Deep South ERC @ MSHA

Andrew Perkins, CIH was awarded the Hugh Talbert Merit Award for his many years of dedication, as a long-standing committee member of the Southeast Mine Safety & Health Conference.





Several IH students were recipients of the Deep South Center Scholarship:

    • Jasna M. Rossner- Williams
    • Donglee Yang
    • Kelvin Duy Dam

ASSP Annual Awards Luncheon:

At the AL Chapter of ASSP annual awards luncheon on May 14, 2021, several of our UAB and Auburn University students won scholarships along with Allyn Holladay, the Deep South Center Deputy Director and Continuing Education Director, who won the SPY award for academics. Congratulations!

Faculty Achievements 2021

2021 Ergonomics Best Paper Award by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors:

Mehdizadeh A, Vinel A, Hu Q, Schall Jr MC, Gallagher S, Sesek RF. (2020). Job rotation and work-related musculoskeletal disorders: a fatigue failure perspective. Ergonomics. 63(4), 461-476. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2020.1717644

Recent Publications: 2021

  • J. G. Balanay, J. Oh. 2021. Adsorption Characteristics of Activated Carbon Fibers in Respirator Cartridges for Toluene. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 18(16), 8505
  • R. Thaper, B. Fagen, J. Oh. 2021. Decontamination of Respirators Amid Shortages due to SARS-CoV-2. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 20(7), 955-965
  • R. Thaper, J. Oh, R. Sesek. 2021. Performance of Smart Device Noise Measurement Applications: A Literature Review. Prof. Safety. 66(06): 38-46. 
  • M. C. M. Tsou, S. C. C. Lung, Y. S. Shen, C. H. Liu, Y. H. Hsieh, N. Chen, J. S. Hwang. 2021. A community-based study on associations between PM2. 5 and PM1 exposure and heart rate variability using wearable low-cost sensing devices. Environmental Pollution, 277, 116761.
  • L. Locke, O. Dada, J. C. Shedd. 2021. Aerosol Transmission of Infectious Disease and the Efficacy of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): A Systematic Review. J Occup Environ Med. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002366.
  • M. Summers, J. Oh, C. T. Lungu. 2021. Determination of Activated Carbon Fiber Adsorption Capacity for Several Common Organic Vapors: Applications for Respiratory Protection. In revision. 
  • Bardhan, C.T. Lungu. 2021. Investigating Low Dose Ionizing Radiation Exposure and Health Risk among a University Hospital Radiation Employees. Safety. In review.
  • Coker J, Chen H, Schall Jr MC, Gallagher S, Zabala M. (2021). EMG and Joint Angle-Based Machine Learning to Predict Future Joint Angles at the Knee. Sensors. 21(11), 3622.  doi: 10.3390/s21113622
  • Schall Jr MC, *Zhang X, Chen H, Gallagher S, Fethke N. (2021). Comparing Upper Arm and Trunk Kinematics between Manufacturing Workers Performing Predominantly Cyclic and Non-cyclic Work Tasks. Applied Ergonomics. 93, 103356. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2021.103356


Disparities in Occupational Health Webinar

The Deep South Center ERC was honored to host Dr. Zeke McKinney on October 1, 2021, to speak on Disparities in Occupational Health.  Dr. McKinney is the Program Director for HealthPartners Institute where he holds an Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency, and he is an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. 

BOA Member Ellen Hahn, PhD Presentation

Citizen Science and Policy Development to Reduce Environmental Exposures and Foster Environmental Justice

Monday, June 14 from 1245 – 1345 pm

Dr. Ellen Hahn is an environmental health nurse researcher from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Her work on tobacco control changed policy so that cigarettes, cigar, and vaping use was banned in restaurants, bars, and other public venues in Kentucky. At the time, it was the largest tobacco-producing state in the country. While she still focuses on tobacco control, she is now researching the effects of radon. Dr. Hahn is on the OHN advisory board for the Deep South Center for OHS, is the OHN Director for the Central Appalachian ERC, and will be speaking next week via ZOOM at the UAB SON PhD Program Intensive.


DSC @ AIHce 2021

Faculty Presenting: Monday, May 26

Research Roundup Ergonomics ~ 10:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m. The Shoulder Tool: A New Risk Assessment Tool for Shoulder MSDs. Sean Gallagher, Auburn University

Research Roundup Sampling and Analysis 2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Thermal Properties of Buckypaper Sorbent used in Newly Developed Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Sampler. Claudiu Lungu, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Graduate Students Presenting: Tuesday, May 25

 UAB IH Student on Zoom Presentation for AIHce

Connecting Students and Career Professionals, Part 1 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Moderator: Jacob Shedd, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Presenters: Alessandra Pratt, University of Iowa; David McMahan, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Vishal Nathu, University of Cincinnati.

UAB Doctoral Student Research Presentations:  10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Moderator: David McMahan, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Presenters: Jacob Shedd; Margaret Summers; Nathan Chen, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Posters Presentations

Mon, May 24: 3:15 PM  – 4:15 PM

Transmission of Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV) and Vascular Disorder of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS): Laboratory Simulation of Grass Trimmer Operations, Nathan Chen

Transmission of Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV) during Backpack Blower Operations, Chris Hughes, MPH

Backpack Blower Noise Exposure Assessment: A Laboratory Simulation, David McMahan

Development of a Fit Matching App: Prioritizing Gap Measurement Locations between Safety Eyewear and the Wearer’ Face, Erin Lindsey

Noise Exposure during Laboratory Simulation of Grass-Trimmer Operations, Andrew Spivey

Alumni Presenting

Monday, May 24

Effect of Extended Use/Reuse of Masks and Filtering Facepiece Respirators on Fit and Filtration Efficiency, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Presenter and Moderator: Evan Floyd, University of Oklahoma Health

Tuesday, May 25

Research Roundup Big Data 8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m. Comparison Between OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App and WBGT Monitor to Assess Heat Stress Risk in Agriculture. Jo Anne Balanay, East Carolina University.

Wednesday, May 26

Sampling for SARS-CoV-2 and Deactivation of Aerosol Via 254 nm UVC 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Moderator: Evan Floyd, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Presenters: Evan Floyd; K. A. N. Aithinne, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Respirator Fit Testing With Controlled Negative Pressure 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Presenters: Stephanie Lynch, OHD, LLLP.

DSC Faculty News

More Congratulations…

Dr. Mark Schall and J. Michel, were awarded Best Paper in the Occupational Ergonomics Technical Independent Research Category at the 64th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; 2020 October 5-9, in Chicago, IL for their paper:  Leadership Styles in Participatory Ergonomics Programs: A Bibliometric Analysis.



N. Gupta, V. Kozlovskaya, M. Dolmat, B. Yancey, J. Oh, C. T. Lungu, E. Kharlampeiva. 2020. Photocatalytic Nanocomposite Microsponges of Polylactide-Titania for Chemical. Remediation in Water. ACS Appl. Polym. Mater. 2(11): 5188-5197

Mishra S, McClure L, Golla V, Guddattu V, Lungu CT, Sathiakumar N. 2020. Relationship between Diabetes Mellitus and Indoor Air Pollution: an Exploratory Analysis. International Journal of Noncommunicable Diseases. 5(4):165-170. DOI: 10.4103/jncd.jncd_38_20

Bani Hani D, Huangfu R, Sesek RF, Schall Jr MC, Davis GA, Gallagher S. (2020). Development and Validation of a Cumulative Exposure Shoulder Risk Assessment Tool Based on the Fatigue-Failure Theory. Ergonomics. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2020.1811399

Chen H, Schall Jr MC, Fethke NB. (2020). Measuring Upper Arm Elevation using an Inertial Measurement Unit: An Exploration of Sensor Fusion Algorithms and Gyroscope Models. Applied Ergonomics, 89, 103187. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2020.103187

Schall Jr MC, Chen Peter, Evidence-Based Strategies for Improving Occupational Safety and Health among Teleworkers During and After the Coronavirus Pandemic, Human Factors,

Yousif Abulhassan, Gerard A. Davis, Considerations for the transportation of school aged children amid the Coronavirus pandemic.  Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Elsevier.

Mark C. Schall Jr., Xuanxuan Zhang, Howard Chen, Sean Gallagher, Nathan B. Fethke, Comparing upper arm and trunk kinematics between manufacturing workers performing predominantly cyclic and non-cyclic work tasks, Applied Ergonomics, Volume 93, May 2021, 103356.

S. Shedd*, A. J. Hauser, W. W. Keuhaster, S. Ranjit, E. L. Floyd, J. Oh, C. T. Lungu. Determining the Thermal Properties and Buckypapers used in Photothermal Desorption. In review

R. Thaper, J. Oh, R. Sesek. Performance of Smart Device Noise Measurement Applications: A Literature Review. In review.


OHN Program Director, Dr. Karen Heaton and her team leveraged a formal clinical partnership with UAB Medical Center (UABMC).  This resulted in scholarly projects completed by OHN’s first two DNP graduates:  Chris Stallard, Identifying and decreasing sharps injuries through root cause analysis in a large urban hospital system; and Josh Ades and Chris Smith, Anesthesia provider diversion prevention: A knowledge and needs gap analysis.

Dr. Mark Schall, is the co-PI of a contract through the US Army Natick Soldier Systems Center that aims to systematically evaluate lower extremity motor adaptations for joint actuation.


COVID-19 and the DSC

COVID-19 and the DSC

The DSC continues to work with trainees, businesses, and stakeholders—improving processes and assuring safety as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.  All of our programs have been invested in efforts to protect workers over the last 9 months.  UAB Occupational Health Nursing (OHN) faculty have provided direct care to COVID patients.  Also, in OHN one of the recent research projects on Long-haul Trucking has also incorporated COVID. Meanwhile, the Auburn OSE/OIP faculty and students have been working on a vaccination process improvement project—as well as creating hazard labels for a distillery.  The AU team also conducted a safety-based risk analysis on a CPAP to ventilator converter in response to the pandemic.  In IH, the faculty and students continue to work with activated carbon fibers in respiratory protection and creating a fit matching app for eye protection.  The IH Lab also set up testing for N95 efficiency after disinfection.  The Continuing Education program successfully completed a project providing respiratory fit testing workshops to over 300 employees of the Alabama Nursing Home Association.

COVID-19 Resources