NIOSH Awards $9.2 Million to Washington Research Center

The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (PNASH), directed by Richard Fenske at the University of Washington School of Public Health, received more than $9.2 million in grant funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Center, which began in 1996, partners with worker, industry, health care, government, academic and community groups in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to address key hazards and promote safe and sustainable workplaces in farming, fishing and forestry.

The five-year grant will fund outreach and research projects in the Center at the UW, Washington State University and Oregon State University. These projects and the corresponding lead investigators include:

  • Prevention of occupational exposure to pesticide drift, which is led by Fenske, professor in the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
  • The healthy dairy worker study, which is led by Peter Rabinowitz, an associate professor in the UW departments of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Global Health.
  • A multi-level approach to heat-related illness prevention in agricultural workers, which is led by June Spector, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.
  • Injury and illness prevention in the Pacific Northwest for the dairy industry, which is led by Michael Yost, a professor in and chair of the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.
  • Safety surveillance for Pacific Northwest fisheries, which is led by Laurel Kincl, an assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University.
  • Practical solutions for pesticide safety, which is led by Kit Galvin, a research industrial hygienist in the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

The Center is one of 10 regional Centers established through the NIOSH/CDC Agricultural Initiative and is dedicated to the prevention of illness and injury among agricultural producers, workers and their families.

PNASH will expand its engagement activities and further build its network with Northwest agricultural communities and industries. Stakeholder needs and injury data drive the Center’s research, intervention and educational activities. It is also through this tight network with communities and community organizations that PNASH can share findings, materials, tested interventions and educational strategies.