WVU, NIOSH partner to improve workplace health and safety | WVU Today

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In a new collaborative partnership, West Virginia University
is expanding efforts to enhance workplace health and safety. 

Through a new Scholar in Residence program at the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health, Douglas Myers, an associate professor in the WVU
School
of Public Health
, will serve as a primary liaison between
the School and several local, regional and state partners. As a “guest
researcher” with NIOSH, Myers will coordinate opportunities for faculty, students
and researchers to collaborate and share ideas. 

Rear Admiral Margaret Kitt, deputy director for program at NIOSH, says the partnership is a natural fit.  

“The fundamental mission of NIOSH is to improve workplace safety and the
overall health of the workforce,” said Kitt. “Partnering with the School of
Public Health was an easy decision to make. We share similar goals in working
to influence workplace safety and injury prevention policy. By bringing our
experts together, we can have a greater impact in our efforts to keep people
safe.” 

School of Public Health Dean Jeffrey Coben, feels the partnership will help
to enhance the work of both WVU faculty and NIOSH researchers. 

“As an educational institution, it’s a tremendous benefit for our
faculty and students to have access to the expertise of NIOSH researchers and
practitioners,” said Coben. “At the same time, we’ll be providing their team
with new opportunities to engage with students and academic faculty who are
also focusing their work on occupational health and workforce culture. It’s a
win-win for everyone.” 

Myers is an associate professor in
the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences. He came to WVU from Duke University where he was
an assistant professor in the Division of Occupational and Environmental
Medicine in the Department of Community and Family Medicine. He holds a Doctor
of Science in Epidemiology and a Master of Arts in Sociology.

Myers’ research takes a
multidisciplinary approach to the study of workplace safety, occupational
injuries and work-related violence. He has used his background in sociology to
apply culture theory and social network methods to investigate how occupational
cultures affect the risk of injuries and industrial disasters. Most recently,
he completed an evaluation of an intervention designed to reduce the risk of
needlesticks and other percutaneous blood and body fluid exposures that occur
during surgical procedures. As part of this study, he used social network
measures to quantify the stability of surgical team membership in order to
determine whether surgical teams with greater stability – whose members have
worked together more in the past – experience fewer needlesticks and other
percutaneous BBF exposures. He is currently collaborating with Kimberly Rauscher to
investigate the incidence of workplace violence among young workers.  

-WVU-

kwb/06/22/18

CONTACT: Kimberly Becker, WVU School of
Public Health
304.293.1699; [email protected]  

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.

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