March 1, 2019
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 Spring Meeting on Addressing Workplace Stress – Registration Now Open!
Registration is now open for the WTP Spring Awardee Meeting and Steelworkers Charitable and Educational Organization (USW SCEO)/WTP Workshop being held May 14-16, 2019, at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The workshop will explore training interventions to address workplace stress, fatigue, and addiction. The awardee meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, May 15 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and Thursday, May 16 (9:00 a.m. – noon).
Coal’s Other Dark Side: Toxic Ash that Can Poison Water and People
When a dike on a coal ash pond ruptured at the Kingston Fossil Plant in Kingston, Tennessee, in December 2008, it spilled far more toxic ash than the Deepwater Horizon spilled oil. The ash swamped houses and polluted the Emory River. More than 200 cleanup workers and family members are now suing Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) main contractor, Jacobs Engineering, for refusing to provide them with protective equipment and for causing their debilitating and in some cases deadly diseases.
National Geographic [Author: Joel K. Bourne, Jr.]
‘We’re in Hospitals Every Day’: Nearly Half of FDNY First Responders have a WTC Sickness
Nearly half of the 15,000 FDNY firefighters, officers, and medics who were working on 9/11 — and survived — have gotten sick from their exposure to the toxins that swirled around the World Trade center site, union officials said. So many people have applied for compensation that the $7.3 billion fund is running out of money. Uniformed Firefights Association President Gerard Fitzgerald said union members will be targeting lawmakers from across the nation, encouraging them to sign onto a bill that will extend the fund.
New York Daily News [Authors: Ellen Moynihan and Thomas Tracy]
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Request for Proposals: Kresge Foundation: Climate Change, Health & Equity
The Kresge Foundation has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to address the intersecting imperatives of accelerating action on climate change and reducing health disparities. The current Climate Change, Health & Equity RFP will focus on the planning phase of a multi-year effort supporting community-based, nonprofit organizations and their capacity to advance the adoption and implementation of climate mitigation, climate adaptation, and climate resilience policies and programs at the local, regional, and/or state levels. New applicants must create an account by March 5, 2019, to begin their application online. Letters of intent must be submitted by March 19, 2019.
Congressional Briefing: Equipping the Frontline of a Crisis: How Congress Can Empower the Addiction Workforce to Save Lives (3/6 at 12 pm ET)
The Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose and the Mental Health Liaison Group will be sponsoring a congressional briefing to discuss how Congress can save lives by equipping frontline professionals who prevent and treat addiction, provide recovery support, and help reduce the negative consequences associated with substance use. Without strategic investments in the substance use disorder (SUD) workforce, the gap between need and available treatment will not close and more lives will be lost. This congressional briefing will be held on March 6, 2019 from 12:00 - 1:15 p.m. EST in Washington, DC.
Apply Now to the 2019 Health Disparities Research Institute
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will host the Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI) from August 12-16, 2019, in Bethesda, MD. The HDRI aims to support the research career development of promising minority health/ health disparities research scientists early in their careers and stimulate research in the disciplines supported by health disparities science. The program is intended for early-stage research investigators and will feature lectures on minority health and health disparities research; mock grant reviews; seminars; and small group discussions. Applications are due March 22, 2019, 5:00 p.m. EST.
NACCHO Preparedness Summit 2019
The 2019 Preparedness Summit, sponsored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), will look at how threats to our national health security have evolved significantly. The summit will feature experts from the healthcare and emergency management fields as well as public health preparedness professionals, looking at opportunities to address the gaps between these life-saving industries and work more collaboratively in the face of emerging threats. The summit will be held on March 26-29, 2019, in St. Louis, MO.
2019 National Health Security Award Application
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) are pleased to announce the fourth annual National Health Security Award. This award recognizes local health departments that have demonstrated significant accomplishments in implementing health security-related initiatives within their jurisdictions. Applications are being accepted now through April 26, 2019.
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Which Injured Workers Are More Likely to Receive Opioid Prescriptions? Study Explores
A recent study conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute sought to identify which individuals are more likely to receive opioid prescriptions. The study determined that those most likely to receive a prescription for opioids are injured workers who are older, employed by organizations with smaller payrolls, and in counties where more people have health insurance. The study, “Correlates of Opioid Dispensing,” used data from 1.4 million pain medication prescriptions filled within 18 months after an injury occurred between October 2014 and September 2015 in 27 states.
Study Finds FDA Oversight of Fentanyl Prescribing Inadequate
A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health indicates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and manufacturers did not take action when evidence emerged that potentially lethal fentanyl products were being prescribed inappropriately to patients. The study was published February 19 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and was based on a review of 4,877 pages of FDA reports and other documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from years 2012 to 2017.
New York Gets $5.5M Job Training Grant to Fight Opioid Crisis
The New York State Department of Labor has received more than $5.5 million in federal grant money that will be used toward job and workforce training for residents affected by the opioid epidemic, according to state and federal officials. The funding will allow the state to expand programs that provide treatment and support career opportunities for New Yorkers combating addition.
Newsday [Author: Stefanie Dazio]
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New HHS-Sponsored Research Provides New Tool and Updated Guidance on Mass Chemical Decontamination
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) now provides a science-based chemical decontamination decision tool and updated guidance on how best to decontaminate a massive number of people after chemical exposure. These resources will help more than a million first responders and emergency managers in take specific preparedness actions. The decision-support tool and guidance, as well as the scientific studies on which they are based, were completed under a contract between the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).
NIOSH Reviews Scientific Literature on Infectious Diseases in the Workplace
It may be obvious when people get injured at work, but it may not always be apparent when people acquire infections resulting from exposures at work. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently published a study conducting a review of infectious disease investigations in U.S. workplaces to better understand the range of cases, the risk factors for workers, and the ways to prevent infectious disease transmission on the job.
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New Resources on Silica Dust Exposure from the California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch
The California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch published a new Occupational Health Watch that focuses on preventing illness from silica dust. Workers in construction and manufacturing jobs are often exposed to respirable crystalline silica, which is released when cutting or drilling into stone and concrete. The resources provide guidance for how employers can protect workers from hazardous exposures to silica dust.
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Peace Corps Seeking an Occupational Safety and Health Educator
A Peace Corps Response Volunteer (PCRV) is needed to serve as an Occupational Safety and Health Educator for Good Shepherd College of Nursing (GSCN) in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Through the Peace Corps Response program and in collaboration with local degree institutions, the volunteer will work alongside local faculty to support new degree programs by co-teaching and mentoring students both in the classroom and through their practical field experiences in occupational safety and health.
MassCOSH Seeks Labor-Community Training Coordinator and Organizer
The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) is currently seeking a Labor-Community Training Coordinator and Organizer. This person will be responsible for conducting outreach to unions and community-based partners to build relationships and assist workers to identify priority health, safety, and environmental concerns; assisting with the development and dissemination of materials/training curricula to help unions and community-based partners; and conducting health and safety trainings and workshops using a popular education model.
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