furthermore, children with mothers who had attained secondary education had a 70% reduced risk of dying compared to mothers with no education [IRR = 0.30; 95% CI (0.22-0.88)]. Household socio-economic inequality and maternal education were associated with under-five mortality in the RDSS. Targeted interventions to address these factors may contribute towards accelerating the reduction of child mortality in rural Tanzania.

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