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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: July 16, 2021 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, July 16, 2021

Weekly E-Newsbrief

July 16, 2021

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

Oregon Adopts Strict New Rules for Workers in Hot Conditions

In the wake of a dramatic and record-breaking heat wave, Oregon adopted a new rule adding stricter regulations to worker safety amid dangerously hot conditions. The Associated Press reports that this includes expanded access to shade and cool water, as well as more frequent breaks to cool off and report concerns. Some workers rights advocates say these are the most protective rules surrounding worker safety in the heat.

The Hill [Author: Alexandra Kelley]

Most Hanford Cleanup Workers Exposed to Hazardous Materials: Washington State Report

More than half of all current and former workers involved in the Hanford Nuclear Reservation cleanup effort have said they were exposed to hazardous materials, according to a new report from the Washington state government. The report, the last in a series from the Department of Commerce's Hanford Healthy Energy Workers Board, found that 57 percent "of all current and former workers reported being in an exposure event," with 32 percent saying they experienced "long-term exposure to hazardous materials."

The Hill

Miami’s First-Ever Chief Heat Officer on the Climate Issues That Scare Her the Most—and What Gives Her Hope

When Miami-Dade County appointed Jane Gilbert as its first ever chief heat officer earlier this year, the Miami Herald noted its importance: Heat is “deadly serious, and climate change is making it worse,” the editorial board wrote.

CNBC [Author: Catherine Clifford]

Bootleg Fire Rages in Oregon, Burning 50 Structures and Threatening California’s Power Supply

A fast-growing wildfire blazing across southwest Oregon has burned through more than 153,500 acres, forced hundreds of evacuations and is imperiling a major power grid as much of the West endures yet another heat wave. The Bootleg Fire, the biggest of nearly 60 large fires burning mostly in Western states, has been spreading uncontrolled for six days. It threatened electric transmission lines that supply energy to California, leading the state to make emergency calls for power conservation.

Washington Post [Authors: Paulina Firozi, Reis Thebault, and Bryan Pietsch]

`Your Body Starts to Break Down’: Understaffed Philly Sanitation Crews Struggle as Garbage Delays Worsen

The amount of trash Philadelphia sanitation workers are charged with picking up on a daily basis surged during the pandemic, but even as COVID-19 has abated, delayed waste collections, recycling snafus, and other problems remained chronic across the city. While Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration has blamed inclement weather and summer holidays, city records and sanitation workers tell another story.

WHYY [Author: Ryan Briggs]

Fútbol, Flags and Fun: Getting Creative to Reach Unvaccinated Latinos in Colorado

Bringing the mobile vaccine program to an international soccer match was the latest effort by the state of Colorado and its local partners to meet unvaccinated residents, wherever they are, rather than asking them to find the vaccine themselves.


Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Availability of More Than $21M in Grants for Training on Workplace Hazards, Infectious Diseases

The U.S. Department of Labor announced funding opportunities for more than $21 million in Occupational Safety and Health Administration training grants for non-profit organizations. The first availability will provide $10 million under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the Coronavirus grants. Applications are due July 19.

Application Information

Achieving Environmental Justice Through Disaster Citizen Science

The National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program is hosting a webinar on July 29 at 2:00-4:00 p.m. This webinar will introduce attendees to the growing field of disaster citizen science and present a toolkit designed to provide guidance on using citizen science strategies to support community preparedness, response, and recovery. Disaster citizen science is the use of scientific principles or methods by nonprofessional scientists to address issues related to disasters or community hazards.

Webinar Registration

Needs and Challenges in PPE Use for Underserved User Populations

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests information on the needs and challenges in personal protective equipment (PPE) use for underserved user populations. The NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory is expanding its portfolio to include activities that consider the needs of U.S. worker populations who are underserved related to PPE. Comments must be submitted by Aug. 23.

Federal Register

2021 National Cleanup Workshop

The National Cleanup Workshop is hosted by the Energy Communities Alliance with the cooperation of the Energy Facility Contractors Group and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM). The 2021 workshop will be held on Sept. 8-10. The workshop will bring together senior DOE executives and site officials, industry executives, and other stakeholders to discuss EM’s progress on the cleanup of the environmental legacy of the nation’s Manhattan Project and Cold War nuclear weapons program.

Meeting Registration

Brownfields 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ICMA are committed to ensuring the National Brownfields Training Conference provides the best networking and learning environment possible for the Brownfields community. Several considerations were made related to the current, and anticipated, COVID-19 situation. The event has been rescheduled from its September dates to December 8-11, 2021, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

More Information

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Fighting Vaccine Hesitancy: What Can We Learn from Social Science?

As COVID-19 vaccination programs across the country transition from meeting urgent demand to reaching people who are less eager to get the shot, leaders are looking for new vaccine communications strategies. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently published two rapid expert consultations that offer advice to public officials about overcoming vaccine hesitancy and communicating about vaccine efficacy.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [Authors: Megan Lowry and Dara Shefska]

West Valley Resumes Shipping Wastes by Rail

Shipments by rail of hazardous material and some low-level radioactive waste have resumed at the West Valley Demonstration Project in New York. The nuclear cleanup at the nation’s only commercial nuclear fuel reprocessing center in the town of Ashford has been ongoing since the early 1980s.

The Bradford Era [Author: Rick Miller]

Stigma of Addiction Summit Recording and Transcripts Now Available

The Stigma of Addiction Summit was a half-day, virtual, action-oriented summit entirely dedicated to understanding, addressing, and eliminating the harmful impacts of stigma on people who use drugs.

Summit Materials

South Carolina’s Low-Wealth Communities Begin Disaster Relief Training

South Carolina’s low-wealth communities have begun disaster-relief trainings aimed at helping neighborhoods better prepare for crises. State agencies and community groups held their first emergency preparation session June 25 at the Perry-Webb Community Center in North Charleston’s Accabee neighborhood.

The Post Courier [Author: Rickey Ciapha Dennis Jr.]

After Explosion Kills 14-Year-Old, Louisiana Wants Tighter Safety Rules on Oil Field Tank Batteries

Zalee Gail Day-Smith was a talkative, smart 14-year-old from a rural corner of southwest Louisiana who dreamed of going to Harvard University, becoming a lawyer and a judge, and one day making the criminal justice system fairer for more people, her father said.

The Advocate [Author: David J. Mitchell]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

IG: FEMA Never Followed 20-Year-Old Disaster Law

More than 20 years ago, Congress and President Clinton enacted a law that aimed to encourage local governments to make their infrastructure more resilient to natural hazards and climate disasters. But there was a catch: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was supposed to enforce the law by penalizing states and municipalities when they sought aid for facilities that had been damaged in previous disasters.

Office of Inspector General (IG) Report

E&E News [Author: Thomas Frank]

OSHA Actions Impact the Construction Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is planning to take actions that will directly impact employers in the construction industry. Among the most prominent are the proposed amendments to the Hazard Communication Standard that are being designed to conform to changes in the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

EHS Today [Author: David Sparkman]

NIOSH: Work-Related Deaths in Alaska Remain High After 15 Years

Researchers with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently published their findings that workers in Alaska have a higher risk of dying on the job compared to workers in other states. Work-related deaths in Alaska are three times higher than in the rest of the United States, according to NIOSH-supported research published in June in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

EHS Daily Advisor [Author: Guy Burdick]

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

Update on OSHA Guidance for Workers Not Covered by the COVID 19 ETS

On June 10, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its guidance to help employers and workers not covered by the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) identify COVID-19 exposure risks and take appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection. The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) hosted a webinar to discuss OSHA’s guidance.

Webinar Recording

What is Bloodborne Pathogens Training and Who Needs to Get It?

Did you know that there are about 3 million health care workers exposed to bloodborne pathogens and viruses every year? Meanwhile, it's believed that hundreds of thousands are at risk of contracting infectious bloodborne diseases such as Hepatitis C or B because non-hospital healthcare workers fail to follow the proper precautions.

The Science Times [Author: Patrick Jones]

Job OpeningsBack to Top

OSHA Seeks Safety and Occupational Health Specialist

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is hiring an occupational safety and health specialist. The specialist is responsible for planning, developing and coordinating activities necessary to assure the proper and consistent implementation of Federal enforcement operations in Region 5, based in Chicago. The deadline to apply is July 22.

Job Posting

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