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NIEHS WTP: December 21, 2018 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, December 21, 2018

Weekly E-Newsbrief

December 21, 2018

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

425 Children Died on the Job in the U.S. Between 2003 and 2016

Child labor exists in the United States in the 21st century. It’s legal and widespread, but it differs enough from the work you remember from headlines and textbooks that you may not have noticed. It is also, in some cases, dangerous. Children were killed on the job in construction, retail, transportation, and even manufacturing and logging. But most of them, 52 percent, died working in agriculture.

Washington Post [Author: Andrew Van Dam]

An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands of Coal Miners, Regulators Could Have Stopped It

A multiyear investigation by NPR and the PBS program Frontline recently discovered an outbreak of the advanced stage of black lung disease, known as complicated black lung or progressive massive fibrosis. A federal monitoring program reported just 99 cases of advanced black lung disease nationwide from 2011-2016. But NPR identified more than 2,000 coal miners suffering from the disease in the same time frame, and in just five Appalachian states.

NPR [Authors: Howard Berkes, Huo Jingnanm, and Robert Benincasa]

Hard to Understand Documents May Be Costing Sick Hanford Workers

More than 4,000 previously denied claims in a federal compensation program for ill workers at nuclear sites like Hanford were approved in recent years. But the number might have been higher if those filing claims had information about refiling claims that was easier to understand, according to a Government Accountability Office report recently released. The report, requested by Congress, found that the Department of Labor should communicate more clearly with people filing claims.

Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]

A New Disease Is Testing Us for the Next Global Epidemic

In the spring of 2018, the World Health Organization released a list of infectious diseases that its experts think are especially high-risk—ones that could blow up into epidemics and for which there are no treatments or vaccines. The list has been created every year since 2014, when the Ebola epidemic in West Africa took the world by surprise. This year’s specimen included the pathogens that public health people consider the usual deadly suspects: Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers, MERS and SARS, and mosquito-borne Zika and Rift Valley Fever. But there was also a novel entry: Disease X.

Wired [Author: Maryn McKenna]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Call for Papers: American Journal for Public Health Supplement on Community Preparedness for Public Health Emergencies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with American Journal for Public Health (AJPH) on a supplement on community preparedness for public health emergencies. Manuscripts are due to AJPH by January 14, 2019. Questions can be directed to

AJPH Editorial Manager

Call for Abstracts: APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting & Expo

The American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Occupational Health and Safety section is seeking high-quality abstracts on topics related to workers’ health and safety for the 147th Annual Meeting of the APHA in Philadelphia, PA. To complement the APHA 2019 meeting theme, preference will be given to abstracts which address research, policy and action. Please submit an abstract for a poster, oral, or roundtable presentation.

APHA Call for Abstracts

Save the Date: NACCHO Preparedness Summit 2019

The 2019 Preparedness Summit, sponsored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), will look at how threats to our national health security have evolved significantly. The summit will feature experts from the healthcare and emergency management fields as well as public health preparedness professionals, looking at opportunities to address the gaps between these life-saving industries and work more collaboratively in the face of emerging threats. The summit will be held on March 26-29, 2019, in St. Louis, MO.

Preparedness Summit

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Cuts in Benefits and Worker Safety Will Worsen the Opioid Crisis in Canada

More than 9,000 Canadians have died from apparent opioid-related overdoses since 2016 – more than 2,000 between January and June this year alone. The opioid crisis is the most pressing public health crisis in Canada, and figures show that the number of deaths this year is on track to surpass the number of apparent overdose deaths in 2017. The federal government says that 11 people die from an opioid-related overdose every day.

The Washington Post [Author: Nora Loreto]

IRSST: Review of the Literature on the Links between Occupational Hearing Loss and Presbycusis

A new meta-study from the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) in Quebec documents how occupational hearing loss occurs, especially in relationship with presbycusis. Some 30 studies published since 2000 and based on human or animal models were analyzed. The animal studies clearly demonstrated that exposure to noise accelerates the progression of presbycusis. The human studies reveal similar results.

IRSST Review

Executive Order on Establishing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council

President Trump issued an Executive Order on Opportunity Zones and the revitalization of communities, which, among other things establishes a White House Council to carry out the Administration’s plan to encourage public and private investment in urban and economically distressed areas. The Council shall lead joint efforts across executive departments and agencies to engage with State, local, and tribal governments to find ways to better use public funds to revitalize urban and economically distressed communities.

White House

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposure

The President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children has released its Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts (Lead Action Plan). The Action Plan is a blueprint for reducing lead exposure and associated harms through collaboration among federal agencies and with a range of stakeholders, including states, tribes and local communities, along with businesses, property owners and parents. The Action Plan will help federal agencies work strategically and collaboratively to reduce exposure to lead with the aim of ultimately improving children’s health.

Federal Action Plan

Comment Period Now Open for Healthy People 2030 Objectives

The comment period is now open for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed objectives for Healthy People (HP) 2030. This includes proposed core objectives for Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). This public comment period is an opportunity to provide input on the proposed HP2030 objectives or suggestions for new objectives. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) invites you to submit comments, specifically on the OSH proposed objectives until January 17, 2019.

NIOSH eNews Flash

Submit Comments

FY 2019 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant Guidelines Request for Proposals

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program announced the opening of the request for proposals for Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grants. Grants offered by the Brownfields Program can be used to address sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and petroleum. Opportunities for funding includes multipurpose grants, assessment grants, and cleanup grants. The proposal submission deadline is January 31, 2019.

EPA Brownfield Grant Funding

OSHA Proposes Revised Beryllium Standard for General Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule on Dec. 10 to revise the beryllium standard for general industry. The proposed changes are designed to clarify the safety standard and improve compliance. The proposed rule would amend selected paragraphs of the standard, and also replace Appendix A, Operations for Establishing Beryllium Work Areas. Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted by Feb. 9, 2019.

OSHA News Release

OSHA Launches Initiative in Southeastern States to Increase Awareness of Trenching Hazards and Solutions

In October, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation to continue support for compliance assistance and inspection programs to improve the safety of trenching and excavation operations. As part of the agency's focus on trenching safety, OSHA area offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi have launched an initiative to educate employers and workers on trenching safety practices.

OSHA News Release

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

OSHA’s Winter Weather Webpage: Be Prepared to Protect Workers from Winter Weather-Related Hazards

As outdoor temperatures drop and winter storms approach, employers should take measures to keep their workers safe. OSHA's Winter Weather webpage provides information on protecting workers from hazards while working outside during severe cold and snow storms. This guidance includes information on staying safe while clearing snow from walkways and rooftops.

OSHA Winter Resources

CDC Workplace Health Resource Center: Expert Interviews

Listen to new interviews with subject matter experts on topics, including depression in the workplace and substance misuse in the workplace. Casey Chosewood, M.D., of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Total Worker Health serves as moderator for two of the featured interviews.

CDC Interviews (Audio and Video)

APHA Health Equity Resources

The American Public Health Association (APHA) released three new fact sheets focused on health equity. All three explore strategies for public health professions to advance equity, and individually focus on environmental justice, educational equity, and equity advancement.

APHA Fact Sheets

Job OpeningsBack to Top

NYCOSH Seeks Associate Director

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) is seeking an Associate Director to direct safety and health education, training, research, and advocacy work in the Metropolitan New York area. Candidate must be a self-starter, able to work independently and have a background in safety and health and labor. Please email resumes and detailed cover letters to by Friday, January 25, 2019. Impersonal cover letters will not be considered.

Job Description

University of Texas School of Public Health Seeks a Research Coordinator

The University of Texas School of Public Health has a Research Coordinator position currently available for a 5-year project to implement an injury prevention clinical trial among Latino Day Laborers in Houston Texas. If interested, please e-mail for more information.

Job Description

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