February 17, 2023
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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Success Story: The Historically Black Colleges/Universities Consortium
The Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCU) Consortium is one of several organizations funded by the NIEHS Environmental Career Worker Training Program. Implemented by a collaboration between the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and Texas Southern University, the HBCU Consortium aims to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged workers and communities.
Request for Information (RFI): Input for Developing the 2024-2028 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Strategic Plan
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) solicits input from stakeholders in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and other interested members of the public by reviewing the goals in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and proposing new goals for the 2024-2028 Strategic Plan. Responses must be received by April 20, 2023.
Lacking Answers, East Palestine Residents Plan to Test Soil, Water
East Palestine, Ohio, residents have been given the green light to return home, but many believe it is not safe to do so. They're experiencing skin rashes, nausea, burning eyes and other symptoms after a Norfolk Southern train derailed there two weeks ago, spewing toxic chemicals.
Cleveland Scene [Author Nadia Ramlagan]
Yellen Says Counties Should Use COVID Funds for Housing, Job Training
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called on counties, cities and states to focus their remaining COVID-19 pandemic aid funding to develop more worker training and affordable housing programs. Yellen said more affordable housing was needed to serve new manufacturing centers being created by legislation for new investment in green technologies, semiconductors and infrastructure projects.
Attorneys General Petition OSHA For Emergency Temporary Standard on Workplace Heat
Attorneys general from seven states are calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from heat exposure. In a petition sent to OSHA, the attorneys general of California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania call for an Emergency Temporary Standard that applies when the heat index reaches 80° F.
Cherokee Nation Announces Plans For $18M Treatment Center
The Cherokee Nations plans to use a portion of its $98 million in opioid settlement funds to construct a 50-bed, 17,000-square-foot treatment facility in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where the tribe is headquartered. The facility will be completely operated by the tribe and provide no-cost treatment for Cherokee Nation citizens struggling with substance abuse.
AP News [Author: Sean Murphy]
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CPWR’s Safety Climate – Safety Management Information System (SC-SMIS): Update on use since January 2022
In this CPWR — The Center for Construction Research and Training webinar, you’ll learn about the number and location of current SC-SMIS users since the rollout and hear about their experience using it. There will be time to ask questions about how you could use the SC-SMIS to improve safety climate and safety management at your company. The event will be held on February 23, 2023, 2:00 p.m. EST.
Personal Protective Equipment and Personal Protective Technology Product Standardization for a Resilient Public Health Supply Chain: A Workshop
This two-day workshop will examine standards gaps related to personal protective equipment (PPE) and personal protective technology (PPT) and explore innovative approaches and technologies to update and streamline the U.S. standardization system for PPE and PPT in support of supply chain resiliency. The event will be held March 1 and 2, 2023.
RIPL Granting $12 million to States to Combat Unemployment and Transform Workforce Development
Research Improving People's Lives (RIPL) announced the launch of its Opening Workforce DOORS Grant Program to help states transform the outdated workforce and unemployment programs and get people back to work through cloud technology, streamlined digital services, and government data. The deadline for priority applications is March 10, 2023, 5:00 p.m. EST.
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Environmental Groups Urge Feds to Track Flu-Like Illnesses Common Among BP Spill Workers
Several environmental groups are petitioning federal regulators to require employers to document a wider range of illnesses, including cold- and flu-like symptoms, suffered by cleanup workers and emergency responders during oil spills. The petition is the latest step in a more than decade-long effort to better protect oil spill responders from a range of long- and short-term health problems suffered after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010 and other spills.
Nola.com [Author: Tristian Baurick]
Female Solar Workers Can Face Prejudice. This Woman Wants That to Change.
Most solar installers and service technicians are men. So, women in the industry often know what it’s like to be the only woman at a job site and to be treated differently because of their gender. Better hiring practices to bring on more diverse workers and changing industry culture to be more inclusive of diversity in the workplace can enable employees to thrive.
COVID: While the World Sanitized Surfaces, a Group Tried to Warn Early on About Airborne Spread
A large group of experts from around the world say they warned the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that SARS-CoV-2 spreads through airborne particles, but their concerns weren't acknowledged until 3 months later, according to an account published late last week in Clinical Infectious Diseases
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy [Author: Mary Van Beusekom]
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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Additional $1B in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funds to Start New Cleanup Projects and Expedite On-going Cleanup Work Across the Country
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the second wave of approximately $1 billion in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to start new cleanup projects at 22 Superfund sites and expedite over 100 other ongoing cleanups across the country. In addition to funding cleanup construction work, this investment is enabling EPA to increase funding for and accelerate essential work needed to prepare sites for construction and ensure that communities are meaningfully involved in the cleanup process.
READOUT: U.S. Department of Labor Expands OSHA's Ability to Protect All Workers by Certifying Special Visa Applications to Ensure Effective Enforcement
U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joined Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker to sign a memorandum that gives the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) the authority to issue certifications in support of applications for U Nonimmigrant Status and T Nonimmigrant Status visas. "U Visas" and "T Visas" allow victims of specific crimes to help law enforcement detect, investigate and prosecute crimes without fear of retaliation based on their immigration status.
EPA Announces Initial Program Design of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced initial guidance on the design of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund program, created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. EPA published two Federal Assistance Listings outlining key parameters of the grant competitions that will ultimately award nearly $27 billion to leverage private capital for clean energy and clean air investments across the country. Federal Assistance Listings are the first public notice requirement to implement a federal grant program.
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Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas that burns easily. It does not occur naturally and must be produced industrially for its commercial uses. Vinyl chloride is used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a hard plastic resin used to make a variety of plastic products, including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials.
Chemical Exposure Resources
The NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) staff and awardees have explored a variety of topics related to chemical hazards and risk, with a particular focus on protecting workers from exposure to hazardous chemicals using effective training approaches. This page provides safety and health resources on issues such as chemical hazard identification and assessment, chemical safety and security, and chemical incident response.
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OSHA Seeks an Industrial Hygienist
This position conducts workplace inspections and assesses employee exposure to health hazards as part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) mission to ensure workers are provided with safe, healthful workplaces.
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