Technical Topics Related to COVID-19
In response to COVID-19, the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) has been conducting webinars and presentations on technical topics related to COVID-19 with a focus on protecting workers who may be at risk of exposure to COVID-19.
NIEHS Webinar: Looking Back at COVID-19 and Planning Ahead for Future Threats (August 31, 2022)
WTP, its grantees, and recovery centers develop tools and programs to prevent occupational exposure to infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. WTP has developed training materials, fact sheets, and technical briefs for workers, workplaces, and the communities they serve. As workplaces transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic, focus needs to be on helping employers and workers prepare for ongoing and future infectious disease threats. This webinar took a “look back” to describe the WTP COVID-19 program and showcase some of the materials produced. It also looked ahead to determine how we can collaboratively plan, prepare, and build workforce capacity to prevent future infectious disease threats, especially among worker populations that face the greatest risks and disparities.
- NIEHS Worker Training Program Reflects on COVID-19 Response, Plans Ahead for Future Infectious Disease Threats(3.4MB), Sharon Beard, NIEHS Worker Training Program
- Essential Immigrant Workers and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Moving From Emergency Response to Sustainable Partnerships(1.8MB), Michael Flynn, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Reflecting on COVID-19 Response and Planning Ahead for Future Infectious Disease Threats(7.5MB), Amy Liebman, Migrant Clinicians Network
Occupational COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools (December 2, 2021)
This webinar provided a scientific basis for recommendations to prevent exposure to infectious agents based on real time, real world experiences as students, teachers, and staff are back to in-person learning. Panelists presented model programs, presented data on the effectiveness of masking, physical distancing, and vaccination, and addressed ongoing challenges with older building infrastructure, proper ventilation and airflow, space for distancing, compliance with masking, and vaccine uptake. Lack of national consensus on school and training facility safety, combined with state-to-state differences, means that we need to remain diligent about keeping students, trainees, and staff safe.
- Mitigation Strategies for Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Spread in K-12 Schools(1.6MB), Kanecia Zimmerman, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center; Co-chair, ABC Science Collaborative
- COVID-19 Safety from the Local (City) Level(130KB), Cory Worden, Ph.D. (ABD), Safety Administrator, City-Wide CBRNE Advisor, and HR Safety Advisor to the Houston Health Department
- Useful tools provided by Cory Worden:
Thank you to those who submitted questions to panelists prior to and during the webinar. Since many of the questions related to ventilation and airflow, please refer below to the Practical Considerations for Using Portable Air Cleaners to Prevent Transmission of Infectious Aerosols (August 16, 2021) Webinar and the Factsheet and Brief on the Selection and Use of Portable Air Cleaners to Protect Workers from Exposure to SARS-CoV-2. If you have additional follow-up questions for panelists, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practical Considerations for Using Portable Air Cleaners to Prevent Transmission of Infectious Aerosols (August 16, 2021)
This webinar provided information on 1) assessing ventilation systems within a building or space and 2) selection and use of portable air cleaner(s), when appropriate. Presenters discussed the difference between natural and mechanical ventilation and recommendations from American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
- Practical Considerations for Using Portable Air Cleaners to Prevent Transmission of Infectious Aerosols: Background(3.8MB), William Bahnfleth, Ph.D., PE, FASHRAE, FASME, FISIAQ, Pennsylvania State University and ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force
- Use of Portable Air Cleaners to Help Minimize Potential for Indoor Transmission of SARS-CoV-2(8.5MB), Thomas C. Smith, M.S.E.E., AIHA/ANSI Z9 Ventilation Standards for Safety and Health and ASHRAE TC 9.10 Laboratory Systems
- See our Factsheet and Brief on the Selection and Use of Portable Air Cleaners to Protect Workers from Exposure to SARS-CoV-2
Increased stress related to pandemic conditions and its effect on mental health are important factors driving an increase in opioid overdoses and fatalities as well as increased suicides and alcohol consumption. Anxiety, depression, and increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder are some of the common mental health effects of concern. Some key stressors for workers include concern about getting infected, infecting family members, adjusting to changes in work and work schedules, loss of pay, and violence by customers who refuse to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols. Stressors on minority and low wage workers include lack of access to healthcare, food and housing insecurity, job loss, and discrimination. In this webinar we detailed the extent of the problem of deaths of despair and how the COVID-19 pandemic has added fuel to the fire. We reviewed interventions such as peer assistance programs, training, and increased access to mental health and substance use care in the workplace.
- The Paindemic: The Intersection between COVID-19 Pandemic and Deaths of Despair(507KB), Jonathan Rosen, National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training
- COVID-19, Mental Health, the Opioid Crisis, and Workplace Supported Recovery(1.1MB), L. Casey Chosewood, M.D., and Jamie C. Osborne, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Vision for Building Collaboration for Addressing Addictions in the Workplace: Nashville(300KB), Art Lee, M.D., Fisk University
- Suicide Awareness & Prevention In The Workplace(1.8MB), Michael Hazard, United Association of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders, and Service Techs
Managing Inequities and Environmental Injustices Encountered on the Job Among Workers Experiencing Disadvantage (March 16, 2021)
COVID-19 illness, infectious disease, and natural disasters have disproportionately affected high risk, disadvantaged, under-resourced, and minority workers. This webinar panel explored challenges and opportunities for improving safety and health among these populations of workers, workplaces, and geographies. It also addressed how comorbidities and disadvantages like underlying chronic disease, food insecurity, race, and income can impact occupational risk. Given the recent winter storm related events in Texas, participants heard about how the lack of power and water across the state have disproportionately affected workers and the impact of COVID-19 in that region.
- Social Determinants of Health and COVID-19 in Worker Populations(1.6MB), Queenie Abad, M.D., MPH, Yale School of Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program
- Same Storm(s), Different Boats:Disaster Impacts on Inequities and Environmental Injustices Among Workers Experiencing Disadvantage(11MB), Sharon Croisant, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch, Community Outreach and Education Core
- Puerto Rico: Challenges of the Forgotten Places(2.9MB), Krystal Hepburn, Ph.D., The Sustainable Workplace Alliance
Preventing Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 in Non-Hospital Healthcare Settings (February 17, 2021)
Non-hospital based healthcare workers are at high risk of occupational exposure to infectious diseases and the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar shared experiences and solutions to better protect workers in clinics, nursing homes, long term care, emergency response, and home health. It included lessons learned from other public health crises – September 11, Ebola, HIV – and how to build better, forward-thinking occupational health and safety and infection prevention plans that prepare for whatever crisis is ahead.In English:
- Welcome(509KB), Jim Remington, NIEHS
- Unprepared Nature of 9/11(333KB), Patricia Strizak, University of Massachusetts Lowell
- Jefferson County COVID-19 Response: Timeline of Events(107KB), Chief Lori Stoney, Homewood Fire Department Battalion, Jefferson County Unified Command COVID Response Operations
- Protecting Non HospitalBased Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic(3.1MB), Matthew Hughes, M.D., University of Utah Health
- Preventing COVID-19 Exposure in Home Care(432KB), Margaret M. Quinn, Sc.D., University of Massachusetts Lowell
Addressing the Role of the Vaccine in Workplace COVID-19 Prevention: How to Weed through Misinformation, Mistrust, and Improve Worker Protection (January 14, 2021)
This webinar addressed why the vaccine will not be an immediate answer for preventing exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and what that means for staying true to the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls. It will help attendees to sort through information, fears, and mistrust and use it to build safer environments for workers.
- Welcome(2.1MB), Amber Mitchell, Dr.P.H., NIEHS contractor
- COVID-19 Vaccine(3.8MB), Cameron Wolfe, M.D., Duke University School of Medicine
- Why I Got My COVID Shot (twice) and Why You Should Too(3.8MB), Alexander Isakov, M.D., Emory University School of Medicine
- COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccination: Protective Measures and Hierarchy of Controls(1.2MB), Lamont Byrd, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Webinar Questions and Answers(168KB)
Protecting Volunteers from COVID-19 During Natural Disaster Response and Recovery (December 7, 2020)
The NIEHS Worker Training Program presented a 90-minute webinar in partnership with the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice, Subcommittee on Environmental Justice and Natural Disasters.
This webinar accompanied the new release of the joint AIHA/NIEHS Guidance to Protect Volunteers From COVID-19 During Natural Disaster Response and Recovery.In English:
- Welcome(2.2MB), Amber Mitchell, Dr.P.H.
- COVID-19 Background Information(826KB), Alexander Isakov, M.D.
- Overview of the New Volunteer Guidance Document(499KB), Laura Weems
- The Ecosystem of Disaster Volunteers(114KB), Lisa Orloff
- Hurricane Laura Response Brigade to Lake Charles(631KB), Debora Gonzalez
Training Best Practices in the Time of Covid-19 Webinar Series: In-Person Training Under COVID-19 – Protocols and Practices (September 18, 2020)
Training Best Practices in the Time of Covid-19 Webinar Series: Tools for Creative Engagement on Virtual Platforms (September 10, 2020)
- Introduction: Tools for Creative Engagement on Virtual Platforms(2.4MB) Demia Wright
- Incorporating Hands-On Activities During Virtual Training(1.5MB) Kevin Riley, Ph.D.
- Showing and Sharing: Demonstrating Equipment-Based Training Online(945KB) Lois Harrison
- Using Platform Tools in New Ways to Engage Environmental Career Worker Training (ECWT) Audience(149KB) Yodit Semu
- Webinar Summary(136KB)
Training Best Practices in the Time of Covid-19 Webinar Series: Setting-up Online Training – Practices & Platforms (September 3, 2020)
- Introduction: Setting-up Online Training(3.0MB) Demia Wright
- National Day Laborer Organizing Network(3.5MB) Debora Gonzales
- Webinar Summary(172KB)
- Ethics for Safety and Health Professionals(3.3MB) Joy Erdman
- Ethics for Safety and Health Professionals(2.2MB) Bruce Lippy, Ph.D.
- COVID 19 Health and Safety Ethical Challenges in Academia(83KB) L. Faye Grimsley, Ph.D.
- Ethics for Safety and Health Professionals: International Brotherhood of Teamsters(870KB) Lamont Byrd
- American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Focus on Construction Health: COVID-19
- COVID-19 And Occupational Health: Law, Ethics, And Science(1.8 MB) Mark A. Rothstein, J.D.
- Structural Obstacles to Contact Tracing During the COVID-19 Pandemic(4.8MB) Seema Mohapatra, J.D.
Workplace Outbreak Investigation, Contact Tracing, and Testing: Intersection between Occupational & Public Health (August 5, 2020)
- Public Health Surveillance System for tracking and preventing transmission of COVID-19(722KB) Letitia Davis, Sc.D.
- Workers: Essential and Vulnerable COVID-19(2.3MB) Amy K. Liebman
Ethical Considerations Regarding Meat Processing Plant Operations, Worker Safety, and Community Welfare (July 22, 2020)
- COVID-19 and Meat Processing: Background and Technical Assistance(1.7MB) Jocelyn Herstein, Ph.D.
- Concerns and perceptions of COVID-19 among meatpacking plant workers(2.2MB) Athena Ramos, Ph.D.
- Ethical Considerations Regarding Meat Processing Plant Operations, Worker Safety, and Community Welfare(2.1MB) Kelly Dineen, Ph.D.
- Public Health Ethics(1.8MB) Matt Wynia, MD
- Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics(84KB) Kathy Kirkland, Dr.P.H.
- Normalizing Lies: Ethics and Protecting Workers from COVID-19(84KB) David Michaels, Ph.D.
- Engineering Controls for SARS Cov-2 in the Transportation Sector(4.8MB) Andrew Comai
- Mitigating the Spread of COVID19 in the Workplace An Architect’s Perspective(4.3MB) Andrew Harte
- Overview of NIOSH Engineering and Ventilation COVID-19 Guidance(213KB) CAPT Duane Hammond
- Prevention through Design in the 2020 Workplace(2.0MB) Jonathan A. Bach
- Role of Engineering Controls for COVID-19(1.1MB) Lisa M Brosseau, Sc.D.
- The COVID-19 Pandemic and Biohazard Containment(3.5MB) Brian Sherlock
The University of Maryland Medical Center Experience (April 15, 2020)
- Best Practices in Protecting Health Care Workers from Exposure to SARSCoV-2(879KB) Jim Chang
- Elastomeric Respirators in Healthcare: Lessons Learned and Adaptation for COVID-19(1.3MB) Stella E Hines, M.D.
- Tracking Employee Exposures to COVID-19(1.3MB) Marianne Cloeren, M.D.
- Protection of Health Care and Other Essential Workers During COVID-19 Response(2.5MB) Chip Hughes
- COVID-19 Routes of Transmission and Implications for Worker Protection(1.1MB) Lisa Brosseau, Sc.D.
- Pandemic Extended Use and Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators(2.9MB) Shawn Gibbs, Ph.D.
- Preventing Mucocutaneous Exposures: PPE and Face Protection(1.3MB) Amber Mitchell, Dr.P.H.
- Essentials of COVID Occupational Health Management(352KB) Robert Harrison, M.D.
- Online Train-the-Trainer Review and Discussion of the Training Tool(2.8MB) Jonathan Rosen
- National COSH COVID-19 Training(1MB) Peter Dooley
- Consolidated Report Back from Breakout and Small Group Discussions (morning session)(160KB)
- Using Web Conferences for Training(470KB) Mitch Rosen, Ph.D.
- Consolidated Report Back from Breakout and Small Group Discussions (afternoon session)(157KB)
- Technology Tips for Virtual Meetings and Interactive Online Sessions(171KB)
WTP Recovery Centers
WTP Recovery Centers Launch Meeting (May 19, 2021)
On May 19, WTP held a Launch Meeting for the awardees who received supplemental funding to run COVID-19 Recovery Centers. Sharon Beard opened the meeting, representatives from the Grants Management Branch were there to answer questions, and WTP staff provided information on the program, the data management system, and infection control plans. Awardees provided an overview of their Recovery Center plans. Specific presentations are provided below, along with a summary of the Recovery Center Awards and the meeting agenda.
- WTP COVID-19 Recovery Centers Fact Sheet(95KB)
- WTP Recovery Centers Launch Meeting Agenda(91KB)
- Welcome - WTP's Response to COVID-19 Recovery Center Launch(1MB), Sharon Beard, NIEHS WTP
- Program Matters(115KB), Sharon Beard, NIEHS WTP
- DMS Reporting for the Recovery Centers(258KB), Demia Wright, NIEHS WTP
- Recovery Center Awardee Brief Overview Presentations:
- The New England Consortium(263KB), David Turcotte
- Sustainable Workplace Alliance, Inc.(1.6MB), Krystal Pree-Hepburn
- University of Texas Health Science Center Houston(614KB), Janelle Rios
- Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Inc.(7MB), Beverly Wright
- The Steelworkers Charitable and Educational Organization(308KB), Ashlee Fitch
- International Chemical Workers Union(8.8MB), Shari L. Glines-Allen
- Western Region Universities Consortium(102KB), Kevin Riley and Casey Gin
- New Jersey/New York Hazardous Materials Worker Training(231KB), Mitch Rosen
Week in Review Webinars
Week in Review (June 26, 2020)
Week in Review (June 12, 2020)
- Environmental Justice(13.8MB) Payton Wilkins
- How Systemic Racism Is Stamped in America, Robert Bullard, Ph.D.
Week in Review (April 24, 2020)
- University of Nebraska Medical Center COVID-19 Resources
- University of Nebraska Medical Center Ethics Advisory Committee
Week in Review (April 17, 2020)
- Realigning Conventional Routes of Transmission; Occupational Exposure(498KB) Amber Mitchell, Dr.P.H. and Christopher Brown
Week In Review (April 10, 2020)
- Updates on SARS-coV-2 Testing, Vaccines, and Treatment(515KB) Amber Mitchell, Dr.P.H.
- COVID-19 Exposure Reduction and Control Banding(202KB) Lisa Brosseau, Sc.D.
- MassCOSH’s COVID-19 Toolkit for Essential Workers
- Lear’s Safe Work Playbook: An Interactive Guide for COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Response
Week In Review (April 3, 2020)
- Data and Analysis on COVID-19 Virtual Training(422KB) Eric Persaud, Dr.P.H.(c)
- Update on Spanish COVID-19 Train-the-Trainer(1.6MB) Arturo Archila
- How We Move Forward: The Conversation as the Ground Shifts From Moment to Moment(293KB) Darryl Alexander
Week in Review (March 27, 2020)
Protecting Infectious Disease Responders During the COVID-19 Outbreak Workshop
Emory University Woodruff Health Sciences Center, in conjunction with the NIEHS WTP, sponsored a workshop on Protecting Infectious Disease Responders During the COVID-19 Outbreak on March 17, 2020. Presentations can be found on the workshop page.