December 9, 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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CDC Encourages People to Wear Masks to Help Prevent Spread of Covid, Flu and RSV Over the Holidays
The Centers for Disease Control Prevention on Monday encouraged people to wear masks to help reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses this season as Covid, flu and RSV circulate at the same time. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said wearing a mask is one of several everyday precautions that people can take to reduce their chances of catching or spreading a respiratory virus during the busy holiday season.
CNBC [Author: Spencer Kimball]
Three Tribes Dealing with the Toll of Climate Change Get $75 Million to Relocate
Three Tribal communities in Alaska and Washington that have been severely impacted by the effects of climate change on their homes are getting $75 million from the Biden administration to help relocate to higher ground.
NPR [Author: Jaclyn Diaz]
There's a Lithium Mining Boom, But it's Not a Jobs Bonanza
Lithium is essential to producing rechargeable batteries, like the giant ones used in electric vehicles. Demand is soaring. And, after decades of shifting production overseas, the auto industry is now racing to move supply chains back to the U.S. — especially for batteries, from raw materials all the way to assembly.
All Things Considered [Author: Camila Domonoske]
Study of Worker Absenteeism Points to Need for Employer Support of Drug Treatment Programs, Researchers Say
Employees who use illicit substances have increased absenteeism – a “compelling argument” for employers to promote employee treatment programs, results of a Boston University study. By promoting employee treatment programs, employers can help reduce the economic and social cost of absenteeism associated with substance use disorder.
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The NACOSH Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Work Group December Meeting
The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) is a statutory committee established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to advise the Secretaries of Labor and Health and Human Services on occupational safety and health programs and policies. Members of the public may attend the NACOSH Heat Work Group meeting. However, any participation by the public will be in listen-only mode. OSHA is not receiving public comments or requests to speak at the Heat Work Group meeting. The meeting will be held on December 13, 2022, 2:00 p.m. EDT.
EPA Begins Oversight of General Mills/Henkel Corp. Superfund Site in Minneapolis; Will Host Superfund Training and Open House on Wednesday, December 14
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the agency will assume investigation responsibilities for the General Mills/Henkel Corp. Superfund site in Minneapolis, Minnesota. EPA will oversee site cleanup and future maintenance. The Agency will continue to partner with MPCA and local partners to provide technical support and community and stakeholder engagement. To update community members, the agency will host “Superfund 101” training and an open house on December 14, 4:30 p.m. CDT.
Leveraging Trust to Advance Science, Engineering and Medicine in the Black Community: A Workshop
The workshop of the Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine will examine local, national, and global strategies used by community groups such as the Black church across the Black diaspora to build trust and advance issues in science, engineering, and medicine within Black communities. The workshop will be held December 15, 2022, 10:00 a.m. EDT and December 16, 2022, 4:30 p.m. EDT.
Registration Open for EPA Virtual Public Hearing on EPA’s Supplemental Proposal to Cut Methane Pollution to Protect Communities, Combat Climate Change, and Bolster American Innovation
Registration is opens for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) virtual public hearing on the Agency’s supplemental proposal to strengthen its proposed standards to cut methane and other harmful air pollution from oil and natural gas operations. The proposed updates would provide more comprehensive requirements to reduce climate and health-harming air pollution, including from hundreds of thousands of existing oil and gas sources nationwide. It would promote the use of innovative methane detection technologies and other cutting-edge solutions, many of which are being developed and deployed by small businesses providing good-paying jobs across the United States. The event will be held on January 10 and 11, 2023, 10:00 a.m. EDT.
|On The Web This Week
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The “Tripledemic’, Explained
This winter, three major respiratory viruses — respiratory syncytial virus or R.S.V., the flu and the coronavirus — are poised to collide in the United States in what some health officials are calling a “tripledemic.”
Rural Colorado Tries to Fill Health Worker Gaps with Apprenticeships
Besides increasing the number of direct care workers, the Colorado apprenticeship program offers opportunities for improving earning power to residents who live at or below the poverty line, who lost their jobs during the covid-19 pandemic, or who are unemployed or underemployed. They train to become personal care aides, who help patients with daily tasks such as bathing or housekeeping, or certified nursing assistants, who can provide some direct health care, like checking blood pressure.
Kaiser Health News [Author: Kate Ruder]
More Than Half of Infectious Diseases May be Aggravated by Climate Change
A recent study looked at 375 diseases known to have impacted people, and it found that more than half can be aggravated by hazards affected by global warming. For example, changing climate conditions can enable mosquitoes, bats, and other animals — and the pathogens they carry — to move into places closer to humans.
Cold Exposure Impairs Extracellular Vesicle Swarm–Mediated Nasal Antiviral Immunity
The new study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, offers the first biological mechanism to explain why viruses like the common cold, flu and covid-19 are more likely to spike in colder seasons, according to the authors. The researchers sought to determine if this immune response was also triggered by viruses inhaled through the nose, which are the source of some of the most common upper respiratory infections.
|Federal Agency Update
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Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Clean Energy Workforce Training Programs to Bolster Domestic Manufacturing and Energy Efficiency in Commercial and Institutional Buildings
The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced its intent to invest up to $72 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure law to expand the Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) Program. This will establish up to five regional Centers of Excellence and create new IACs at trade schools, community colleges, and union training programs. Investments will also go towards new Building Training Assessment Centers (BTACs) for workforce development to support energy efficiency and emissions reductions in commercial and institutional buildings.
The U.S. Department of Labor Updated and Relaunched Worker.gov
Worker.gov is a one-stop resource center to help workers understand their rights and access resources at the Department of Labor (DOL). New to the site is information about the right to form unions to improve wages and working conditions. Also, new information and resources on worker protections against retaliation when exercising wage, organizing, safety, veteran and equality rights. Find highlights on the new and updated features of the Worker.gov in the DOL Blog post, “Workers, Do You Have Questions? We Have Answers.”
DOL Blog [Author: Teresa Acuña]
EPA Proposes Rule to Enhance Reporting of PFAS Data to the Toxics Release Inventory
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule that would improve reporting on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) by, among other proposed changes, eliminating an exemption that allows facilities to avoid reporting information on PFAS when those chemicals are used in small, or de minimis, concentrations.
U.S. Department of Labor Seeks Nominations for Membership to Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health
The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, also known as the Construction Safety Act, established the committee to advise the Secretary of Labor and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health on policy matters arising under the CSA, and the formulation of construction standards. Submit nominations and supporting materials, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2022-0001, electronically to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. The deadline for submitting nominations is Jan. 13, 2023.
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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Addressing Environmental and Health Inequities in the Deep South
Beverly Wright, Ph.D., founder and executive director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ), is working to address environmental and health inequities for communities in the Gulf Coast Region of the U.S. Wright’s efforts in social and environmental justice are guided by principles of community engagement and empowerment.
Covid-19 Prevention ETS Video Messages in Indigenous Languages
Each video clip focuses on one of four key messages regarding the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), which include measures that California employers must follow to protect workers from exposure: COVID-19 Prevention Plan (CPP), Vaccination Status, Face Coverings and Respirator, COVID-19 Cases in the Workplace.
Non-Fatal Opioid Overdose Tracker
The goal of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Non-Fatal Opioid Overdose Tracker is to track non-fatal opioid overdose in the pre-hospital setting using nationally submitted Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data. The dashboard contains one interactive page with a geo-surveillance view. The data set for this dashboard includes all deduplicated EMS patient care reports for a rolling time period that meet an inclusion criterion for a non-fatal opioid overdose in the pre-hospital setting.
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AFL-CIO Seeks a National Young Worker Program Coordinator
The National Young Worker Program Coordinator is responsible for leading the development, implementation, and coordination of the American Federation of Labor Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Next-Up Young Worker Program under the direction of the Director of Governance, Education and Training. The National Young Worker Program Coordinator will reestablish, direct and support the AFL-CIO Young Worker Advisory Council and will encourage and will assist in the inclusion of a young worker component in AFL-CIO programs and campaigns.
Worker Health and Safety Trainer/Specialist
The Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University is looking for a part-time trainer to help build it work around worker health and safety trainings in the DC Metro Area. The worker health and safety trainer/specialist conducts safety and health training to workers in the restaurant industry. The trainer will help in the development and delivery of worker training on the health and safety hazards facing restaurant workers, worker's rights to safe jobs, and strategies to improve conditions.
Research Coordinator (Emeryville or Glendale)
The National Union of Healthcare Workers is searching for a talented, hard-working individual committed to building a powerful and democratic union. The successful candidate for this position will be a creative thinker who is resourceful and hard-working. They will work as part of a team of researchers, organizers, and other staff on ongoing campaigns. The position works out of our Glendale or Emeryville office.
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