July 22, 2022
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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WTP SBIR FOA Informational Webinar Recording Available
The webinar covers information and answers questions about the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the WTP Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications. The focus of the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) e-Learning SBIR is to further the development of Technology-Enhanced Training Products to assist both students and instructors in the safety and health training of workers exposed to hazardous materials. Questions and answers from the webinar are also available.
Call for Abstracts for the 2023 National Trainers’ Exchange
The 2023 Trainer’s Exchange will take place in Indianapolis, IN, May 2-4, 2023, and is hosted by OAI, Inc. in conjunction with the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP). The National Trainers’ 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. Through participatory workshop sessions, participants will share best practices, training techniques, and ways to overcome challenges. The deadline for submission is Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
Amazon Warehouses Under Investigation From Federal Prosecutors, Department of Labor
Federal prosecutors in New York and the Department of Labor are inspecting Amazon warehouses around the country as part of a civil investigation into unsafe and unseemly workplace conditions. Workers at Amazon warehouses, which the company calls fulfillment centers, have complained of a grueling pace, uncomfortable heat and the potential for injury.
Monkeypox: Applying What We Know About Biological Agents to Prepare for Emerging Public Health Threats
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers have been studying the persistence of biological agents, including pox viruses, under various conditions for over a decade. This information has been crucial for public health officials responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it is being used to assist state, local, and tribal communities in instituting preventative measures that will reduce the spread of the monkeypox virus.
‘Ticking Time-Bomb’: Lag in Protections for Transit Workers Could Hamper Hiring and System Upgrades
Congress passed long-fought-for provisions aimed at improving transit workplace safety as part of its bipartisan infrastructure bill in November, 20 months into a pandemic that saw violence against workers spike across industries. One requirement is for transit agencies and unions to join forces to form safety planning committees.
Politico [Author: Eleanor Mueller]
Survey Shows General Public is Not Prepared to Deal with Natural Disaster and Severe Weather Events
The survey findings indicate that despite acknowledging an uptick in severe weather events and natural disasters, the general public still does not feel adequately prepared.
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NIEHS Webinar: COVID-19: Impact on Worker Mental Health and Substance Use, Workplace Solutions
This interactive webinar will introduce participants to a new module that builds on the existing NIEHS WTP Opioid/SUD in the Workplace training curricula. The new module is an additional training resource about the work-related causes, impacts, and solutions to addiction and mental health effects, aggravated during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The event will be held on August 25, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
NIEHS Webinar: Looking Back at COVID and Planning Ahead for Future Threats
The NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP), its grantees, and recovery centers develop tools and programs to prevent occupational exposure to infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. As workplaces transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic, focus needs to be on helping employers and workers prepare for ongoing and future infectious disease threats. This webinar will take a “look back” to describe the WTP COVID-19 program and showcase some of the materials produced. The event will be held on August 31, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Webinar: Respiratory Protection for the Public
This virtual webinar will help provide a shared understanding of the committee’s proposed framework for meeting the respiratory protection needs of the public and an opportunity to engage with federal agencies and other key stakeholder organizations on practical considerations for implementation. The event will be held on July 28, 2022, at 1:00-3:30 p.m. EDT.
Recognize Safe + Sound Week 2022
Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America's workers safe. The event takes place August 15-22, 2022.
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Bechtel Wins New $3B WIPP Prime Contract From DOE
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Environmental Management chose a Bechtel National-led joint venture to manage the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., starting as soon as October.
Exchange Monitor [Author: Wayne Barber]
Stanford Researchers Discuss Extreme Heat’s Impacts on Laborers
News stories of farmhands and other outdoor workers dying from heat-related impacts are stark reminders that few regulations exist to protect laborers from extreme heat. The average number of days U.S. agricultural workers spend working in unsafe conditions will double by mid-century, and, without mitigation, triple by the end of the century, according to a 2020 study.
Stanford News [Author: Rob Jordan]
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Happy 40th birthday to EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program
Since 1982, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program has funded nearly 1,700 awards for small businesses to develop and commercialize innovative technologies. Read some highlights and success stories from EPA SBIR winners over the years and check out the 2022 EPA SBIR Phase I funding solicitation open now through August 23, 2022.
SBIR Success Stories and Highlights
U.S. Department of Labor Awards $12.3M in Funding to Support Job Exploration, Training Options for Young People
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of $12.3 million in grants to five national out-of-school time organizations to expand local work readiness programs. The second round of Workforce Pathways for Youth grants will support programs that provide jobs skills and training and offer work experiences for young people from age 14 to 21. Out-of-school time organizations operate supervised programs for young people when school is not in session.
Alarming Rise in Trench-Related Fatalities Spurs U.S. Department of Labor to Announce Enhanced Nationwide Enforcement, Additional Oversight
In 2022's first six months, 22 workers have fallen victim to the deadly hazards present in trenching and excavation work, surpassing 15 in all of 2021. This has prompted the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to launch enhanced enforcement initiatives to protect workers from known industry hazards.
Biden-Harris Administration Announces $56M to Advance U.S. Solar Manufacturing and Lower Energy Costs
The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced a slate of new initiatives and $56 million in funding, including $10 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to spur innovation in solar manufacturing and recycling. Together, the funding will help make clean energy more affordable and reliable, create good-paying jobs, and enhance U.S. economic growth and competitiveness.
Fact Sheet: President Biden’s Executive Actions On Climate To Address Extreme Heat And Boost Offshore Wind
President Biden announced his latest set of executive actions to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, by creating good-paying jobs in clean energy and lowering costs for families. His actions will protect communities from climate impacts already here, including extreme heat conditions impacting more than 100 million Americans this week, and expand offshore wind opportunities and jobs in the United States.
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New USW Publication: Bargaining for Stop Work Authority
This United Steelworkers (USW) publication focuses on bargaining for effective Stop Work Authority (SWA) processes. SWA is the right of workers to stop unsafe work and processes until the potential hazard is thoroughly investigated and abated to the satisfaction of the workers, the union and management.
Climate Action to Meet the Crisis: Migrant Clinician Network Update from the U.S. Virgin Islands
“Here in the Caribbean, Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) is working with stakeholders and community leaders to address the needs of the population before, during, and after disasters,” writes Marysel Pagán Santana. “Through our disaster training program in collaboration with the Atlantic Center for Occupational Health and Safety Training, we are building capacity among workers and clinicians to prepare and respond to emergencies while protecting themselves and others from hazards.”
MCN Blog [Author: Marysel Pagán Santana]
Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public From Inhalation Hazards
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report on respiratory protection for the public and workers who are not currently part of a Respiratory Protection Program. This report gives recommendations from an expert committee to improve respiratory protection practices and systems to better protect workers and the public.
New Control of Communicable Diseases Manual Available
The American Public Health Association (APHA) Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 21st Edition, is the trusted source for public health professionals on identifying and controlling infectious diseases for over 100 years. Updated edition includes new chapters on SARS-CoV-2, Zika, smallpox, monkeypox and many more.
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Department of Veterans Affairs Seeking Industrial Hygienist
The Industrial Hygienist position is located at the Fleet Medicine Directorate located at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) in North Chicago, Illinois. The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center is larger than just a single facility, but rather a system of facilities throughout Northeastern Illinois which provide medical and dental service to U.S. Military Veterans, Recruits, Active Duty and eligible beneficiaries.
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