June 17, 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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Notice of Change of Application Due Date and Application Types Allowed for SBIR E-Learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response
This Notice is to inform potential applicants of a change to the Application Due Date and Application Types Allowed for RFA-ES-22-004 "SBIR E-Learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response. The modified application due date is Aug. 16.
U.S. Temperatures Hit Record Levels as South-West Bakes in Heatwave
A dangerous heat swept across the American south-west over the weekend as potentially deadly heat set temperatures soaring to record levels in numerous major US cities in the region. Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, and California’s Death Valley all posted record temperatures. Excessive heat causes more deaths in the U.S. than other weather-related disasters.
Workers Face Blistering Temperatures Again, With Little Federal Protection
Some 30 million people are under heat advisories telling them to stay out of the sun. But that’s a tall order if you work harvesting crops, on a construction site or in a restaurant kitchen with no air conditioning. And there’s not much in the way of safety regulations to protect those workers. The hazards of working amid extreme heat go beyond exhaustion and dehydration.
Marketplace [Author: Savannah Maher]
U.S. to Boost Green Jobs, Curb Emissions, by Plugging Old Oil and Gas Wells
For years, the smell of gas wafting through the grounds of the Franciscan Village senior housing facility in Cleveland was a joke among its residents, although they did not realize where the odor was coming from. A few months ago, they found out. An old gas well left unused since the 1950s had broken its clay plug, and methane and other chemical compounds were seeping out.
Star Tribune [Author: Carey L. Biron, Thomson Reuters Foundation]
Increase in Workplace Drug Overdoses Prompts KOSHS Hazard Alert
In 2020, the Kentucky Fatality Assessment Control Evaluation (FACE) program recorded the highest number of workplace drug overdose fatalities since FACE’s inception in 1994. The alarming trend continued into 2021, with eight drug overdose deaths occurring at work from January to June.
University of Kentucky Health Care [Author: Jonathan Greene]
EPA Lowers Safety Level for ‘Forever Chemicals,’ Weighs Regulating Them in Groups
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is saying that certain types of “forever chemicals” are more dangerous than previously thought and is considering regulating these compounds in groups instead of individually. “Forever chemicals,” a nickname for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are a class of toxic chemicals that have been linked to illnesses including testicular and kidney cancers and thyroid disease.
The Hill [Author: Rachel Frazin]
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National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health will Meet on June 30
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold an online meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Safety and Health on June 30 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. The committee meeting is open to the public and will include an agency update and a report from the NACOSH Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Work Group.
EPA Supports New Funding Opportunity from the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative for Pesticide Safety in Agricultural Communities
Through a cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) is making $200,000 in funding available for 2022-2023 to non-profit organizations for community-based projects. Applications are currently being accepted and must be submitted to PERC no later than July 1.
Pain in the Nation 2022: U.S. Experienced Highest Ever Combined Rates of Deaths Due to Alcohol, Drugs, and Suicide During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Trust for America's Health and Well Being Trust released the new report Pain in the Nation: The Epidemics of Alcohol, Drug, and Suicide Deaths. This year's report found that deaths associated with alcohol, drugs, and suicide took the lives of 186,763 Americans in 2020, the highest number of substance misuse deaths ever recorded for a single year. An expert panel will discuss the findings of the report as part of a Congressional briefing and national webinar on July 14.
EPA Launches Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge to Raise Awareness of Extreme Heat Risks
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge to protect public health by raising awareness of health risks from extreme heat. The challenge asks applicants to share innovative and effective messages about the health risks of extreme heat for our most at-risk communities. The challenge is open now through July 22.
EPA Seeks Applications for Brownfields Job Training Grants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that approximately $12 million in funding for environmental job training grants is now available under the Fiscal Year 2023 Brownfields Job Training Program. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 25 grants nationwide at amounts up to $500,000 per award. Applications are due by Aug. 2.
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International Labour Conference adds safety and health to Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
Delegates attending the International Labour Conference have adopted a resolution to add the principle of a safe and healthy working environment to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Delegates adopted the measure at the Conference’s plenary sitting on June 10.
Air Pollution Lowers Global Life Expectancy by More Than Two Years: Report
Air pollution takes 2.2 years off global average life expectancy, according to a recently published report. Research has increasingly shown that air pollution, even at low levels, harms human health. The World Health Organization (WHO) lowered its threshold for safe exposure to PM2.5 from an annual average of 10 micrograms per cubic meter to 5 micrograms per cubic meter.
Environmental Health News [Author: Kristina Marusic]
Hulking Coal Plants Coming Down Across the Pittsburgh Region, Destined for New Life
The remnants of old coal power stations scattered across southwestern Pennsylvania will come crashing down over the next few years as remediations and redevelopments pick up steam. These include the Bruce Mansfield power station in Shippingport, Hatfield’s Ferry in Greene County, Cheswick in Allegheny County, and Elrama in Washington County.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [Author: Anya Litvak]
Prolonged, Low-Level Radon Exposure Still a Leading Cause of Lung Cancer
A study led by the University of California, Irvine shows a strong relationship between prolonged exposure to low levels of radon and lung cancer, indicating a need for enhanced protection measures. Radon gas in the air decays into tiny radioactive particles which can damage lung cells and lead to cancer.
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U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chair Resigns Citing Lost Confidence
The head of a federal safety agency that investigates major industrial accidents has submitted her resignation, according to a letter seen by Bloomberg. Katherine Lemos’s departure would leave the five-person U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board with two members, though the White House said this week it would nominate Catherine J.K. Sandoval.
Bloomberg [Author: Ari Natter]
Statement by Secretary Walsh on the International Labor Organization’s Recognition of Occupational Safety, Health as a Fundamental Right
U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh issued the following statement after the International Labor Organization recognized occupational safety and health as a Fundamental Principle and Right at Work.
GAO Says DOE Should Address Lessons Learned from Previous Disasters to Enhance Resilience
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has taken steps to improve its workforce and training, tools and technology, and local capacity. DOE doesn’t have a comprehensive plan for coordinating response and recovery responsibilities within the agency. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that DOE create such a plan to address these issues.
U.S. Department of Labor Announces $11.7M Funding Availability of Susan Harwood Training Grants for Workplace Safety, Health Hazards Training
The U.S. Department of Labor announced a funding opportunity for $11.7 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants to support the delivery of training and education to help workers and employers identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards. Submit applications no later than Aug. 1.
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Opioids and the Workplace Prevention and Response Train-the-Trainer and Leadership Training Mixed Methods Follow-up Evaluation
Evidence supports that the ‘Opioids and the Workplace’ Train-the-Trainer program and materials have contributed to helping trainees plan and conduct opioids awareness training at their organizations. Evidence supports that the Opioids in the Workplace Leadership program helped contribute to trainees taking workplace level actions to implement policies and programs.
Annals of Work Exposures and Health [Authors: Eric Persaud, Deborah Weinstock, and Paul Landsbergis]
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UCLA LOSH Seeks Project Coordinator
The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (LOSH) is hiring a project coordinator. The project coordinator will manage various facets of assigned projects, conduct outreach, facilitate meetings and communications between partners, oversee development of curricula and materials, and convene worker training sessions.
OSHA Seeks Safety and Occupational Health Specialist
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is hiring a safety and occupational health specialist to develop scientific occupational health guidance resources, occupational health training curriculum, including course development, and briefing materials options and recommendations for Directorate and Agency leadership. The deadline to apply is June 28.
OSHA Seeks Social Media Specialist
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is hiring a social media specialist. The position will apply principles of library management including, but not limited to, cataloging, inventory, shelving, sorting, general operational oversight, presentation, and distribution of technical resources. The deadline to apply is June 27.
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