Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: March 5, 2020 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, March 6, 2020

Weekly E-Newsbrief

March 6, 2020

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

Spring 2020 NIEHS WTP Awardee Meeting and Workshop is just a Week Away

Emory University Woodruff Health Sciences Center, in conjunction with the NIEHS WTP, is sponsoring a workshop on Protecting Infectious Disease Responders during the COVID-19 Outbreak. The workshop will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, March 17-18. An updated agenda is available on the meeting website. Those who cannot travel but are still interested in the content of this meeting may contact Kerri Voelker at for more information.


Gig Workers Face the Spread of the New Coronavirus With No Safety Net

Some workers here who provide on-demand rides and delivery services, but are independent contractors without many protections, are bracing for the spread of the novel coronavirus. Drivers have been scrubbing down their cars "inch by inch" between rides at local airport parking lots, according to Edan Alva, who drives full-time for Lyft in the Bay Area.

The Washington Post [Author: Nitasha Tiku]

Harvey Continues to Leave Behind Mental Trauma, Report Says

A newly-released study from Northwell Health shows what Katy residents may already know – the mental health effects of Hurricane Harvey are significant and ongoing. Mental health issues for those who experienced the storm and its aftermath are statistically more prevalent said Rebecca Schwartz, Ph.D., a psychologist and Associate Professor at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health.

Katy Times [Author: R. Hans Miller]

Solar Panel Project to Bring Jobs, Lower Energy Costs for Muskegon Heights

A new partnership between the city of Muskegon Heights and two alternative energy companies is expected to covert almost half of the city’s electric consumption to solar, according to an announcement released on Feb. 27. The project is expected to create 20 construction jobs with wages of about $20 per hour, and take about two months to finish. As each installation is completed, city manager Troy Bell said, that building will go live, building up to a fully operational solar system.

MLive [Author: Anya van Wagtendonk]

Industrial Dye Maker Handed EPA's First Chemical Data Order

Sun Chemical Corp. is the first company that must comply with a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order requiring chemical makers to hand over data so the agency can complete a chemical risk analysis. The EPA directed the pigment maker last week to provide information about the soluability of "pigment violet 29" and workers' exposure to chemical dust, Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, the EPA’s assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention, said March 2.

Bloomberg Environment [Author: Pat Rizzuto]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Resilience: Helping Communities and Countries Move from Crisis to Stability Webinar

This webinar looks at resilience, what it really means, how it is relevant to diverse stakeholders, and how to strengthen resilience at local, regional, and national scales. Speakers will describe how communities and nations experience and recover from impacts to their environment and climate, energy systems, health, and cultures, and how to develop effective resilience-building strategies. The webinar will be held March 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Registration

NACCHO 2020 Preparedness Summit Registration Open

Registration is now open for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) 2020 Prep Summit, which will be held March 31-April 3 in Dallas. This year’s theme, Fixing Our Fault Lines: Addressing Systemic Vulnerabilities, will focus on methods to identify systemic weaknesses and highlight tools and policies that can empower all communities, and particularly the ones that are most vulnerable, to address those weaknesses and become more resilient.

Meeting Registration

2020 Health Disparities Research Institute Save the Date

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will host the Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI) from Aug. 3-7 in Bethesda, Maryland. The online application system will open in early February 2020. The HDRI aims to support the research career development of promising early-career minority health and health disparities research scientists and to stimulate research in disciplines supported by health disparities science.


2020 National Cleanup Workshop

Early bird registration is open for the 2020 National Cleanup Workshop. Join more than 700 attendees, including senior DOE officials, Congressional leaders, contractors, and state, tribal and local government leaders for the largest EM-focused gathering in the DC area.

Meeting information

New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy Call for Papers

New Solutions seeks high quality manuscripts for a special issue, Opioids and the Workplace - Risk Factors and Solutions, dedicated to work and the opioid crisis. The workplace has been the forgotten element in the national response to the opioid crisis, even though workers and their families have been particularly impacted nationwide. Emerging research, case studies, and advocacy programs will be reviewed in this issue. Manuscripts will be accepted until June 30. Accepted papers will be published March 2021.

Call for Papers

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

A Game Changer in the Making? Lessons from States Advancing Environmental Justice Through Mapping and Cumulative Impact Strategies

This article focuses on lessons learned from state practice in environmental justice (EJ) mapping and screening, and their relationship to the central issue of cumulative impacts – the reality that EJ communities typically suffer from a concentration of pollution sources and negative land use as well as health and social vulnerabilities.

Environmental Law Institute [Author: Charles Lee]

Massive Hanford Plant Controls 10-Ton Radioactive Waste Crane for 1st Time

Hanford vitrification plant workers have successfully operated a 10-ton, remote-control crane in the part of the $17 billion plant that contains radioactive waste. It’s the first time a control room at the plant has operated a piece of equipment as Bechtel National works toward startup of the plant to meet a federal-court-ordered deadline to have the plant treating waste in 2023.

Tri-City Herald

The Case for Managing Human Factors at Heights

Working at heights is the second-biggest cause of workplace deaths, second only to fatal motor crashes. And contrary to popular belief, working at extreme heights is not the only deadly part of the equation. One-quarter of people who fell to their deaths did so from less than ten feet in the air. What makes working at any elevation so dangerous is how unforgiving it can be.

Occupational Health and Safety [Author: Matthew Hall]

Recognizing and Preventing Heat-Related Hazards as Temperatures Rise

The risks of summer-related illnesses such as heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are increased significantly when a person is introduced to extreme heat while engaged in strenuous activities. This extreme heat can also increase a worker’s risk of injury, as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, dizziness, or reduced brain function responsible for reasoning ability.

Occupational Health and Safety [Author: Sydny Shepard]

Recycled Nuclear Waste Will Power a New Reactor

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) sprawls across nearly 900 square miles in the southeastern corner of its namesake state. Home to America's first nuclear power plant, INL has served as the proving grounds for the future of nuclear energy technology for decades. Along the way, the lab has generated hundreds of tons of uranium waste that is no longer efficient at producing electricity. The spent fuel resides in temporary storage facilities while politicians duke it out over where to bury it.

Wired [Author: Daniel Oberhaus]

After Factory Disaster, Bangladesh Made Big Safety Strides. Are the Bad Days Coming Back?

Since the Rana disaster, considered the deadliest in the garment industry's history, Bangladesh has experienced one of the most effective campaigns of the globalized era to improve labor and safety conditions. But now Bangladesh, the second-largest garment exporter after China, stands at a crossroads as the safety deals put in place after the Rana disaster expire.

The New York Times

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

OSHA COVID-19 Information

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a webpage that provides information for workers and employers about the evolving coronavirus outbreak first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The information includes links to interim guidance and other resources for preventing exposures to, and infection with, the novel coronavirus—now officially named COVID-19.


NIH Coronavirus Online Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DCD) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available in addition to updated guidance.


NIOSH Seeking Input on Workplace Supported Recovery for Substance Use Disorders

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announces an opportunity to provide input on a NIOSH plan to develop resources and conduct research on the topic of Workplace Supported Recovery. Workplace Supported Recovery programs assist workers and employers facing the nation's crisis related to the misuse of opioids and other drugs, and related substance use disorders. Comments must be received April 27.

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

Oral Histories Shed Light on Exposures Near Superfund Sites

A new collection of oral histories from people who work and live near two Arizona Superfund sites was posted online in January. The community-driven Voices Unheard project captures video accounts, photos, and descriptions from communities near the Tucson International Airport Area and the Iron King Mine-Humboldt Smelter Superfund sites.

NIEHS Environmental Factor [Author: Sara Amolegbe]

Job OpeningsBack to Top

CSB Announces Two Chemical Investigator Positions

The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announced two chemical investigator positions. The Supervisory Chemical Incident Investigator position serves as the supervisor of experts in industrial chemical safety and nationwide incident investigation and analysis of major incidents involving the accidental release of hazardous materials and, developing and presenting reports with safety recommendations for adopting by the Board. The deadline to apply is March 9.

Job Posting One

Job Posting Two

NSC Publicizes VP, Roadway Safety and VP, Workplace Safety Job Opportunities

The National Safety Council (NSC) is a nonprofit organization with the mission of saving lives and preventing injuries from the workplace to anyplace, through leadership, research, education and advocacy. To further the vision for the organization, NSC is hiring two practice leads to evaluate and grow their respective business lines. The Vice Presidents will be responsible for establishing and overseeing the Roadway Safety and Workplace Safety practice areas.

Vice President, Workplace Safety Job Posting

Vice President, Roadway Safety Job Posting

We Want Your FeedbackBack to Top

We Want Your Feedback

What kinds of stories or other content would make this newsletter especially valuable to you?

Send your ideas for this newsletter to:

To go back and subscribe to the newsletter, click here

Back issues of our Newsbrief are available at our archives page

to Top