July 13, 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.
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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Updated Version of the Minimum Health and Safety Training Criteria Now Available
The development of the Minimum Health and Safety Training Criteria: Guidance for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) and HAZWOPER-Supporting Training was based on a series of national technical workshops sponsored by NIEHS WTP to serve as the quality control basis for the training grants awarded by the WTP. Following WTP’s fourth workshop held on October 2017, the updated final guidance document was prepared and issued based on comments received.
Hanford’s Problem Child Burial Ground is Close to Natural Conclusion
After years of risky cleanup at the 618-10 Burial Ground, a high-hazard waste site in the Hanford 300 area, only a few steps stand in the way of completion. Official approval to verify cleanup and reclassify the site — which will change the status of the area — is in the final stages and expected to be released this month, according to the Department of Energy. This document will serve as final sign-off that all criteria and procedures at the burial ground and near waste sites has been approved.
Tri-City Herald [Author: Rachel Fradette]
Kentucky Coal Mine Supervisors Cheated on Dust Samples
Eight former supervisors and safety officers at a Kentucky coal company were indicted on federal charges that they rigged dust monitoring in underground mines, forcing miners to work in the kind of dirty conditions that can lead to black lung disease. The eight officials who worked at the now-bankrupt Armstrong Coal in western Kentucky were charged with one count each of conspiracy to defraud the government by “deceit, trickery and dishonest means,” according to the indictment.
Washington Post [Author: Dylan Lovan]
Using Trauma-Informed Care to Guide Emergency Preparedness and Response
Emergency responders are vulnerable to trauma during or after a disaster the same as survivors. Hazardous work conditions, being away from family, and exposure to human suffering can cause new and intensify existing feelings of stress, anxiety, grief, and worry in responders. A new training for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) employees looks at the role of trauma-informed care during public health emergencies.
Public Health Matters Blog [Authors: Amy Wolkin and Anita Everett]
How Social Media Disinformation Is Complicating Emergency Response
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released a draft white paper to help first responders better understand and counter misinformation on social media. The white paper details the four types of misinformation, as well as key challenges, case studies, and best practices for emergency responders to consider — some of which relate directly to how officials notify citizens when a crisis strikes.
Federal News Radio [Author: Troy Harper]
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Protecting Workers from Deadly Heat in a Climate Changed World
Please join the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR), the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), and esteemed guest speakers for a webinar on “Protecting Workers from Deadly Heat in a Climate Changed World.” Webinar takes place on July 19, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. EST. Register via link below.
The Role of Educators in Public Health Emergencies
Teachers and other educators play an important role in public health emergencies. They can help students and parents know what to do to stay safer and healthy during natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and other types of public health emergencies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) EPIC Team, Children’s Preparedness Unit, and Division of State and Local Readiness are hosting a webinar to discuss the valuable communication role of educators during public health emergencies. The webinar will be held on July 25, 2018, at 1 p.m. ET.
Save the Date: Safe + Sound Week
The second annual Safe + Sound Week will be held August 13-19, 2018. The event is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the value of workplace safety and health programs. These programs can help employers and workers identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving a company’s financial bottom line. Throughout this week, organizations are encouraged to host events and activities that showcase the core elements of an effective safety and health program, including: management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing workplace hazards. For more information and to sign-up for email updates, visit the Safe + Sound Week webpage.
Registration for 2018 National Cleanup Workshop Now Open
Join senior executives and site officials, industry leaders, national and local elected officials, and other stakeholders for the fourth annual National Cleanup Workshop (NCW2018) to discuss the Department of Energy's (DOE) progress on the cleanup of the environmental legacy of the nation's Manhattan Project and Cold War nuclear weapons program. NCW2018 is hosted by the Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) with the cooperation of the Energy Facility Contractors Group (EFCOG) and the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM). The workshop will take place September 11 – 13, 2018, in Alexandria, VA.
Registration Now Open for NOIRS 2018
The National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) is the only national forum focused on the advancement of safe work environments for all workers. Currently, the symposium organizers are soliciting scientific and practice-based contributions from a variety of disciplines. This year, the event will be held in Morgantown, WV at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place on October 16–18, 2018.
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A Comprehensive Report on Underground Coal Mine Dust Exposure Says Monitoring and Sampling Should Go Beyond Regulatory Compliance
Black lung disease cases in coal miners have been increasing since 2000 for uncertain reasons. A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says that even though mine operators are complying with regulatory requirements for monitoring conditions that affect miner health, these approaches may not guarantee that exposures will be controlled adequately or that future disease rates will decline. The report recommends a number of actions for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Training Survey 2018: Safety Pros Talk Budgets, Challenges of Training
As safety professionals know, training must be continuous to keep workers up to date on new rules and regulations, as well as to ensure they follow proper operating procedures and avoid complacency. For the third year, Safety + Health surveyed safety pros to find out about their organizations’ training budgets, increases and decreases, how much is spent per learner, and more.
Three Reasons Why the U.S. Is Vulnerable to Big Disasters
During the 2017 disaster season, three severe hurricanes devastated large parts of the U.S. The quick succession of major disasters made it obvious that such large-scale emergencies can be a strain, even in one of the world’s richest countries. The factors are many and diverse, but three main factors that stand out because they are within the grasp of the federal and local governments include: where and how cities grow, how easily households can access critical services during disaster, and the reliability of the supply chains for critical goods.
The Conversation [Author: Morten Wendelbo]
Improving Disaster Response Through Twitter Data
Twitter data could give disaster relief teams real-time information to provide aid and save lives. A team of researchers from Penn State, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, and the Qatar Computing Research Institute created an algorithm that analyzes Twitter data to identify smaller disaster-related events, known as sub-events, and generate highly accurate, real-time summaries that can be used to guide response activities.
Phys [Author: Jordan Ford]
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CDC HAN Update: Rising Numbers of Deaths Involving Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogs, Including Carfentanil, and Increased Usage and Mixing with Non-opioids
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Health Alert Network (HAN) Update alerts public health departments, health care professionals, first responders, and medical examiners and coroners to important new developments in the evolving opioid overdose epidemic. The current update includes information on: the continued increase in the supply of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs detected by law enforcement, the sharp rise in overdose deaths involving fentanyl and fentanyl analogs in a growing number of states, and the expanding number of poly-drug combinations implicated in opioid overdose deaths and more.
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Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding and Similar Disasters
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Joint Information Center (JIC), as part of CDC’s Incident Management System (IMS), developed a key messages document while activated for the 2017 hurricane season response. The document served as a tool to communicate critical health messages and response updates to partners. The document addressed emerging challenges, including food safety, carbon monoxide poisoning, waterborne diseases, and mold. After the hurricane response, CDC expanded the scope of the key messages document to include messages on preparedness, safety, and recovery.
Video: Questions Surround Slow Exide Lead Clean-Up
California allocated $176 million to test and clean 2,500 lead-threatened properties surrounding the closed Exide battery plant near downtown Los Angeles. To date, only 335 parcels have been cleaned. This video explores the issues surrounding the delayed cleanup.
Capital & Main [Author: Marco Amador]
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Recruiting Cal/OSHA Safety and Health Inspectors
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is hiring safety and health inspectors throughout the state. These are field positions that conduct compliance inspections in many different settings and consult with employers on a wide range of health and safety issues. The upcoming application deadline is July 31, 2018, and the next deadline is October 31, 2018.
Migrant Clinicians Network Hiring for Multiple Positions in Salisbury, MD Office
Join Migrant Clinicians Network’s (MCN) team at our East Coast Office and Division of Environmental and Occupational Health in Salisbury, MD. MCN is currently looking for a Bilingual Project Coordinator for Migrant Health and Program Manager for Migrant Health to join their team.
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