2020 Education and Research Center Webinars

NIOSH supported Education and Research Centers throughout the country are pleased to present the 2020 Webinar Series, offering free monthly webinars on various topics on Industrial Hygiene and Human Factors and Ergonomics. A collaborative effort on behalf of each ERC’s Continuing Education program, our goal is to provide access to current research supported through NIOSH ERC Programs.

Beginning January 1st,  2020, Certificates of Completion will be available for live webinar participants who are present for the full webinar, score at least an 85% Attentiveness Score during the webinar presentation, and complete / submit the post-webinar evaluation within 7 days of the webinar.  A link to the evaluation will be emailed to qualified attendees 24 hours after the webinar. Certificates will be emailed to qualified participants for their records, or can be saved via PDF online.

If you're not able to attend the live presentation, no problem! We typically record presentations and will host them on our website if we have permission to do so.  Due to accreditation standards, Certificates of Completion are only available to learners who have participated in the live webinar by logging in with their registered email address. Call-in attendees are not eligible for certificates at this time - Please download the Zoom app to log in via email on your smartphone whenever possible. 

All webinars take place from 12 - 1 PM Pacific, 2 - 3 PM Central, and 3 - 4 PM Eastern unless otherwise noted. 

ERC Webinar Navigation

Industrial Hygiene Series


Exposures to Viruses Among Healthcare Workers

In Partnership with Rocky Mountain COEH (University of Utah)

This presentation will discuss current research findings about the exposures of healthcare workers to viruses during patient care, with a focus on viruses causing respiratory disease. Learners will also identify implications for infection risk and appropriate personal protective equipment for healthcare settings.

February 11, 2020

Rachael Jones, PhD, CIH

Respiratory Exposures and Outcomes Among Cannabis Workers

In Partnership with Northwest COHS (University of Washington)

Commercial cultivation and processing of cannabis is a new and rapidly growing industry in many US states. Workers in this industry are exposed to a variety of occupational health hazards, however, the nature and intensity of many of these exposures has not been previously characterized. In this webinar, Dr. Simpson will report concentrations of PM and VOCs measured in two indoor cannabis cultivation facilities, and measurements of work-related respiratory symptoms, lung function, and cannabis allergy in workers. 

March 10, 2020

Christopher Simpson, PhD, MSc

Creative Use of Direct Reading Instruments

In Partnership with Heartland COHS (University of Iowa)

During this webinar, Dr. Peters will present on the use of direct reading instruments to assess workplace exposures. He will discuss various methods to handle data, such as hazard mapping and analysis of time-series data. The presentation will blend education and literature review. 

April 7, 2020

Thomas Peters, PhD, CIH

Indoor Air Quality in Net-Zero Energy Schools

In Partnership with Central Appalachian Regional ERC (University of Kentucky)

An indoor air quality study conducted on a ‘net-zero energy’ school found average indoor temperature, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide levels in several areas were not within IAQ guidelines. Three rooms on the school’s grounds also had radon levels exceeding the action level. This webinar will discuss testing equipment, methodology, and mitigation recommendations.

May 12, 2020

Clint Pinion, Jr., DrPH, MA, RS, CIT

Exposure Assessment for Epidemiology Research: Use of Routine Industrial Monitoring Data

In Partnership with the NorCal ERC (COEH, University of California, Berkeley)

This presentation will discuss methods for using routine industrial monitoring data in epidemiology research. We will present how job exposure matrices are designed and used, and how changes to occupational controls affect long term average exposures. Learners will also review the implications of exposure misclassification in epidemiology studies.

June 9, 2020

Elizabeth Noth, PhD, MPH and Kathie Hammond, PhD, CIH

Nail Salon Exposure Assessment

In Partnership with the New York / New Jersey ERC (City University of New York)

Due to the nature of nail products and services, salon air can be burdened with a mix of low levels of hazardous airborne contaminants. Surveys of nail technicians have commonly found increased work-related symptoms, such as headaches and respiratory irritation, that are consistent with indoor air quality problems. This webinar will present results of two exposure assessment studies conducted in New York City from 2017-2018 and offer guidance for industrial hygienists performing exposure assessments in nail salons.

August 11, 2020

Brian Pavilonis, CIH

IH Pilot Studies: Current Research in Food Truck Exposure and Customized PPE

In Partnership with the Deep South Center for Occupational Health & Safety (The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Auburn University)

During this webinar, Dr. Oh will present recent IH pilot studies performed by her IH research group. In the first pilot study, food truck work environments were investigated by evaluating the levels of aldehydes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and PM2.5 in local food trucks as well as ventilation hood performance. In the second pilot study, the feasibility of current 3D technology was examined to identify better-fitting safety eyewear with closest overall match based on anthropometric data. This will help further development of a fit-matching application in an effort to improve eyewear fit. 

September 8, 2020

Jonghwa Oh, PhD, MPH

Heat Stress Management in the 2020s

In Partnership with the Sunshine Education & Research Center (University of South Florida)

The management of heat stress uses a wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) trigger that was established almost 50 years ago. While this exposure assessment tool remains valid, the surrounding actions to manage a heat stress exposure have evolved, especially over the last 10 years. This webinar is designed to address three issues associated with managing heat stress: exposure assessment, acclimatization, and personal risk factors. 

October 13, 2020

Thomas Bernard, PhD, CIH

Biomonitoring and Risk Assessment: Essential Concepts & Emerging Technology

In Partnership with the University of Cincinnati ERC (University of Cincinnati)

Biological monitoring is a method for capturing information on cumulative exposures and health related effects of chemical and nonchemical stressors. This presentation will examine the rapidly evolving state of biomarker research and its application in risk assessment using polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exposure as an illustration. Dr. Reichard will also describe the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework, and emerging technologies that hold promise for non-invasive human monitoring and high-throughput chemical screening to reduce the need for animal testing.

November 10, 2020

John F. Reichard, PharmD, PhD

Data, Professional Judgment, and Modeling in Occupational Exposure Assessment

In Partnership with Johns Hopkins Education and Research Center for Occupational Safety and Health  (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Exposure underestimates are a professional and ethical issue for Industrial Hygienists. This presentation will discuss the lack of adequate monitoring data for decision-making in industrial hygiene (IH), the over-reliance on professional judgment, and the limitations of professional judgments. 

December 8, 2020

Gurumurthy Ramachandran, PhD, CIH

Ergonomics Series


Using Anthropometry, Biomechanics, and Usability to Inform Product Design

In Partnership with the Pacific Northwest COHS (University of Washington)

This presentation will cover how anthropometric, biomechanical, and subjective methods can be used to inform product design and/or compare competing product designs.

February 26, 2020

Peter W. Johnson, PhD

The Impact of A Scope Stand on Biomechanical Exposures During Simulated Colonoscopies

In Partnership with the NorCal ERC (University of California, Berkeley)


Endoscopists have a high incidence and severity of musculoskeletal pain and injury relative to other medical specialists.  This lecture will review recent research regarding the quantification of physical exposures while performing colonoscopies and present an evaluation of a new device designed to mitigate such exposures.

March 25, 2020

Carisa Harris, PhD, CPE

Lean Ergonomics: It's an Efficiency Issue! 

In Partnership with the Central Appalachian Regional ERC (University of Kentucky)

This webinar will review a brief history of the Toyota Production System, the foundation for the University of Kentucky, True Lean Program. Learners will explore the core tenants of True Lean, and how to systematically merge the four categories of risk factors to create measurable process improvement.

April 22, 2020

Steve Davis and Luther Cottrell

Organization of Work Factors Associated with Work Ability Among Aging Nurses (Livestream)

In Partnership with the New York / New Jersey ERC (City University of New York)

The U.S. registered nurse workforce is aging, however, relatively little is known about how to retain and facilitate continued work among this segment of workers. This presentation will discuss research exploring work-related barriers and facilitators influencing work ability in older nurses. Participants will learn about factors associated with work ability at the individual, unit-based work level, and the organizational levels. Implications for the nursing workforce and patient care will also be discussed.

May 20, 2020

Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, PhD

Considerations in Exoskeleton Human Factors

In Partnership with the University of Michigan Center for Occupational Health and Safety Engineering (University of Michigan)

Exoskeletons are a class of wearable technology that have potential to provide significant benefits to users, including increased strength or endurance, improved motor performance, and enhanced capability. Exoskeletons may be passive and provide structural support for the wearer, or active and generate motion using powered components. Enabling the benefits of an exoskeleton requires a good “fit” between the user and the system. In this talk, we will consider three characteristics of fit: (1) static, (2) dynamic, and (3) cognitive. Examples will be provided highlighting how these characteristics relate to exoskeletons.

June 17, 2020

Leia Stirling, PhD

Fatigue, Sleep, and the Consequences of Adverse Work Schedules

In Partnership with the Southern California NIOSH Education and Research Center (University of California, Los Angeles) 

Adverse work schedules can compromise sleep, leading to fatigue that results in decreased capabilities and increased risk of injury, errors, and vehicle crashes. In this webinar we will explore the factors that constitute an adverse work schedule, what jobs and industries are affected most, the best research on this topic, how to predict the impact of any given work schedule, and what can be done to mitigate the impact of adverse work schedules.

July 15, 2020

George Brogmus, MS, CPE 

Work Vehicle Safety: Eliminating Hazardous Activities While Safely Improving Productivity

In Partnership with Rocky Mountain COEH (University of Utah)

There is high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and fall injuries among employees in work vehicle environments. Effective ergonomic interventions can lower the physical demands of work tasks, thereby lowering the incidence and severity of associated MSDs. This presentation will highlight 10 common work tasks in and around a truck bed and how to reduce or eliminate the 5 most hazardous activities through engineering solutions and training, without compromising safety.

August 19, 2020

Andrew S. Merryweather, PhD

Seat Bolster Design and Discomfort in Agricultural Equipment

In Partnership with North Carolina OSHERC (UNC Chapel Hill / NC State University)

This webinar will examine discomfort related to the design of seat bolsters in agricultural machinery and the scope of an upcoming research study on this topic. This is an under served segment, with little research quantifying the impact of seat bolsters. Learners will explore background information, study design, subjective measurements including the Automotive Seating Discomfort Questionnaire (ASDQ) and the Nordic Questionnaire, and objective measurements including pressure mean and max taken from a seat pan pressure map, and pressure gradient data.

September 16, 2020

C. Matthew Hutmacher, NIOSH Trainee, MSIE student

Minnesota’s Safe Patient Handling Act: Policy, Practice, and Research

In Partnership with Midwest Center for Occupational Health & Safety ERC (University of Minnesota)

This session presented by the University of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry will provide a history of the Minnesota Safe Patient Handling Act, a law designed to protect health care workers from injuries caused by lifting and transferring patients. Learners will explore results from a policy evaluation that measured changes in patient handling injuries before and after the law was enacted. The evaluation also identified characteristics of nursing homes with high injury rates and assessed whether the effects of the law were modified by staffing or worker retention levels. Resources developed by Minnesota to support nursing homes in implementing effective safe patient handling programs will also be shared. 

October 21, 2020

Breca Tschida, MSPH, CPE & Christina Rosebush, PhD, MPH

Emerging Technologies: The Future of Ergonomics

In Partnership with North Carolina OSHERC (UNC Chapel Hill / NC State University)

The field of ergonomics is rapidly changing. Emerging technologies such as exoskeletons, wearable sensors, computer-vision, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality are being integrated into how companies & ergonomists provide services. From design, to training, to assessments, to solution implementation, these new technologies can help companies optimize business performance. This presentation will provide a “high-level” overview of this topic and will provide some insights into the future of our field of ergonomics (from a practitioners perspective).

November 18 , 2020

Jeffrey Hoyle, MS, CPE

Fatigue in the Workplace: Effects on Health and Performance and Measurement Considerations

In Partnership with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the University of Iowa

A leading cause of non-fatal work injuries is overexertion and bodily reaction. What is less understood is the role fatigue plays as a contributing factor. Fatigue in the workplace is a multidimensional process that results in diminished worker performance and is often under appreciated and unrecognized. Reducing the incidence of fatigue-induced workplace injuries and lost productivity depends on accurate and timely detection to allow for appropriate intervention. This webinar will present an overview of worker fatigue and how it may be defined, examine ramifications on worker health and performance, and identify measurement considerations.

December 16, 2020

David Douphrate, PhD, MPT, MBA, CPE, CSP & Nate Fethke, PhD, CPE

About the Program:


NIOSH Education and Research Centers (ERCs) provide training and education to meet the demand for qualified safety and health professionals in the United States.  NIOSH funds 18 ERCs across the US, based at academic institutions, which provide occupational safety and health training and education to a range of students and professionals.  The goal is for the ERCs to provide interdisciplinary programs to increase knowledge and skills in OSH.

The ERC Continuing Education programs reach thousands of professionals each year.  The ERCs offer a diversity of courses that include webinars, in-depth hands-on training, and others to improve workplace safety and health.  Over the past several years, the Directors of the Continuing Education programs have looked for ways they can combine their institutional expertise to deliver training across the United States.

In 2018, the ERC Continuing Education directors developed a national assessment to identify the types of training needed by occupational safety and health professionals.  The needs assessment identified that training was needed in the areas of injury prevention (specifically related to back injuries), occupational stress, and musculoskeletal issues.  Musculoskeletal injuries are common in the workplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report that the incidence rate for musculoskeletal disorders in 2016 was 29.4 per 10,000 workers, compared to a rate of 2.9 for all injuries.  Certain industries, such as healthcare, have significantly higher rates of injury due to MSDs. The injury rate for MSDs in 2010 for nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants was 249 per 10,000 workers.

In response to this need, the ERC Continuing Education programs initiated the development of a webinar series on Human Factors and Ergonomics.  The series will provide an opportunity for professionals to learn more about human factors and ergonomics, and identify ways to reduce musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace.

The Human Factors and Ergonomics webinar series will share the latest research and expertise of our faculty with occupational safety and health students, professionals, and other who need more information on these topics.  The goal of these programs is to reduce musculoskeletal injuries, and improve the working conditions of workers across the US.

Our ERC Partners

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