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NIEHS WTP: May 6, 2022 Newsbrief

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Weekly E-Newsbrief, May 6, 2022

Weekly E-Newsbrief

May 6, 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.

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

DOE Needs Greater Leadership Stability and Commitment to Accomplish Cleanup Mission, Says GAO

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office Emergency Management's (EM) leadership capacity. This report examines the extent to which EM has had sustained and consistent leadership commitment and communicates with its workforce in developing and implementing reforms. GAO reviewed DOE data on changes in EM's leadership, as well as EM memos and reports on its reorganizations.


Grout Use at Hanford Intertwined with Outcome of ‘Holistic Talks,’ Officials Say

Washington state regulators probably will not allow the U.S. Department of Energy to solidify the Hanford Site’s liquid tank waste with grout-like cement until and unless the parties agree to permit disposal methods for liquid waste other than immobilization in glass, officials told a National Academies of Sciences.

Exchange Monitor [Author: Wayne Barber]

Thousands Flee New Mexico Wildfire as Blaze Breaches Containment Lines

The largest active wildfire in the U.S. has forced thousands from their homes in New Mexico, as unusually fast-spreading blazes dot the drought-stricken southwest. The blaze, dubbed the Calf Canyon fire, has consumed more than 121,000 acres (49,000 hectares). About 1,000 firefighters have been deployed to contain the Calf Canyon fire.

The Guardian [Author: Oliver Milman]

Report: Wisconsin Refinery Knew About Issues Before Blast

Officials at a northwestern Wisconsin oil refinery knew about equipment issues years before a 2018 explosion there, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) documents obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio. WPR secured nearly 1,300 pages of documents from OSHA that shed new light on what those officials knew in the days leading up to the explosion at the refinery in Superior, then owned by Husky Energy Inc.

U.S. News and World Report

With NV Workplace Injuries and Deaths Outpacing Nation, Activists Push for More Safety Measures

Worker fatalities and injuries in Nevada continue to outpace the national average, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2020, the latest data available, 37 Nevada workers died on the job between January of 2019 and June of 2020. Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund also noted that Nevada was among 20 states that had a significantly higher number of work-related injuries per 100 full-time workers for the year than the national rate.

Nevada Current [Author: Jeniffer Solis]

Experts in Occupational Safety and Health Call for Stronger Standard to Protect Healthcare Workers from COVID-19

More than one hundred public health experts submitted a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) supporting the establishment of a strong and permanent standard to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19, one that fully acknowledges and finally addresses aerosol transmission of the virus. The letter is in response to OSHA’s request for public comment on the issuance of a final standard to protect healthcare workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19.

The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

NIH Webinar: A Precision Health Approach for Actionable Climate Change and Health Research

NIEHS is hosting a webinar on May 13 at 10:00 a.m. ET on climate and health. Climate and health research has emphasized population level associations over individual risks to explore how climate extremes matter to health. This presentation will highlight examples where a precision health approach to investigating climate actions effects on health can catalyze health-promoting climate mitigation and adaptation.

Webinar Registration

Region V OSHA Heat Initiative Webinar Series

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region 5 and Northern Illinois University is hosting a series of webinars on heat and worker safety. The webinars include Welcome and Opening Remarks with Douglas L. Parker, assistant secretary of labor, U.S. DOL OSHA on May 10 at 10:00-11:00 a.m. CT, OSHA National Emphasis Program: Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards with Gary Orr, Office of Health Enforcement, U.S. DOL OSHA on May 17 at 10:00 -11:00 a.m. CT, and Strategies and Best Practices to prevent Heat Illness at Work with Melissa Linton, compliance assistant specialist, U.S. DOL OSHA on May 24 at 10:00-11:00 a.m. CT.

Webinar Series Information

The Role of Robotics in the Future of Work

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Future of Work Initiative will host a webinar on June 22 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET on robotics. The webinar will offer an overview of robotics trends, implications for worker safety and health, and the NIOSH Center for Occupational Robotics Research. Findings will additionally be provided on ways to assess both human-robot interaction safety risks and exoskeleton performance in differing temperatures.

Webinar Information

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends two frameworks for providing respiratory protection for the nation, a need made clear by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly frequent wildfires. All types of workers, including essential and gig economy workers, should be covered by Occupational Safety and Health Administration or equivalent respiratory protection requirements when exposed to inhalation hazards in the workplace, says the report.

National Academies

Report Launch: Immigrant Day Laborers as Second Responders in Climate Disasters

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) hosted a virtual panel and launch of its new REPORT: “Recovering from Climate Disasters: Immigrant Day Laborers as Second Responders.” The report launch was part of a week-long nationwide series of actions and events in commemoration of Workers Memorial Day 2022.

NDLON Press Release

Reported Exposure Trends Among Healthcare Personnel COVID-19 Cases

Health care workers who were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic were more likely to have contracted the illness on the job rather than in household or community settings, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study has concluded. The study results counter previous reports that suggest incidents of COVID-19 among the workers were primarily the result of non-occupational exposures.

American Journal of Infection Control

To Watch: How to Live in an Age of Disaster

Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary for homeland security, is one of today's foremost thinkers on disaster management. Her latest book is a guide on what to do when things go wrong. She sits down with Hari Sreenivasan to discuss what we can learn from dealing with catastrophe.

Amanpour and Company

Does Online Opioid Treatment Work?

The COVID-19 pandemic allowed for restrictions that required in-person doctors’ visits for opioid treatments to be relaxed. Now in many states physicians can prescribe opioid treatments through telehealth services. This has expanded treatment to more people such as those without reliable transportation and those living in rural areas.

Knowable Magazine [Author: Lola Butcher]

Tropical Cyclones Linked to Rise in U.S. Deaths

Over the last three decades, tropical cyclones in the U.S. were associated with higher death rates in subsequent months, according to an NIEHS-funded study. This is the first study to evaluate cause-specific mortality risks from tropical cyclones in the entire U.S. population.

Environmental Factor Papers of the Month

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Reconsider, Revoke Final Approval of Arizona’s State OSHA Plan After Pattern of Failures

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposal to reconsider and revoke the final approval of Arizona’s State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plan, in response to nearly a decade-long pattern of failures to adopt and enforce standards and enforcement policies at least as effective as those used by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA National News Release

FOA: SBIR E-Learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) that propose to further the development of Technology-enhanced training products for the health and safety training of, hazardous materials (HAZMAT) workers; and disaster response and recovery workers, among others.

Grant Posting

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

Fine Particulate Matter and Lung Function among Burning-Exposed Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Workers

NIEHS researchers and collaborators studied 2,316 workers who participated in water-based response and cleanup activities following the Deepwater Horizon disaster and who had lung function measured one to three years later. Among these workers, exposure to PM 2.5 — specifically from burning/flaring of oil/natural gas — was associated with lower lung function compared with not having exposure to the burning/flaring.


NIEHS Webinar: Initiatives to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Promote Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs

Last month NIEHS hosted a webinar highlighting its new publication, Initiatives to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Promote Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs Opioid Initiatives, and describing what organizations are doing to prevent substance use disorder and implement recovery-friendly workplace programs. On the webinar, Christopher Rodman, CPWR’s Opioids Project Coordinator, among others, described their response to the opioids and mental health epidemic.

NIEHS Webinar Recording

Job OpeningsBack to Top

UC Berkeley LOHP Seeks Coordinator of Public Programs

The University of California Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) is seeking a bilingual (English/Spanish) program coordinator to develop training and outreach programs with low-wage and immigrant workers, with a special emphasis on reaching workers who may be exposed to chemical/environmental hazards or who play roles in disaster preparedness and response, for example, for wildfires.

Job Posting

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