January 19, 2018
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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- Top Stories
- Calendar Features
- On The Web This Week
- Federal Agency Update
- Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
- Job Openings
- We Want Your Feedback
- Newsbriefs Past Issues
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Registration Now Open for Spring 2018 National Trainer’s Exchange and WTP Awardee Meeting
The 7th National Trainers’ Exchange is hosted by the Western Region Universities Consortium (WRUC) in conjunction with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP). The Exchange will bring together safety and health trainers and training stakeholders from the Department of Energy and the NIEHS WTP to exchange ideas about how to make training for hazardous materials and emergency response workers more effective and empowering. The Awardee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018; the National’s Trainers’ Exchange will be held on Thursday and Friday, May 10-11, 2018. The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix hotel. The hotel room block and registration are now open!
National Academies Report “Dire Need” for Robust Occupational Health Surveillance System
A report released on January 9 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls on federal and state agencies to establish and strengthen the systems for assembling data on work-related injuries, illnesses, and exposure to hazards and then using the information for prevention. The 12-person committee included public health researchers, state officials, as well as FedEx executive Scott Mugno who has been nominated to serve as the assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The Pump Handle [Author: Celeste Monforton]
Flu Stresses Hospitals, Shows We’re Not Ready for Emergencies
Alabama has a flu emergency. Schools have closed in San Antonio and Cleveland and Oklahoma. Think hospitals are under a strain now, from a slightly bad flu season? Wait until a really bad one hits. Experts agree the U.S. is not ready for a bad epidemic, or even for some other disaster that would affect hospital supplies. And funding cuts mean even a little strain has a bigger impact than in years past.
NBC News [Author: Maggie Fox]
Pelosi Says Flint Water Crisis 'Far from Over' 2 Years after Emergency Declared
The Democratic leader of the U.S. House of Representatives is marking the two-year anniversary of federal recognition of the Flint water crisis by calling for new investment in the nation's infrastructure. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi issued a statement on Jan. 16, two years after President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration to address the water crisis, which she called a "disaster (that) sadly remains far from over."
Michigan Live [Author: Ron Fonger]
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Webinar Information: Building the Evidence Base for Disaster Risk Reduction for Health Systems in Response to Natural Disasters
This is the first in a series of webinars, workshops, pilot studies, and regional preparedness exercises to discuss the current state and future direction of critical healthcare infrastructure modeling for disaster events. The webinar will take place on January 24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Webinar Registration: Building an Environment of Health Security
From hurricanes and wildfires to water contamination and pipeline breaches, there is no shortage of natural and man-made disasters that can affect health. On January 24, 2018 at 3 p.m. ET, join environmental health and health security experts for a highly interactive conversation about the environmental health impacts of disasters and the safeguards in place to protect against those effects. Panelists will share experiences from recent real-world responses and discuss the state of U.S. environmental health protections.
NIOSH Webinar Series 2018: Expanding Research Partnerships
This new webinar series continues the learning and discussions on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research and partnerships from the Expanding Research Partnerships: State of the Science Conference. The 2018 webinar series will feature intramural and extramural research within the NIOSH Program Portfolio from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET on February 14, May 16, and November 14, 2018.
Registration for 2018 Preparedness Summit Now Open
The upcoming 2018 Preparedness Summit will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia, April 17-20, 2018. The theme is: “Strengthening National Health Security: Mastering Ordinary Responses, Building Resilience for Extraordinary Events.” Since its beginning in 2006, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has taken a leadership role in convening a wide array of partners to participate in the Summit; presenting new research findings, sharing tools and resources, and providing a variety of opportunities for attendees to learn how to implement model practices that enhance the nation’s capabilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other emergencies.
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Hurricanes Irma, Maria Pose Threat of Infectious Diseases in U.S.
The aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria have displaced an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 Puerto Rican citizens, with many people from the island and other Caribbean areas traveling to the United States for refuge. The conditions these people have been exposed to may leave them and other individuals vulnerable to diseases not typically seen within the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health warning that includes the possibility of increased infection rates from this travel through March 2018.
Healio [Author: Katherine Bortz]
Waste Dumps a Burden for Minority Neighborhoods
Would you want an industrial waste dump near your house? Probably not. But across the country, environmental hazards like waste dumps tend to be located near minority communities. Marion Motley Playfields is a park on Cleveland’s east side. Named for a local pro football star, it has grassy fields, baseball diamonds, and hills. But those fields hide a troubling history. (This story is Part 1 in a series on environmental justice issues in the Great Lakes region.)
WOSU Radio [Author: Elizabeth Miller]
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Up to $3 Million in Funding Now Available for Locally-Focused Environmental Education Grants
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pleased to announce that up to $3 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education grants will be available under the 2018 EE Local Grant Program. EPA will award three to four grants in each of EPA’s ten Regions, for no less than $50,000 and no more than $100,000 each, for a total of 30-35 grants nationwide. Proposals are due March 15, 2018. The Requests for Proposals will be posted on www.grants.gov later this week.
Inside NIOSH: High BPA Levels Found in Factory Workers
A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study published in the Annals of Work Exposures and Health and the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene is the first to report urine, air, and skin exposure levels to BPA, or bisphenol A, among these workers. The study found urinary BPA levels comparable to the Chinese workers. These levels were 70 times higher, on average, in study participants than in U.S. adults surveyed. In addition, nearly all air and hand wipe samples tested had detectable levels of BPA.
Annals of Work Exposures and Health [Authors: Hines et al.]
Technical Assistance for Response to Public Health or Healthcare Crises
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is creating two notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) to improve the U.S. public health system's response to crises: 1) to fund governmental health departments when responding to an emergency, and 2) to fund eligible organizations to provide critical technical assistance and other forms of support to parties involved in an emergency response. Electronically submitted applications must be submitted no later than March 16, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
What to Do in a Radiation Emergency
A recent false alert sent to Hawaii residents caused panic and alarm. Now that it is clear there is no immediate threat, we might use that unfortunate incident as a reminder to prepare for all types of hazards and emergencies. Do you know what to do in the case of a radiation emergency? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a variety of resources, including simple, clear public messages for what to do after a nuclear detonation.
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Webinar: Review of Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2017 Report
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is hosting a webinar to review the key findings from Dodge Data & Analytics’ new report, Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2017. This study is the third in an ongoing series that examines the positive impacts of a wide variety of safety-related practices. The webinar will take place on January 23, 2018 at 2:00 pm ET.
What’s New in WISER 5.1
WISER, or Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders, is a system designed to assist emergency responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice. WISER is available as a standalone application on Microsoft Windows PCs, Apple's iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch), Google Android devices, and BlackBerry devices (internet connectivity required). As of January 2, 2018, version 5.1 of WISER is available. Take a quick look at the what's included in this release.
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Fe y Justicia Worker Center Seeking a Director for Worker Empowerment Clinic
Fe y Justicia Worker Center's mission is to provide a safe space for low-wage workers to gather and learn about their rights in the workplace, network for various social services, file complaints with government agencies, meet with attorneys and connect with community allies. The Worker Empowerment Clinic Director will lead client education and consultation, direct casework, and referral services through a network of volunteers sustained jointly with the Worker Justice Organizer. This position develops and sustains relationships with Law and Social Work Schools, local attorneys, and government agencies to maximize justice for workers in Houston.
National Nurses United Seeks Nursing Practice Representative, Background in Occupational Health and Safety Desirable
The Nursing Practice Representative position in the National Nurses United’s Nursing Practice Department is open for appointment. The Nursing Practice Department conducts research, literature reviews, synthesis and analysis on issues within its area of concern; drafts practice and policy position statements; collaborates with the legal, government relations, communications and collective bargaining department; and serves in other related roles. The Nursing Practice Representative will plan, organize, coordinate and present at a grassroots and leadership level, training and education programs on nursing practice, patient and social advocacy issues.
Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) Offers Paid Summer Internships
The Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) online application is now open for summer 2018! The Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) is a national summer program dedicated to help students learn about the field of occupational safety and health (OSH) from those most at stake: working people. Please help spread the word about this nine-week, paid summer internship opportunity open to undergraduate and graduate students interested in occupational safety and health, and in working with worker organizations like unions and worker centers. The application deadline is February 16, at 11:59pm PST.
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