NIOSH announces re-organization of respiratory and mining divisions

Change reflects expanded focus on development of workplace-based interventions to improve respiratory health

Posted November 6, 2015

In the past year, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) submitted two reorganization plans for approval — one involving the Division of Respiratory Disease Studies (DRDS), and the other involving the NIOSH Mine Safety and Health Research Program. Both reorganization plans were recently approved by CDC’s Management Analysis and Services Office (MASO).

Formerly known as the NIOSH Division of Respiratory Disease Studies (DRDS) with a focus on protecting workers from respiratory hazards, the newly named NIOSH Respiratory Health Division (RHD) reflects an expansion in vision and scope.

With its new name, RHD will still retain at its core the DRDS mission of protecting workers from diseases caused by respiratory hazards but also plans to expand its efforts to also include the development and advancement of workplace-based interventions that improve respiratory health.

Details about the Respiratory Health Division (RHD) can be found in a recent Federal Register Notice: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-22/pdf/2015-24006.pdf. The NIOSH topic page on RHD can be found here: www.cdc.gov/niosh/contact/im-drds.html.

A second reorganization has taken place within the mine safety and health research program to restore two mining research divisions — the Pittsburgh Mining Research Division (PMRD) and the Spokane Mining Research Division (SMRD).

Recent reports indicate that mine workers have lower quality-adjusted life expectancy than workers in any of the other original industry sectors. The recently approved reorganization completes the new structure at Pittsburgh with the formation of the new Workplace Health Branch and, with the previously approved reorganization of the Spokane Mining Research Division, the new structure of the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) is complete.


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