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Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

The Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH) serves as a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-supported education and research center, serving HHS Region 8 (which includes Utah, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado).

Our center is dedicated to protecting workers and their environment through interdisciplinary education, research, and service.

RMCOEH was established in 1977 to meet the need for comprehensive occupational and environmental safety and health programs in the West. RMCOEH became a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-sponsored education and research center (ERC) in 1978.

RMCOEH provides:

  • Comprehensive occupational safety and health degree programs.
  • Continuing education, hazardous substance training, OSHA, and outreach courses.
  • Research to improve the safety and health of workers.
  • Numerous presentations at regional, national, and international meetings annually.
  • Service to over 1,100 Utah, regional, and national companies and government agencies.

RMCOEH is housed in the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine within the School of Medicine. RMCOEH also has components and faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (College of Engineering), Department of Economics (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences), Departments of Internal Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (School of Medicine), the School of Business, and College of Mines.

 

Latest News

University of Utah Professor’s Experience Sobering Reminder of the Importance of Safety and Risk Management Protocols
research
Sep 10, 2019

University of Utah Professor’s Experience Sobering Reminder of the Importance of Safety and Risk Management Protocols

A recent New York Times Article investigated a number of tragic injuries and a wrongful death linked to an off-road vehicle, the Polaris RZR. In spite of multiple warnings from consumers and Kenneth D’Entremont, a former safety director at Polaris and current University of Utah professor, the vehicle remains in use by consumers today. The story is a sobering reminder of the importance of product safety and incorporating dissenting voices into conversations about safety. ... Read More

Family and Preventive Medicine
A New Opioid Guidelines Program Reduces Risk, Number of Prescriptions, and Associations with Fatalities
research
Aug 09, 2019

A New Opioid Guidelines Program Reduces Risk, Number of Prescriptions, and Associations with Fatalities

SALT LAKE CITY, August 9, 2019—An evidence-based opioid guidelines-based program was implemented at the largest worker’s compensation program in Utah. University of Utah researchers at the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health found that the program led to significant reductions in opioid use, the length of opioid prescriptions, refill frequency, and the morphine equivalent dose (MED), all of which are key risk factors for long-term opioid use and misuse. ... Read More

Family and Preventive Medicine
Protecting Workers Against Carpal Tunnel: How Effective are Updated Guidelines?
research
Jul 31, 2019

Protecting Workers Against Carpal Tunnel: How Effective are Updated Guidelines?

SALT LAKE CITY, July 31, 2019—Rocky Mountain Center Director, Dr. Kurt Hegmann, was co-author on a recent publication in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene that examined the effect of new guidelines from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). The research team pooled data from six prospective cohort studies that investigated workplace risk factors of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. Workers from industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, services, and construction were videotaped to analyze their use of hand force and repetition. 42.4% of workers were classified as above the updated guidelines versus 23.2% above the 2001 guidelines. The 2018 limits were linked to 48 fewer cases of CTS.... Read More

Family and Preventive Medicine
Industrial Hygiene Program Named #3 in Nation by MPH Online
recognition
Jun 09, 2019

Industrial Hygiene Program Named #3 in Nation by MPH Online

SALT LAKE CITY, June 10, 2019—MPHOnline, the online authority for master's of public health degrees ranked University of Utah's Industrial Hygiene (IH) program as #3 in the nation. In order to create a ranking that reflected the needs of students, MPHOnline used three criteria: 1) alumni salary, 2) cost, and 3) reputation. The IH program was praised for its multidisciplinary approach, incorporating engineering, epidemiology, ergonomics, toxicology, biostatistics, management, and more. MPHOnline also noted that the IH program offers substantial real-world experience with employers, as well as an emphasis on research. Congratulations to the IH program!... Read More

Family and Preventive Medicine
Adherence to Evidence-Based Guidelines Improves Outcomes and Sharply Lowers Costs for Low Back Pain
research
Apr 08, 2019

Adherence to Evidence-Based Guidelines Improves Outcomes and Sharply Lowers Costs for Low Back Pain

low back pain, workers compensation, costs, acoem, evidence-based medicine

SALT LAKE CITY, April 8, 2019—New research performed at the Worker's Compensation Fund (WCF) Mutual Insurance Company led by investigators at the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational Environmental Health, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, finds that adherence to evidence-based medicine guidelines for low back pain (LBP) is associated with faster resolution of symptoms and decreased worker's compensation costs.... Read More

Family and Preventive Medicine
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