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Your Environment. Your Health.

Newsbrief Current Issue from The National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training

Weekly E-Newsbrief, January 14, 2022

Weekly E-Newsbrief

January 14, 2022

The E-Newsbrief of the National Clearinghouse is a free weekly newsletter focusing on new developments in the world of worker health and safety. Each issue provides summaries of the latest worker health and safety news from newspapers, magazines, journals, government reports, and the Web, along with links to the original documents. Also featured each week are updates from government agencies that handle hazmat and worker safety issues such as DOE, EPA, OSHA and others.

Subscribing to the National Clearinghouse Newsbrief is the best way to stay on top of the worker health and safety news.

Top StoriesBack to Top

'It's Dangerous' Healthcare Workers Push Back on Guidance for Virus-Positive Employees

For the next month, hospitals in California facing staffing shortages can resort to a temporary rule set by the state that could require healthcare workers sick with COVID-19 to return to work. Healthcare labor unions are decrying the relaxation in rules, saying it opens the door for more infections for them and patients.

ABC 10

Stay Home or Work Sick? Omicron Poses a Conundrum

As the raging omicron variant of COVID-19 infects workers across the nation, millions of those whose jobs don’t provide paid sick days are having to choose between their health and their paycheck. While many companies instituted more robust sick leave policies at the beginning of the pandemic, some of those have since been scaled back with the rollout of the vaccines, even though omicron has managed to evade the shots.

AP News [Author: Anne D’Innocenzio and Dee-Ann Durbin]

2021 Was A Deadly Year for Weather: 20 Disasters Killed More Than 600 Americans

2021 was another catastrophic and deadly year for weather and climate disasters in the U.S. federal scientists announced. There were 20 separate disasters that each cost at least $1 billion in damage, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. It was also a deadly year: At least 688 Americans died in disasters.

USA Today [Author: Doyly Rice]

Worker Killed in Pennsylvania Mine Collapse, State Officials Say

A worker was fatally injured in a mine collapse in Fayette County, Pa., the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said in a statement. The department said it suspected that a portion of the mine’s roof had fallen onto equipment the miner was working with. The agency declined to identify the miner but said that the person’s family and next of kin had been notified.

The New York Times [Author: Isabella Grullón Paz]

Navy to Comply with Orders Amid Hawaii Water Contamination Crisis

Navy leaders were questioned by the House Armed Services subcommittee on Readiness concerning the November fuel leak at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii that contaminated drinking water for thousands of households.

ABC News [Author: Kiara Alfonseca]

With Omicron So Transmissible, Experts Warn Everyone to Up Their Mask Game

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to recommend that Americans upgrade their masks to high-efficiency respirators. But how do you find one that fits you — and is legit? NPR’s Rachel Martin and Maria Godoy look into the issue on Morning Edition.

NPR [Authors: Rachel Martin and Maria Godoy]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Webinar: National PFAS Roadmap – Update for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a webinar on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) impact on tribes and indigenous peoples on Jan. 16 at 2:30-4:00 p.m. The webinar is part of the Environmental Justice Webinar Series for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples that builds capacity of tribal governments, indigenous peoples and other environmental justice practitioners, and discusses priority environmental justice issues of interest.

Registration Link

U.S. Department of Labor Extends Comment Period for Rulemaking to Protect Indoor and Outdoor Workers from Heat Hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is extending the period for submitting comments on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. Comments on the ANPRM must now be submitted by Jan. 26.

U.S. Department of Labor Newsroom

Federal Register

Community Health Workers: Building Cultural Bridges to Address Environmental Public Health Webinar

NIEHS is hosting a webinar on community health workers on Jan. 27 at 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET. This webinar will feature two co-presentations about NIEHS-funded projects where academics are partnering with community health workers to address local environmental health issues. A community health worker is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served.

Webinar Registration

U.S. Department of Labor Extends Deadline for Nominations to Serve on Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health

The U.S. Department of Labor has extended the deadline for submitting nominations to serve on the Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health. Nominations must now be submitted by Jan. 31.

Department of Labor Newsroom

Evaluating the Benefits of the NIEHS Environmental Career Worker Training Program Webinar

WTP is hosting a webinar on the NIEHS Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP) and Justice40 Stakeholder Engagement on Feb. 10 at 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET. This webinar will engage ECWTP grantees and stakeholders in discussing how they evaluate the benefits and impacts of ECWTP. The webinar will also provide an opportunity for stakeholder engagement for ECWTP, which has been named a pilot program for the White House’s Justice40 Initiative.

Registration Link

U.S. Department of Labor Schedules Meeting of the Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled a meeting of the Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health on Feb. 15 at 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET.

OSHA News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Reminds Specific Employers to Submit Required 2021 Injury, Illness Data by March 2, 2022

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers that the agency began collecting calendar year 2021 Form 300A data on Jan. 2, 2022. Employers must submit the form electronically by March 2, 2022. Electronic submissions are required by establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.

OSHA Trade Release

2022 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program

Leaders from various sectors will engage in an exchange of ideas and approaches to achieving environmental justice on March 9-11, 2022, in Washington, D.C. These interactive training sessions will feature voices of experience, research, discussions, and thought-provoking dialogue. The program format will feature the needs and challenges of communities, governments, municipalities, tribes, faith-based organizations, and others with an interest in environmental justice.

Registration Link

CDC Funding Opportunity: Rigorous Evaluation of Strategies to Prevent Overdose through Linking People with Illicit Substance Use Disorders to Recovery Support Services

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is soliciting investigator-initiated research that will support the identification and rigorous evaluation of effective strategies that link people in recovery for illicit substance use disorders to at least one evidence-based recovery support service available within their community, and, if needed, re-link people to such services following resumption of illicit substance use. The application deadline is March 14.

More Information

Brownfields Conference

Brownfields 2022 will be held Aug. 16-19, 2022, In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Brownfields Conference features a dynamic educational program of speakers, discussions, mobile workshops, films, and other learning formats that are calibrated to provide attendees with case study examples, program updates, and useful strategies for meeting brownfield challenges head on.

Brownfields 2022

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Opioid Overdose Deaths Among Over-55 Population Soar, Particularly Among Black Men

Opioid overdose-involved deaths among Americans over the age of 55 have increased 10-fold since 1999, and older Black men in particular have been disproportionately impacted, according to a study published by JAMA Network Open.

HMP Global Learning Network

Governor Wolf Announces New Funding to Support Manufacturing Industry Training in the Lehigh Valley

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced new funding is being awarded to Northampton Community College (NCC) to develop a Pathways to Manufacturing program for low-income individuals, veterans, and others in the Lehigh Valley. Northampton Community College was awarded $199,125 through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant program to implement Pathways to Manufacturing, a seven-week, 150-hour program that will introduce manufacturing occupations.

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Advocates Hope New Funding Will Help End Texas Opioid Epidemic

Boots-on-the-ground advocacy groups are cautiously optimistic about what settlement money could mean in ending, or at least combatting, the opioid epidemic. In 2021, Texas reached several settlements with opioid drug makers and distributors for their role in perpetuating the opioid epidemic which in 2018 killed more than 1,400 Texans, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Weatherford Democrat [Author: Ali Linan]

Nayamin Martinez on Organizing for Farmworker Justice

Nayamin Martinez joins the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast to discuss advocating for farmworker health and workplace protections in California's Central Valley. Agents of Change fellow Rodrigo Alatriste-Diaz hosts the show, as Martinez, the director of the Central California Environmental Justice Network, talks about threats to farmworkers' health, including extreme heat, ozone, COVID-19, and pesticide exposure.

Environmental Health News

‘We’re Being Wrapped in Poison’: A Century of Oil and Gas Development Has Devastated the Ponca City Region of Northern Oklahoma

When Earl “Trey” Howe III returned home here after four years of military service, the first thing he noticed was the smell. Howe grew up in and around Ponca City, the site of the Phillips 66 refinery, one of the oldest and largest crude oil refineries and tank farms in the country. The smell from the plant—a sulfur-rich odor somewhere between rotten eggs and freshly paved asphalt—was so constant, he’d never even noticed it.

Inside Climate News [Author: Phil McKenna]

An African American Community in Florida Blocked Two Proposed Solar Farms. Then the Florida Legislature Stepped In.

In May 2020, the residents of the Saint Peter neighborhood in Archer, Florida, had a rude awakening when a public notice went up on a fence around vacant farmland. The Alachua County commissioners, the notice said, would decide at an upcoming meeting whether to authorize a 650-acre utility-scale solar power plant on the agricultural land right outside the historically black town.

Inside Climate News [Author: Aman Azhar]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

The Role of the Industrial Hygienist in a Pandemic: A Roadmap for COVID-19 and Beyond

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and health (NIOSH) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) have been developing guidance to help protect workers across all industries. AIHA has more than 80 years of experience protecting the health and safety of workers and their communities and has been at the forefront of efforts to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

NIOSH Science Blog

EPA: Metal Plant’s Hazardous Waste Releases Pose ‘Imminent’ Danger

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an emergency order involving an Atlanta metal processing facility, citing the “imminent and substantial endangerment” its hazardous waste releases may pose to the public and the environment.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution [Author: Drew Kann]

EPA Emergency Order

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

FEMA Sets Out Resources to Aid Climate Resilience

As climate change increases disaster risks across the country, emergency managers and government officials are beginning to implement strategies to build community resilience. In December, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released its Resources for Climate Resilience to provide a roadmap of programs and initiatives that advance community climate resilience.

Homeland Security Today [Author: Kylie Bielby]

Call for Presentations: Third International Symposium to Advance TWH

The International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health (TWH) invites individuals to submit proposals for a variety of sessions and preparatory workshops emphasizing the latest in TWH science and practice. Individuals can submit proposals for a variety of sessions suitable for in-person and virtual settings. Academics, practitioners, researchers, and students are encouraged to submit. The proposal deadline is Feb. 4, 2022. The symposium will take place on Oct. 11-14 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Call for Proposals

Job OpeningsBack to Top

OSHA Seeks Regional Director, Kansas City

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regional office of Kansas City seeks a Regional Administrator. The position will have direct responsibility to the Assistant Secretary for planning, programming, executing, controlling, and evaluating the administrative and technical aspects of OSHA regional activities.

Job Posting

OHIP Summer Internship Opportunity

The Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) is a full time, paid summer internship designed to link the skills and interests of students with the needs of workers employed in an under-served or high hazard job. Teams of two interns are assigned to a union or worker organization where they receive supervision from a designated staff member and an academic mentor. The deadline to apply is Feb. 11.

Internship Posting

Duke University Director of Health and Safety, Office of Undergraduate Health and Safety Support-OUE

The OUE-UHSS Director of Health and Safety reports to the Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education – Experiential Education and, as leader of Undergraduate Health and Safety Support (UHSS), provides strategy and vision for risk assessment and mitigation and health and crisis preparedness, faculty leader training, and response plans for undergraduate programs and students undertaking Duke- sponsored travel domestically and abroad.

Job Posting

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