December 23, 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 Stories
- Calendar Features
- On The Web This Week
- Federal Agency Update
- Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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Is it Covid, Flu or RSV? A Few Hallmarks Can Help Distinguish Among the Illnesses
Covid, flu and RSV can be difficult to distinguish since they share many common symptoms. It’s useful to know the different symptoms of the virus to determine the best treatment options and how long to isolate.
NBC News [Author: Aria Bendix]
As Climate Change Makes Wildfires Worse, FEMA Faced with Calls to Change
Devastating fires in Santa Rosa and communities elsewhere in California led survivors to press for changes in the way the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) handles wildfires. Federal lawmakers approved a bill updating an emergency response system critics say has been more suited to natural disasters other than fire.
Reuters [Author: Sharon Bernstein]
Squeezed by Temp Nurse Costs, Hospital Systems Create Their Own Staffing Agencies
An increasing number of hospital systems have created in-house staffing teams to cope with the pandemic-fueled nursing shortage — and try to beat private temp staffing agencies at their own game. The goal of the in-house teams is to offer enough pay and flexibility to attract nurses to the jobs — and thus reduce the systems’ heavy dependence on more expensive RNs from outside agencies.
Kaiser Health News [ [Author: Andy Miller]
NOAA to Launch Major Advancement in Seasonal High Tide Flooding Predictions
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plans to unveil a new model to more accurately predict when and where high tide flooding will likely occur up to a year ahead of time. This new information will help coastal communities better prepare and respond to potential flooding days to help lessen possible impacts from climate change.
Biden Urges Veterans to Apply for PACT Act's Expanded Health Care Benefits
The PACT Act helps veterans get screened for exposure to toxins. Those include Agent Orange, which was used for deforestation during the Vietnam War, and burn pits, where trash was destroyed on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Safety & Health Training for American Indians & Alaska Natives in the Western U.S. – Session Two
In this webinar, NIEHS Worker Training Program grantees will discuss health and safety training partnerships with American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes. The first presentation will be given by Alabama Fire College and the Saint Regis Mohawks. The second presentation will be given by the United Steelworkers – Tony Mazzocchi Center. The webinar will be held on January 10, 2023, 2:00 p.m. EST.
The Continuing Challenge Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Workshop Seeks Instructor Course Proposals
The Continuing Challenge, the nation’s largest hazardous materials emergency response workshop, seeks proposals from prospective faculty and instructors for the 34th annual Workshop in Sacramento California September 5-8, 2023. The deadline for submitting Instructor Course Proposals is February 15, 2023.
|On The Web This Week
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Study: Wearing surgical masks over N95s can cause dangerous leaks
For optimal protection against respiratory pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, procedure masks shouldn't be worn over N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), according to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, does not recommend wearing a mask over a respirator.
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy [Author: Mary Van Beusekom]
New Mexico Could Pull Plug on WIPP Decades Sooner Than DOE Wants
The New Mexico Environment Department wants to ensure in-state transuranic waste shipments from U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory are a priority at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), and says it could require closure of the underground salt mine within 10 years absent an “accurate inventory of all remaining wastes” bound for the WIPP.
Exchange Monitor [Author: Wayne Barber]
Paid Sick Leave is Good for Workers — And U.S. Public Health
Paid sick leave is protective against other problems beside the spread of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. A growing body of literature shows that workers with access to it have a variety of positive health outcomes compared to workers without it, including fewer emergency department visits, lower levels of psychological distress, lower rates of occupational injuries, and higher use of preventive medical services.
Stat News [Author: Devan Hawkins]
|Federal Agency Update
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Statement by Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety, Health on 2021 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker issued a statement regarding the release of the 2021 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Fact Sheet: Biden Administration Announces COVID-19 Winter Preparedness Plan
The Biden Administration is announcing a plan to stay ahead of an increase in COVID-19 cases this winter. While COVID-19 is not the disruptive force it once was, the virus continues to evolve, and cases are on the rise again as families are spending more time indoors and gathering for the holidays.
Final Risk Evaluation for Perchloroethylene
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final revised risk determination for perchloroethylene as a whole chemical substance. This final revision supersedes the previous condition of use-specific risk determinations in the 2020 perchloroethylene risk evaluation (and withdraws the associated order). These chemical-specific changes are in accordance with the path forward for the first ten risk evaluations under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
EPA Updates New Chemical Review Program Webpage, Metrics, Affirming Commitment to Increased Transparency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a redesign and updates to the statistics webpage for the New Chemicals Review Program. The update includes additional information and metrics on the Agency’s review of new chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), increasing transparency for the public, the regulated community and other stakeholders. The new information and features will help users understand EPA’s new chemicals review process, throughput, and trends, while highlighting the progress the program has made despite ongoing resource challenges.
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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Winter Weather Guidance for Employers and Workers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides information on preventing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities during winter storms. Topics include cold stress prevention, employer guidance, and work/warm-up schedule.
Resources Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-Being
The National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience offers this collection of resources that highlight strategies and tools that health care leaders and workers can use across practice settings to take action toward decreasing burnout and improving clinician well-being.
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Paid Summer Internship Opportunity
The Occupational Health Internship Program is a national summer program dedicated to help students learn about the field of occupational safety and health (OSH) from those with most at stake: working people. Teams of two students are placed with a union or worker organization to investigate job-related safety and health problems among workers. Application deadline will be February 10, 2023.
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