April 14, 2023
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.
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Last Call to Register: 2023 National Trainers' Exchange and Awardee Meeting
The 2023 National Trainers’ Exchange will bring together WTP awardee organizations and U.S. Department of Energy stakeholders to meet and exchange ideas about how to make training for hazardous materials and emergency response workers more effective and empowering. In workshop sessions, participants will be encouraged to share training techniques and best practices, as well as how to overcome challenges to deliver training. The awardee meeting will be held on May 2, and the National Trainers' Exchange will be held on May 3-4, 2023. Registration will close April 14, 2023, 11:59 p.m. EDT.
Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Promoting Health, Safety, and Recovery Training following Declared Disasters in 2022 (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Not Allowed), FAQs Available
This initiative would support partnerships between WTP grantees, worker populations, local community organizations, and other federal partners with the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality related to responding to and recovering from activities associated with major disasters. Applications are due by April 25, 2023.
WTP Training Overview Flyer
This document provides updated data on the total number of workers trained and contact hours of WTP programs, including job placement rate of ECWTP. The document is available on the Program Highlights page under Training Summaries section.
Workers’ Memorial Day Events
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created an interactive map with upcoming events honoring Workers’ Memorial Day. Events can be added to the map by submitting a request through the event form. Additionally, photos can be submitted to the memorial page of loved ones lost to work-related incidents. Workers’ Memorial Day is observed on April 28 annually. Events listed on the OSHA map vary by location and time.
Norfolk Southern Hired the Firm Testing Air in East Palestine Homes. Experts Warn the Checks Are Lacking
About a quarter century ago, the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health was founded by four scientists who all had done consulting work for tobacco companies or lawyers defending them. Now known by its acronym, CTEH quickly became a go-to contractor for corporations responsible for industrial disasters. Its bread and butter are train crashes and derailments. The company has been accused repeatedly of downplaying health risks.
The Guardian [Author: Sharon Lerner]
Fungal Infection Outbreak Affects 90+ Workers at Escanaba Paper Mill
More than 90 employees at an Upper Peninsula paper mill are believed to be infected with a fungus found in soil and decaying wood, with about a dozen requiring hospitalization. A blastomycosis outbreak affecting large numbers of people is highly unusual, as the fungal disease is not typically transferred from person to person.
Detroit Free Press [Author: Keith Matheny]
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The Economic Impact of the Opioid Epidemic: Labor Supply and the Workplace
The USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy will welcome Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Julie Wernau of the Wall Street Journal, for a fireside chat on the opioid epidemic’s impact on the labor force and how workplaces can become recovery-friendly. The event will be held on April 18, 2023, 1:00 p.m. EST.
The Physical Activity Health Paradox and Workers’ Cardiovascular Health: Recent Evidence, Mechanisms, and Potential Implications for Occupational Health Practices
The physical activity health paradox is an emerging occupational health issue with implications for cardiovascular health promotion at work. Recent evidence suggests that occupational physical activity may be detrimental to health, particularly the cardiovascular system. This webinar provides an update on the epidemiological research regarding occupational physical activity and its impact on cardiovascular health. The event will be held on April 26, 2023, 1:00 p.m. EST.
Building Ventilation and Minimizing Exposure to COVID-19 and Airborne Diseases
This webinar will discuss the fundamentals of building ventilation, including important steps that can be taken in your workplace to reduce transmission of airborne viruses. The event will be held on April 26, 2023, 4:00 p.m. EST.
U.S. Department of Labor Seeking Public Input, Ideas to Improve OSHA Whistleblower Program Outreach, Training at May Meeting
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will hold a virtual meeting to hear public comments and suggestions as part of its effort to improve outreach and training initiatives that support the federal whistleblower laws the agency enforces. Registration deadline is May 3, 2023, and the meeting will be held on May 10, 2023, 1:00 p.m. EST.
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Contractor to Expand Job Training Program for Blind, Visually Impaired Workers Nationwide
Maximus is one of several organizations to build talent pipelines via outreach to people with disabilities. The broad push for workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion has seen employers in fields ranging from retail logistics to healthcare implement job training programs, apprenticeships, and other formats in pursuit of talent.
HR Dive [Author: Ryan Golden]
Researchers Look at Why Some Workers Won’t Take Breaks
For some workers, the push to maintain a high level of performance or focus takes precedence over taking a break. That’s a finding of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Waterloo, who surveyed 107 workers to learn why they did and didn’t take breaks over a one-week period. The top reason cited for not taking a break was job demands, which included a perceived lack of time.
As Extreme Weather Outpaces Response, Could Crowdsourced Data Help?
Researchers at Mexico’s Colegio de la Frontera Norte started the Tijuana Citizens’ Flood Monitor, which combines information about past flood-related damages gleaned from newspapers with constantly updated crowd-sourced information about flooding, landslides, and other weather-related impacts. The Flood Monitor acts as a platform to interpret technical weather and climate data for the public. It also has a human side, responding personally to queries and directing people to resources.
High County News [Author: Caroline Tracey]
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U.S. Department of Labor, State Agencies, Industry Leaders Launch Campaign to Educate, Alert Midwest Employers, Workers of Deadly Excavation Hazards
Thirty-nine people died doing trench or excavation work in the U.S. in 2022 – four in Illinois and two others in Ohio. To address injuries and fatalities in the industry, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching an outreach campaign in its Midwest region today to work directly with employers, workers, state agencies and industry associations.
Biden-Harris Administration Announces $72 Million to Expand Pathways to Clean Energy Jobs
As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced five competitively selected higher education institutions to serve as Centers of Excellence for DOE’s Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) Program and will receive a combined $18.7 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Also, DOE announced a $54 million funding opportunity from the Law to expand the IAC Program to community colleges, trade schools, and union training programs, and create new Building Training and Assessment Centers (BTACs) at higher education institutions.
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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Struck-By Hazards: Handouts, Planning Tools & Training Programs
Struck-by incidents are the 2nd leading cause of death among construction workers, and the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in the construction industry. The National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety.
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Department of Veterans Affairs Seeks an Industrial Hygienist
The position serves as the facility Industrial Hygienist assigned to the Safety and Emergency Management Service (EMS) at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Responsibilities include preparation, writing and timely submission of internal and external documentation, reports, and correspondence. Also, the implementation of ongoing industrial hygiene management program, including periodic review of specific programs, policies, and processes for applicability with changes in operations and regulations pertaining to employee safety and environmental and specific GEMS laws.
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