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NIEHS WTP: December 2, 2022 Newsbrief

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Weekly E-Newsbrief, December 2, 2022

Weekly E-Newsbrief

December 2, 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

Spring Workshop Report: Preparing Workers for the Impacts of Climate Change through Training

A new report features discussions from a recent NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) workshop, Preparing Workers for the Impacts of Climate Change through Training. The report features strategies to educate and train workers, employers, and communities to prepare for and mitigate the hazards associated with climate change. It focuses on various climate-related hazards, including heat stress, wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, and mental health.

Spring Workshop Report

Updated Opioids and the Workplace Resources: Training Tool, Resource List and Flyer

The NIEHS Worker Training Program is committed to providing up-to-date training tools and resources to help people identify workplace risk factors and solutions for opioid use, misuse, and to promote opioid recovery friendly workplaces. The Opioids in the Workplace: Prevention and Response Resource List, Training Tool, and Flyer have recently been updated to use for training on opioid misuse prevention and recovery friendly workplace awareness. The updated documents and training tools are available to download on the Opioids & Substance Use: Workplace Prevention & Response page on the National Clearinghouse.

Training Tool – PDF

Resource List


U.S. Nuclear Waste Repository Begins Filling New Disposal Area

Workers at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository have started using a newly mined disposal area at the underground facility in southern New Mexico. Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) made the announcement, saying the first containers of waste to be entombed in the new area came from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee — one of the many labs and government sites across the country that package up waste and ship it to WIPP.

AP News [Author: Susan Montoya Bryan]

Caterpillar Worker’s Grisly Foundry Death Blamed on Training and Work Conditions

Workers at the plant are blaming lack of training, poor safety protections and grueling working conditions for a death and are threatening strike action at the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer. The worker’s death was the subject of a report issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The report determined that “if required safety guards or fall protection had been installed, the 39-year-old employee’s ninth day on the job might not have been their last”.

The Guardian [Author: Michael Sainato]

WHO to Phase Out the Name ‘Monkeypox’ for ‘Mpox’

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it will phase out the name of the disease monkeypox over the next year, replacing it with the term mpox. The decision follows widespread calls for changing the name since the current international outbreak of the disease was first detected last May. The name of the disease and even the virus itself has been deemed by many to exacerbate the stigma attached to the infection — a sentiment the WHO referenced in the statement it issued announcing the change

Stat News [Author: Helen Branswell]

Deadly Bird Flu Outbreak is the Worst in U.S. History

An ongoing outbreak of a deadly strain of bird flu has now killed more birds than any past flare-up in U.S. history. The virus, known as highly pathogenic avian influenza, has led to the deaths of 50.54 million domestic birds in the country this year. That figure represents birds like chickens, ducks and turkeys from commercial poultry farms, backyard flocks and facilities such as petting zoos.

Huffington Post [Author: Hilary Hanson]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Safety & Health Training for American Indians & Alaska Natives in the Western U.S. – Session 1

This webinar will describe the trainings on hazardous waste, hazmat transport, and emergency response, specifically in underserved and remote tribal communities. The webinar will describe these training activities with particular focus on the Western Region Universities Consortium partnership and collaboration with Zender Environmental and their Rural Alaska Community Environmental Job Training (RACEJT) program. The program offers environmental training and job pathways for unemployed residents of rural Alaska communities disproportionately impacted by environmental health exposures. The event will be held on December 7, 2022, 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Event Registration

Everyone’s Health Matters: Replacing Lead Service Lines While Protecting Workers and Residents

New federal funding for lead service line replacement (LSLR) has been called game-changing, transformational, and the “single largest investment in water ever made.” However, a recent NIOSH study warns, getting the lead out of drinking water can put the lead into the bodies of the men and women doing the replacement work. A skilled safety-trained workforce is essential to prevent hazardous exposure to workers and community residents. The event will be held on December 8, 2022, 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Event Registration

Department of Labor Environmental Justice Stakeholder Listening Session

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is updating its Environmental Justice Strategy and solicitating feedback on how DOL could improve services and better serve environmental justice communities. The session will take place on December 9, 2022, 11:00 a.m. EDT.

Event Registration

Long COVID: New Research and the Economic Toll

Emerging research illustrates that long COVID is not just a health problem — it’s an economic one too, disrupting patients’ lives for years to come. Research has found that the economic losses of long COVID could be as high as $3.7 trillion, when factoring in the lost quality of life, the cost in lost earnings, and the cost of higher spending on medical care. Many people fear that the same factors that caused racial and ethnic disparities during COVID-19 may be responsible for driving disparities in the treatment of long COVID. The webinar will be held on December 15, 2022, 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Event Registration

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

LA City Council Approves Fair Work Week Ordinance

The Los Angeles (LA) City Council voted to approve the Fair Work Week ordinance, which guarantees retail and grocery workers have two weeks advance notice of schedules and compensation for canceled or on-call shifts. The ordinance will impact 70,000 retail and grocery workers citywide and is expected to go into effect April 2023.

Fox 11 Los Angeles

Podcast - The Big Burn: The New Normal

In this episode of The Big Disaster: The Big Burn series, science reporter Jacob Margolis examines one particularly pivotal wildfire - the Tubbs fire of 2017. The Big Disaster series will provide a wildfire survival guide that includes not just tangible safety tips — but hope for the future. Through personal stories the Big Burn takes a deep dive into the history of where wildfire safety and preventions are currently, challenges, lessons learned and what can be done to live and thrive with wildfires.

NPR Podcasts

Podcast - A Reckoning at Amazon

In this episode of Reveal News, a deep dive into Amazon’s safety record and why they have a higher rate of workplace injuries compared to other companies. Also, a look at the most common type of injury at Amazon and other workplaces: repetitive motion injuries.

Reveal News

St. Paul Health Care Workers Create PPE For Muslim Women

When health care workers Yasmin Samatar and Faraoli Adam were on the frontlines of the pandemic, they struggled to find personal protective equipment for Muslim women like them. So, they launched Mawadda, a line of hygienic hijabs to help keep Muslim health care workers and patients safe in the hospital.

Pioneer Press [Author: Isabel Saavedra-Weis]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

Initial Assessment of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances at Department of Energy Sites

The Department of Energy (DOE) distributed surveys to its operating facilities to assess current or historic PFAS presence at those sites, as a first step to understanding DOE’s PFAS use, onsite inventories and potential releases into the environment. The "Initial Assessment of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) at Department of Energy Sites" summarizes the Department’s knowledge to date about uses and releases of PFAS at DOE sites. Information from the report will inform next steps in addressing PFAS at sites and will support continued coordination with other federal agencies and communications with the public.

DOE Report

EPA Releases Spanish Lead Awareness Curriculum to Spread Knowledge About Preventing Childhood Lead Exposure

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Spanish edition of the Lead Awareness in Indian Country: Keeping our Children Healthy! Curriculum (or Plan de estudios de concientización sobre el plomo in Spanish), a set of educational tools and community-based resources to reduce childhood lead exposure. Spanish-speaking communities and families across the United States, including Puerto Rico, can now use the Curriculum to improve their understanding of lead’s potential impacts on children’s health and encourage actions to reduce or prevent childhood lead exposure.

Concientización sobre el plomo

Final Strategy to Reduce Lead Exposures and Disparities in U.S. Communities

EPA Research: Remediation of Fentanyl Contaminated Indoor Environments

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers investigated methods to degrade fentanyl safely in real-life remediation efforts by determining what effective and efficient mechanisms exist to clean an area contaminated with fentanyl and whether such technologies can also be used for decontamination of personal protective equipment (PPE) materials used during emergency responses. Additionally, EPA researchers studied methods for cleaning personal PPE worn by first responders, such as Tyvek suits, hazmat suits, firefighter turnout gear, and neoprene gloves.

EPA Science Matters

White House Releases version 1.0 of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) Webinar Posted

The White House Council on Environmental Quality, in partnership with the U.S. Digital Service, released version 1.0 of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST). Federal agencies will use the tool to help identify disadvantaged communities that will benefit from programs included in President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative. The Justice40 Initiative seeks to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of investments in climate, clean energy, and related areas to disadvantaged communities that are overburdened by pollution and underserved by infrastructure and other basic services.

Recorded Webinar

Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

“Building Pathways” Fosters Diverse Pipeline in Construction Careers

Building Pathways heightens the visibility of tradeswomen, combats discrimination, and supports women and people of color entering the construction field. The organization accomplishes these goals through an integrated supply and demand strategy, in which they both create a pipeline of diverse workers and promote policies that enable career retention and advancement.

Environmental Factor [Author: Lee Cannon]

Improving Nanomaterial Safety Data Sheets: CPWR Launches E-tool

A new e-tool from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training is intended to help manufacturers, distributors and importers of products that contain nanomaterials strengthen their Safety Data Sheets. The free, interactive Nano Safety Data Sheet Improvement Tool poses to users a series of questions to help evaluate their existing SDSs, and then generates a report with recommendations for improvement.

Safety & Health Magazine

USW Offering Free Training for Local Job Seekers

The United Steelworkers Union (USW) Local 1-689, the Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety, and Environmental Education, and the Pike County Career Technology Center announced they are working together to offer free training for local job seekers who want to fill open positions at the Department of Energy (DOE) Piketon Site, as well as for the existing workers so they can cross-train to maintain employment as work scope and skill mix requirements change. The training programs are free of charge through a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institute of Health (NIH) to provide training at DOE Nuclear Weapons Complexes, including trainers, books, and class materials.

The Pike County News Watchman

The Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training Launches an Official Facebook Page

Follow the page to stay up to date on news and information specific to their centers in the consortium. To share information, photos, and fliers to amplify on the Midwest Consortium official Facebook page, submit a request through the Google Form.

Facebook Page

Google Form

Job OpeningsBack to Top

Building Pathways Seeks a Lead Instructor for the Pre-Apprenticeship Program Based in Boston, MA

Building Pathways, Inc. (BPI) is a vibrant non-profit organization based in Boston that is dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of under-represented groups in the union building trades in Massachusetts, particularly women, people of color, and young adults. Through apprenticeship preparedness training, outreach to young adults and women, and advocacy, BPI addresses the need to recruit top talent into the industry while opening career pathways to groups that have been historically under-represented in the construction workforce.

Job Posting

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