March 31, 2023
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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- Federal Agency Update
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Daunting Recovery Underway in Tornado-Devastated Mississippi
Search and recovery crews resumed the daunting task of digging through flattened and battered homes, commercial buildings and municipal offices after hundreds of people were displaced. The storm hit so quickly that the sheriff’s department in Rolling Fork barely had time to set off sirens to warn the community of 2,000 residents, said Mayor Eldridge Walker.
AP News [Authors: Michael Goldberg and Emily Wagster Pettus]
The Dangerous Invisibility of the United States’ Construction Workers
A recent highway crash that killed six construction workers in Maryland brought attention to the risks and fatality rates throughout the construction industry. According to WTP grantee CPWR - Center for Construction Research and Training, construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States, with 1,034 fatal occupational injuries among all construction workers and 74,520 nonfatal injuries among private wage-and-salary construction workers in 2020.
Washington Post (subscription required) [Author: Theresa Vargas]
Help Wanted: Women Needed for U.S. Chips Manufacturing Plan to Succeed
Over the next decade, the Biden administration wants to add a million more women in construction jobs to aid in infrastructure projects across the country, including its effort to increase semiconductor manufacturing. The success of that effort will depend on the federal policies now being put in place and changes to an industry that’s not known for being welcoming to women.
Kansas Reflector [Author: Casey Quinlan]
Government to Step Up Efforts to Monitor Health of East Palestine Residents, First Responders
Almost two months after a train carrying hazardous materials derailed in the town of East Palestine, Ohio, the state Department of Health is preparing to offer blood and urine testing and physical exams to first responders who rushed to fight the blaze. Roughly 300 firefighters from 50 departments – many of whom were volunteers – responded to the derailment and fire.
CNN [Author: Brenda Goodman]
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How to Keep Temporary Workers Safe at Work
During this National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health webinar, experts will present on how employers address the unique challenges to temporary worker health and safety. Speakers include Lauren Menger-Ogle, PhD, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Michael Foley from Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Brittany Sakata general counsel for the American Staffing Association. The webinar will be held on April 11, 2023, 1:00 p.m. EST.
Dark Winter - Lessons from Pandemics and Biosecurity, with Dr. Raina MacIntyre
In this webinar Dr. MacIntyre will share insights from her book Dark Winter, a review of pandemics and biosecurity. She will also talk about EpiWatch - "Prevent the Next Pandemic with Epidemic Intelligence - which harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and open-source data to capture early epidemic signals globally and rapid epidemic detection, leading to the prevention of global spread. The webinar will be held on April 11, 2023, 5:00 p.m. EST.
Request for Information (RFI): Input for Developing the 2024-2028 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Strategic Plan
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) solicits input from stakeholders in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and other interested members of the public by reviewing the goals in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and proposing new goals for the 2024-2028 Strategic Plan. Responses must be received by April 20, 2023.
Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Promoting Health, Safety, and Recovery Training following Declared Disasters in 2022 (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
This initiative would support partnerships between WTP grantees, worker populations, local community organizations, and other federal partners with the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality related to responding to and recovering from activities associated with major disasters. Applications are due by April 25, 2023.
|On The Web This Week
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Florida Lawmakers Look to Increase Penalties for People Who Attack Hospital Personnel
Hospital workers regularly face verbal and physical attacks while on the job. Data shows those attacks are on the rise and nurses are most likely to be the victims. That can lead to a higher rate of turn-over all as the state stares down a nursing shortage. Florida lawmakers are looking for ways to give health care workers more power and safety in their jobs.
Health News Florida [Author: Regan McCarthy]
Bill To Protect Workers from Extreme Weather Introduced
A bill hoping to protect workers from extreme weather conditions was introduced into the Nevada State Legislature. The Extreme Weather Working Conditions Bill revises existing occupational safety and health law to include specific programs and training to protect indoor and outdoor workers from the heat. The bill would also give protections for employees exposed to poor air quality while working indoors.
|Federal Agency Update
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HHS Provides SAMHSA Emergency Response Grants to Support Community Wellness, Resilience Following Recent East Palestine Train Derailment, Chemical Spill
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is providing funding from the SAMHSA Emergency Response Grants to the state of Ohio to support community wellness and resilience, following the Norfolk Southern freight train derailment and related chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio.
DOE Program Update: 1st Quarter 2023
This edition of Program Update features new planning tools development, innovative educational outreach initiatives, and efforts to make the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) more accessible on the Navajo Nation, including a new Community Outreach Network office in Window Rock, Arizona. This edition also highlights LM’s participation in the annual Alaska Forum on the Environment, ongoing environmental justice leadership, and the work performed by DOE’s Defense Related Uranium Mines teams and its partners to safeguard abandoned mines.
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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Debris Removal Training Tool and Fact Sheet
This training tool outlines the main hazards associated with post-disaster cleanup and provides basic hazard control methods. The main focus is on hazard awareness; identifying hazards before they harm you and either instituting basic controls or staying clear of them and calling in professional help. It provides awareness level information on post-disaster hazards associated with cleanup activities.
CPWR Women in Construction Webinar Series Recordings Available
In this CPWR – Center for Construction Research and Training webinar series, experts discuss the challenges, areas of improvement, and benefits of hiring and retaining women in construction. Hear about the current programs empowering women to work and stay in the industry. Also, learn about future strategies to retain women in the industry.
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The Institute for Disaster and Emergency Preparedness at Nova Southeastern University Seeks a Director of Grant & Service Programs
The grant-funded Director will oversee teams on Project SEAMIST (SouthEast Area Marine Industry Safety Training) and the Southeast Area Hazardous Maritime Instructor Training grant. Responsibilities include, reviewing current operations, developing strategic plans, monitoring budgets and resource allocation to optimize program services, implementing marketing plans and maintaining client relations. This is a Full-time, Hybrid position with benefits. Job posting under 993438.
2023 Environmental Justice Summer Scholars Program: Applications Open
The Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health group (CEEJH) in the University of Maryland School of Public Health is launching its 2023 Environmental Justice (EJ) Summer Scholars program. Undergraduate students are invited to apply for this paid internship that will provide the opportunity for students passionate about environmental and climate justice to gain skills in research, science communication, community science, capacity building, environmental justice policy, and career planning.
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