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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: February 1, 2019 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, February 1, 2019

Weekly E-Newsbrief

February 1, 2019

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

OSHA Resources to Protect Outdoor Workers from Extreme Cold and Other Winter Weather Hazards

Winter weather presents hazards including slippery roads/surfaces, strong winds, and cold stress. Employers must prevent illnesses, injuries, or fatalities, by controlling these hazards in workplaces impacted by winter weather. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working together on a public education effort aimed at improving the way people prepare for and respond to severe weather. This page is designed to help businesses and workers prepare for winter weather, and provide information about hazards workers may face during and after winter storms.

OSHA Winter Weather

Kingston Coal Ash Spill: Judge Orders TVA Contractor to Negotiate with Sickened Workers

A federal judge is ordering a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) contractor accused in the nation’s first and largest case of mass poisoning by coal ash to sit down at the bargaining table with sickened workers. Chief U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan ordered Jacobs Engineering into mediation in a toxic tort lawsuit filed on behalf of the hundreds of blue-collar laborers who were sickened — some fatally — after unprotected long-term exposure to the 7.3 million tons of coal ash that spilled from a dike at the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County a decade ago.

Knox News Sentinel [Author: Jamie Satterfield]

New Minnesota Law to Help First Responders Get Workers’ Comp for PTSD

A new law taking effect in 2019, will help first responders dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) get coverage through workers’ compensation. Minnesota State Senator Frentz says firefighter, police, and first responder groups will be getting out the word to their members that there is now a presumption that PTSD comes from work as long as they weren't diagnosed before.

FOX 9 [Author: Sarah Danik]

Metabolism Disrupted by Night Shift Sleep Patterns

Being awake at night and asleep during the day, such as the pattern that occurs in night-shift workers, may be linked to disruptions in certain metabolites and pathways without affecting the brain’s master clock, according to an NIEHS-funded study. According to the authors, this study may help explain why night-shift sleep patterns have been linked to certain metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes.

NIEHS Environmental Factor [Author: Sara Amolegbe]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

OSHA Proposes Revised Beryllium Standard for General Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule on December 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 February 9, 2019.

OSHA News Release

PEPH Webinar: Culturally Appropriate Communication (2/15 at 1 pm ET)

An upcoming Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) webinar, titled Culturally Appropriate Communications in Environmental Health Sciences Research, will delve into the intersection of communication, cultural competence, and environmental health. The webinar will explore how two investigators have implemented culturally appropriate communications in their studies of environmental risks among Latino cleaning staff and Native American women. Although their approaches differ, each investigator relies on similar underlying principles of cultural sensitivity. The webinar will be held on February 15, 2019, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EST.

Webinar Registration

Call for Papers: Special Collection on Access to Care During Disasters for America's Underserved Communities

Recent disasters have disrupted or displaced many vulnerable people and similar events are expected to increase in frequency. For this Special Collection, the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health would like to include current research studies on the impact of major disasters (such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and the California Fires and Floods) on access to care for vulnerable populations and underserved communities in the U.S. The submitted manuscripts for this special collection will be peer-reviewed before publication. Manuscripts are due February 15, 2019.

Journal of Primary Care & Community Health

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. The submission deadline is February 23, 2019.

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

NIEHS Grantee Highlight: Sherry Baron, M.D. – Engaging the Community to Protect the Health of Low-Wage Workers

Sherry Baron, M.D., an NIEHS-funded occupational physician and public health researcher, strives to make work practices and workplaces safer, especially for disadvantaged populations. According to Baron, one of every three workers in the U.S. is a low wage worker and makes less than 12 dollars per hour. These workers are more likely to be exposed to hazards on the job.

NIEHS Grantee Highlight

The Landscape of Local Public Health Preparedness: Findings from the 2018 Preparedness Profile Assessment

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has released the 2018 Preparedness Profile assessment describing the landscape of public health emergency preparedness across the United States. The assessment gathers information about preparedness trends and emerging issues at local health departments (LHDs) to provide an evidentiary foundation for future public health preparedness initiatives. Results of the 2018 Preparedness Profile highlight strengths, gaps, and opportunities for improving public health preparedness at the local, state, and national levels.

NACCHO Preparedness Brief

2018 Preparedness Profile Assessment

DRC Ebola Crisis Serves as Test for Health Reform

The World Health Organization was quick in its response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but still needs to work on staffing, security, and coordination, according to the latest evaluation of its health emergencies work — with strong criticism coming from some member states. The ongoing outbreak in DRC is the second most severe Ebola outbreak ever recorded, with more than 400 confirmed deaths so far.

Devex [Author: Jenny Lei Ravelo]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

ASPR Releases 2019-2022 National Health Security Strategy

Today, our nation faces a wide range of threats to national health security, including natural disasters; disease outbreaks and pandemics; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergencies; and cybersecurity vulnerabilities. As these health threats evolve, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has released the 2019-2022 National Health Security Strategy (NHSS), providing a vision to strengthen our nation’s ability to prevent, detect, assess, prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from disasters and emergencies.

ASPR National Health Security Strategy

Department of Labor’s Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) Website Now Updated

The Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) website has been updated! New information is now available for 38 Department of Energy (DOE) sites, including initial SEM profiles for the following five sites: Adrian-General Motors, Associated Aircraft Tool & Manufacturing, Baker Brothers, Herring-Hall Safe Company, and Kellex/Pierpont. Significant additions were also made to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Savannah River Site, and Y-12 Plant profiles. Department of Labor received 38 public submittals related to toxic substances and disease inputs since the last update on May 22, 2018.

Department of Labor

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program – Deadline Extended

The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) program awards grants that support community-driven projects designed to engage, educate, and empower communities. These projects seek to better understand local environmental and public health issues and develop strategies for addressing those issues, building consensus in the community, and setting community priorities. The EJSG program will award approximately $1.5 million nationwide for this competitive opportunity. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 50 grants (five per EPA region) of up to $30,000 each. Due to the government shutdown, the deadline will be extended, so stay tuned for website updates.

Environmental Protection Agency

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

New Environmental Health Chat Podcast - Opioids and Worker Health with CPWR Executive Director Chris Cain

Misuse of opioids can impact workers’ health and well-being both in the workplace and at home. In this new PEPH podcast, Opioids and Worker Health, Chris Cain, executive director of CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, shares more about the significant risks that opioids pose to workers, particularly those within the construction industry. She also discusses educational tools and resources available to raise workers’ awareness about the risks of opioids.

PEPH Podcast

New Resources Available to Prepare and Respond to Nerve Agent Emergencies

New resources are available from the U.S. government to help emergency responders and healthcare workers develop specific guidance and training to protect themselves and save lives during incidents involving fourth generation nerve agents, also known as Novichoks or A-series nerve agents. The resources are available on the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) website at

CHEMM Fourth Generation Agents

Mount Sinai Selikoff Occupational Safety App

The Selikoff Occupational Safety App is a resource for workers on topics related to occupational health. Download the app to learn about asbestos, ergonomics, personal protective equipment (PPE), workers’ compensation, workplace hazards, and more. The Mount Sinai Selikoff Occupational Safety App is available today for free. iPhone users, download it on the Apple App Store and Android users, download it on the Google Play Store.

Mount Sinai

Apple App Store

Google Play Store

Job OpeningsBack to Top

LOHP Seeks Bilingual Public Education Specialist

The School of Public Health Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), a public service arm of the Center of Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH), is seeking applicants for an entry level position to support California's diverse worker communities. The Bilingual Public Education Specialist will help research and assess educational needs and interests for targeted public segments, and help develop programs, materials, technology, and learning approaches accordingly. This position will provide essential program, administrative and event planning, outreach, and other support for LOHP’s public education programs.

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 five-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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