March 30, 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
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Register Now for Spring 2018 National Trainers’ 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 (DOE) 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 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 block closes Monday, April 16, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. MT. Registration closes Friday, April 27, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
The 9/11 Rescuers Who Died a Day Apart, 17 Years On
When Thomas Phelan and Keith Young died within a day of each other, it was because of cancer, from which both had been suffering. But the underlying cause of the firefighters' deaths was the event which they both witnessed up close 17 years earlier: the September 11 attack on New York. According to the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York, theirs were the 172nd and 173rd deaths. About 6,000 of the 9/11 first responders are now living with cancer, with thousands more suffering from breathing problems or mental health issues.
BBC News [Author: Roland Hughes]
Federal Office to Investigate Radioactive Contamination Spread at Hanford
A Department of Energy (DOE) office has launched an independent investigation into the spread of radioactive contamination at Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant. The investigation is being conducted by the enforcement section of the DOE Office of Enterprise Assessments, which directly reports to the Energy Secretary’s office and is independent of DOE officials responsible for environmental cleanup at the Hanford nuclear reservation.
Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]
Los Alamos Lab Took Weeks to Find Missing Hazardous Waste
Los Alamos National Laboratory lost track of two containers of hazardous waste, requiring a weeklong search for the missing material, according to a letter made public this week. Three days after the material was discovered, the lab self-reported the error to the New Mexico Environment Department. Misplacing hazardous waste is a violation of the lab’s hazardous waste permit from the state and the latest in a series of recent problems with materials management and worker safety.
The Santa Fe New Mexican [Author: Rebecca Moss]
180 New Cases of Dead or Dying Coal Ash Spill Workers, Lawsuit Says
In the wake of a USA Today Network - Tennessee series of stories about the treatment of laborers at the cleanup of the nation’s largest coal ash spill, 180 new cases of dying and dead workers have emerged, court records show. The Network published stories detailing the investigation into the treatment of blue-collar men and women tasked with cleaning up the 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash that smothered 300 acres of land and more than two-dozen houses in Roane County in December 2008.
Knox News [Author: Jamie Satterfield]
Black Lung “Climbing Again”
Lester Burnette, a 27-year coal miner, has the most severe form of black lung disease —or Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF), in which large masses form, usually in the upper lobes of the lungs. Anna Allen, M.D., a federal black lung examiner and board certified in occupational medicine, said severe cases of black lung seemed to peak in the 1960s and 1970s. "It drops off, then bottoms out around the mid-90s," Allen says. "Then it starts climbing again." Allen says between June 2016 and May 2017, 16 percent of the patients at Cabin Creek Health Center, located in Dawes in Kanawha County, had black lung and 6 percent had PMF.
The Register-Herald [Author: Wendy Holdren]
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Webinar: Best Practices for Vision Protection
Even in 2018, eye injuries are a persistent concern for American workers, with an average of 2,000 such injuries occurring daily and more than 10 percent of the injuries causing lost time. The costs of serious injuries are significant, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, and a reduced quality of life. Yet experts agree that as many as 90 percent of eye injuries can be avoided by using the proper safety eyewear. This one-hour webinar, scheduled for April 11, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET, will outline vision protection strategies and examine personal protective equipment (PPE) choices for effective protection.
Seminar: Firefighter Health, Wellness, and Safety, Federal Policy – Regulation – Legislation
The 30th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner will be held on April 18-19, 2018. As part of this symposium, a seminar will explore the status of specific federal policies, regulations, and legislation that address firefighter health, wellness, and safety. Panelists will cover such areas as injury and line-of-duty death prevention; physical well-being and monitoring; psychological and emotional wellness; and firefighter occupational cancer among other diseases. Seminar will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, from 2:00 – 2:50 p.m. at the Washington Hilton (1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW; Washington, DC).
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.
2018 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program
Leaders from various sectors will engage in three days of free exchange of ideas and approaches to achieving environmental justice. These interactive training sessions will feature voices of experience, research, discussions, and thought-provoking dialogue. The program format will feature the needs and challenges of communities, governments, municipalities, tribes, faith-based organizations, and others with an interest in environmental justice. Program speakers will feature representatives from Federal and state agencies, local governments, tribes, community groups, business and industry, public interest groups, academia, and other entities. The Conference will be held at the Washington Marriott Metro Center in Washington, D.C. from April 25-27, 2018.
Tribal Environmental Health Summit
Registration for the 3rd Tribal Environmental Health Summit is now open. The Summit is sponsored by Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the Native Environmental Health Research Network. The theme for this year is “Sustaining Long-Term Partnerships and Projects with Native American Communities.” The Summit will be held on June 25-26, 2018 in Corvallis, Oregon. Abstract submissions are due May 31, 2018.
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Infectious Disease Deaths Decline Across US, but Not Evenly
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) quantifies, for the first time, infectious disease deaths in America from 1980 through 2014 at the county level, showing a downward trend in all categories, except diarrheal diseases. While the study shows certain public health triumphs, such as a reduction of deaths from HIV/AIDS, it highlights the disparities that exist on a county level when it comes to accessing healthcare.
CIDRAP News [Author: Stephanie Soucheray]
JAMA [Authors: Charbel el Bcheraoui et al.]
Training Evaluation: It Doesn’t Have to Be as Formal as You Think
This article outlines simple ways to create an evaluation plan, providing tips for before, during, and after the evaluation. It explains how to create a simple evaluation plan during the design process by answering four main questions. The authors address how to build formative evaluation into your training modules as a low resource way to gather evaluation data. Finally, the authors explain how to focus resources to support on-the-job performance after training.
Training Industry [Authors: James D. Kirkpatrick and Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick]
A Noisy Workplace Might Affect Your Heart
In the U.S., around 22 million workers "are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year," according to the Department of Labor. A study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reveals that loud noise in the workplace is also associated with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The results of the research are published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine (AJIM).
Medical News Today [Author: Maria Cohut]
AJIM [Authors: Kerns et al.]
Workplace Safety Communications Campaigns Should be Driven by Employer, Industry, Workflow, and Culture
Employees who drive for work face significant roadway risks, and motor vehicle crashes can devastate families, communities, and organizations. Crashes are the leading cause of workplace fatalities, with 1,252 deaths of vehicle drivers and passengers on public roads in 2016. Safety programs developed to prevent motor vehicle crashes are unlikely to work unless they are designed with employers’ needs and constraints in mind. In 2016 and 2017, RTI International conducted a study on behalf of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to find out what motor vehicle safety topics and products would be of greatest use to small businesses.
NIOSH Science Blog [Authors: Alexander et al.]
Robots in the Workplace
Industrial robots have been in American workplaces for decades. The Robotic Industries Association estimates that in 2017 more than 250,000 such robots had been installed in the United States. Recently, technological advances have begun to allow for greater diversity of robotic systems in the workplace. As these next-generation robots open new possibilities, their increasing interactivity and mobility may complicate the task of ensuring the safety of their human co-workers.
Safety + Health [Author: Susan Vargas]
Seven Ways to Improve Operations Without Sacrificing Worker Safety
According to David Michaels, who served as the Assistant Secretary of Labor from 2009 through the beginning of 2017, companies can be successful and safe at the same time. The reality is that virtually all workplace injuries are preventable, and safety management and operational excellence are intimately linked. Injuries and catastrophic events, in addition to being tragic, are evidence that production is not being managed correctly. The following article provides steps CEOs, executives, and boards can take to improve operational performance and minimize injuries.
Harvard Business Review [Author: David Michaels]
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Protecting Americans Includes Keeping First Responders Safe, says ASPR’s Kadlec
Robert Kadlec, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), told Homeland Preparedness News that the ASPR Office is “driving multiple efforts to protect Americans from 21st century health security threats,” including the potential deployment of bio-weapons like intentionally released infectious diseases or some other bacteria, virus or toxin, or the release of chemical weapons such as chlorine or mustard gas. Such threats to public health, according to Kadlec and other top federal officials, continue to rise in the U.S. and abroad.
Homeland Preparedness News [Author: Kim Riley]
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PEPH Grantee Highlight: Jennifer Horney, Ph.D. – Understanding the Health Impacts of Disasters through Community Engagement
Jennifer Horney, Ph.D., an associate professor and department head of epidemiology and biostatistics at Texas A&M University (TAMU), studies the health impacts of disasters, such as hurricanes. Horney's research looks at linkages between disaster planning and household actions related to preparedness, response, and recovery. As the project leader of the TAMU Superfund Research Program Center's Community Engagement Core, she is working with impacted communities in Texas to study the health impacts of Hurricane Harvey.
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NIEHS Seeks Safety and Occupational Health Specialist
Applications are being accepted for a Safety and Occupational Health Specialist in the NIEHS Health and Safety Branch. The Branch is a team of environmental, health, and safety professionals dedicated to reducing or eliminating the risks of illness and injury from occupational and environmental health hazards at NIEHS. The successful candidate will prepare and update guides, standards, instructions, operating procedures, and/or policies, reports, and other substantive documentation for high risk activities, and responds to accidents, exposures, and other emergencies.
Research Center Director and Associate/Full Professor in Environmental Health
The University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Department of Public Health seeks a successful Environmental Health researcher to serve as the director for two leading environmental health centers. The successful candidate will have strong expertise and research interests in environmental health and will be appointed at the associate or full professor level, depending upon qualifications. This faculty member will be expected to provide leadership within the department on environmental health.
Featured Safety Jobs with the American Society of Safety Engineers
Featured Safety Jobs with the American Industrial Hygiene Association
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