April 1, 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.
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NOSI: Promoting Health, Safety, and Recovery Training for COVID-19 Essential Workers and their Communities
NIEHS WTP issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI). The purpose of this supplement is to provide support for successful applicants to develop partnerships with local worker centers and community organizations specifically targeting under served and disadvantaged communities with higher than average COVID-19 transmission rates. The deadline to apply is June 6.
Biosafety and Infectious Disease Occupational Health Training from the NIEHS Worker Training Program: A Historical Look at Capacity Building that Supported a COVID-19 Response
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that large segments of the workforce–many of which were not previously considered or valued–are needed to keep the economy moving and critical societal functions going. From first responders to bus drivers, this expanded essential workforce needed training to build a solid knowledge of infectious disease protection practices.
Legislating for Climate Justice Starts with Listening
In 2021 alone, 20 separate climate-related disasters cost the United States more than $145 billion. Scientists warn we must halve harmful emissions by the end of this decade to avoid mass human suffering, meaning the short window we have left to pass policies that rapidly transition away from fossil fuels across our economy is rapidly closing.
Stanford Social Innovation Review [Author: Sarah Spengeman]
Nuclear Waste Facility Near Carlsbad Struggling for Airflow, Per Federal Documents
Ventilation equipment at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant continued to struggle, per records from a federal oversight group that identified problems with a newly-restarted fan and air monitors at the nuclear waste facility near Carlsbad. In its March report, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board reported on the 700-C fan, a ventilation fan.
Carlsbad Current Argus [Author: Adrian Hedden]
EPA Delays Radioactive Waste Cleanup at Bridgeton's West Lake Landfill
When Dawn Chapman moved to Bridgeton, Missouri, in 2002, she didn't know her house was two miles away from radioactive waste in the West Lake Landfill. The atomic waste was illegally dumped in the landfill back in 1973. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took it over in 1990 as a Superfund site. In addition, a smoldering underground fire was found in 2010 at the nearby Bridgeton Landfill which could threaten the radioactive material.
Toxic Waste Could Destroy the First Muslim-Majority City in the U.S.
Drive 10 minutes north of downtown Detroit and you may pass through Hamtramck, Michigan, a city home to many communities of color, including Yemeni and Bangladeshi immigrants and African Americans. Here, in an area where nearly 70 percent of households speak a language other than English, a case of environmental injustice is unfolding.
After Multiple Natural Disasters, New Orleans East Residents Rebuild Again Post-Tornado
When the winds began to howl, Juanita Carruth was home with her daughters in New Orleans East. She worried for her husband, who was driving back from the North Shore through the treacherous weather. When the tornado warning came, urging New Orleanians to shelter in their basements — which few people have — she and her girls hunkered down in their bathtub, with a mattress over their heads.
New Orleans Public Radio [Author: Carly Berlin]
Hurricanes Impact Public Health for Months After Storm
The increased mortality caused by weather events such as tropical storms and cyclones appears to be larger than previously believed. After a storm, infectious and parasitic diseases, cardiovascular disease, and neuropsychiatric conditions can all lead to more deaths. Climate change is causing stronger and more frequent cyclones.
Verywell Health [Author: Valerie DeBenedette]
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Webinar: How Can Health and Safety Professionals Prepare for the Next Pandemic?
Industrial Hygiene Practice Specialty is hosting a webinar on lessons learned about workplace health and safety for healthcare and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will review the influenza pandemic planning leading up to 2020, and describe what was known about aerosol-transmissible respiratory pathogens and workplace exposures and controls going into the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will be held on April 5 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease Peer Learning Webinar Series: Disparities of COVID-19 Transmission among American Indian and Alaska Native Populations Webinar
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) invites you to the third webinar of the Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease Peer Learning Webinar Series. The webinar series builds on the Tribe's and Tribal organization's ability to address emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats and share best practices for preventing and controlling infectious diseases. This webinar will be held on April 6 at 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET.
Initiatives to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Promote Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs
A new National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) publication, “Initiatives to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Promote Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs,” highlights training programs, toolkits, resources, and initiatives from NIEHS and other agencies and organizations. The webinar will highlight some of these initiatives and will be held on April 11 at 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.
EPA Emergency Response Research Webinar Series: Underground Storage Tanks: Preparing and Responding to Extreme Events Webinar
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Research and Development hosts this webinar series to share current research activities and results. On April 13 at 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET, they will host a webinar on how Climate change and extreme weather events are increasingly important in how we prevent, prepare and respond to management of underground storage tanks.
What is Safety Climate? Definition and Practical Applications
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Total Worker Health program is hosting a webinar on April 20 on the topic of safety climate in occupational safety and health. The discussion with experts will be on what safety climate is, its impact on worker health, and practical applications.
U.S. Department of Labor Reopens Rulemaking Record, Schedules Public Hearing on Proposed Final Rule to Protect Healthcare Workers from COVID-19 Exposure
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reopened the rulemaking record partially and scheduled an informal public hearing to seek comments on specific topics that relate to the development of a final standard to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from workplace exposure to the COVID-19 virus. The deadline to submit comments is April 22.
CSB Will Hold April 28 Business Meeting
The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on Thursday, April 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET. This meeting serves to fulfill its quarterly April public meeting requirement. The Board will review the CSB's progress in meeting its mission and highlight safety products newly released through investigations and safety recommendations.
|On The Web This Week
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PRO Louisiana Workforce Development Program Announced
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards launched a workforce development program of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative that will create a workforce skilled in professional resilience occupations (PRO). The first phase of LWI’s PRO Louisiana program, which is coordinated in partnership with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and Louisiana Economic Development, will focus on heavy equipment operator training.
Four Companies Cited for Louisiana Chemical Plant Explosion
Federal labor regulators have cited four employers for safety violations related to an explosion that injured workers at a Louisiana chemical plant. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced 11 serious violations. The agency proposed a total of $139,000 in penalties for the four companies.
Community College Enrollment Is Down, But Skilled-Trades Programs Are Booming
Since the pandemic began, more than a million students have held off from going to college, opting to work instead. Two-year public schools have been among the hardest hit — they're down about three-quarters of a million students. Skilled-trades programs are the exception. Across the country, associate's degree programs in fields like HVAC and automotive repair have seen enrollment numbers swell.
NPR [Authors: Anya Steinberg and Elissa Nadworny]
Post-COVID-19 Assessment May Be Needed in Some High-Hazard Workers Before Return to Work
The Aviation and Occupational Cardiology Task Force of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology issued a statement on the post-COVID-19 infection evaluation of high-hazard workers prior to return to dangerous work. Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the position statement includes a decision pathway for cardiopulmonary assessment.
Healio [Author: Scott Buzby]
Strengthening the Global Architecture for Health Emergency Preparedness, Response and Resilience
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a stronger and more inclusive health emergency preparedness, response, and resilience (HEPR) architecture. At the 150th meeting of the Executive Board in January, the Director-General committed to develop proposals, in consultation with Member States, on strengthening the architecture for HEPR, and present these to the Seventy-fifth Health Assembly.
U.N. Aims to Give Every Person on Earth Access to Natural Disaster Early Warning Systems
The chief of the United Nations announced a project to put every person on Earth in range of early weather-warning systems within five years as natural disasters have grown more powerful and frequent due to climate change. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the project with the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization aims to make the alert systems already used by many rich countries available to the developing world.
PBS News Hour [Author: Jamey Keaten, Associated Press]
|Federal Agency Update
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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposed Rule to Amend Federal Occupational Injury, Illness Recordkeeping Regulation
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing amendments to its occupational injury and illness recordkeeping regulation. The current regulation requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness information to OSHA. The agency uses these reports to identify and respond to emerging hazards and makes aspects of the information publicly available.
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh Addresses President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request
The Biden-Harris administration released the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget and Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. The budget makes critical investments in the American people that will help lay a stronger foundation for shared growth and prosperity for generations to come. At the U.S. Department of Labor, the budget would fund a variety of initiatives.
U.S. Department of Labor Announces Public Education Campaign to Promote Mental Health-Friendly Workplaces; Seeks to Help Employers, Workers
The U.S. Department of Labor unveiled a public education campaign on the importance of mental health-friendly workplaces at the Society for Human Resource Management’s Workplace Policy Conference in Washington.
GAO: Formal Lessons Learned Process Could Improve EPA’s Hazardous Waste Removal
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should develop a formal “lessons learned” process to improve hazardous waste removal following disasters. To remove household hazardous waste—some items that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances or that are corrosive or toxic—after the 2018 and 2020 California wildfires, EPA took steps that followed its emergency response policy.
EPA Resiliency and Natural Disaster Debris Workshops
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EPA Regions 5 and 9 produced, “The Resiliency and Natural Disaster Debris Workshop Final Summary Report,” which provides a summary of themes and potential actions that emerged from the virtual Workshop conversations held in the spring and summer of 2021.
Statement from Chairman Katherine Lemos Welcoming Two New Board Members to the CSB
The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) Chairwoman Katherine Lemos issued a statement welcoming new CSB Board Members Stephen Owens and Sylvia Johnson. Johnson is a trained occupational epidemiologist and formerly with the National Education Association. Owens is a trained attorney previously with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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WTP Spring Workshop Registration Is Now Open
The Spring 2022 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences WTP Awardee Meeting and Workshop registration is now open. This workshop’s theme is “Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change through Training.” The awardee meeting will be held on Tuesday afternoon, May 17. The technical workshop will be held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, May 18-19. The workshop will focus on sharing strategies regarding mitigating occupational hazards related to climate change.
Obstacles and Solutions to Implementing Job Hazard Analysis in Construction: A Case Study
Construction workers experience a disproportionately high rate of work-related injuries. However, if hazards are properly recognized and addressed, most of these incidents are preventable. Job hazard analysis is a method for identifying and mitigating workplace hazards that emphasizes proactive risk control.
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FEMA Seeks Emergency Management Specialist
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeks an emergency management specialist. This position will perform emergency management work including managing, and coordinating with other entities, in the mitigation from intentional and/or unintentional crises, disasters, and other humanitarian emergencies, hazards, or natural and manmade/technological incidents. The deadline to apply is April 7.
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