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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
ture, fishing, and forestry; (4) identification, development, evaluation, and implementation of control systems to reduce injury and illness; and (5) development of efficient and effective outreach mechanisms for dissemination and delivery of knowledge developed through research.
Those resources would include adequate staff, scientists, engineers, and administrators who work together with clearly defined goals, strategies, and evaluation methods to ensure success in achieving AFF Program goals. Their combined experience and expertise would be specific to agriculture, fishing, and forestry, to the extent possible. There would be clearly defined reporting mechanisms and procedures for maintaining accountability, and a well-organized system would be in place for creating an archive of program work products for future reference. A single person would be charged with directing the entire program and overseeing, evaluating, and communicating its plans. However, content experts would be in charge of each arm of the program: a separate leader for agriculture, for forestry, and for fishing. The committee envisions a relatively flat organization chart; the person in charge of each arm would have a fair amount of responsibility to make decisions. The management matrix or organization structure would be flexible so that the AFF research teams can recognize and react quickly to changes in the AFF industries, the economy, new technologies, and relevant results of research in other programs, and managed in such a way that AFF research teams are encouraged to be proactive in anticipating and mitigating emerging risks and hazards. The AFF Program would be informed of current issues through contacts in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension System, and industry representatives.
The AFF Program would have world-class research facilities and laboratories devoted to solving problems specific to the strategic plan. The facilities would focus on elements of the strategic plan that may not be adequately addressed through extramural research projects, such as the development of analytic methods directly relevant to the AFF mission. AFF resources would not be used to duplicate capabilities available in partner agencies or programs or when the foremost expertise is available through extramural programs. In addition to projects funded at the NIOSH Centers for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education, and Prevention (Ag Centers), the AFF Program would consider funding extramural projects that address important issues and innovative technologies. The AFF Program would include the means to fund large multicenter studies to answer scientific questions that cannot be addressed any other way; an example might be gene-environment interaction studies, which have become important in fields ranging from the risk of lumbar disk herniation to the risk of airway obstruction related to animal feeding operations. Ethical issues related to findings from gene-environment interaction studies would be considered, including the possible impact on employment.