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NIEHS WTP: May 13, 2022 Newsbrief

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Weekly E-Newsbrief, May 13, 2022

Weekly E-Newsbrief

May 13, 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

NIEHS WTP Awardee Meeting and Workshop Agendas Are Now Available

The NIEHS WTP Awardee Meeting and Workshop agendas are now available. The Spring 2022 meeting will focus on the theme, “Preparing Workers for the Impacts of Climate Change Through Training.”

Awardee Meeting Agenda

Spring Workshop Agenda

Rehearsing for Northwest ‘Big One’ on a Room-Sized Chess Board

Close to 200 federal, state and tribal emergency preparedness planners gathered around a giant map of the Pacific Northwest this past week to rehearse and critique the federal response plan for “The Big One.” The three-day Cascadia earthquake discussion exercise partially replaced a much bigger planned dress rehearsal that was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

OPB [Author: Tom Banse]

FEMA Press Release

Turning Hanford’s Nuclear Waste into Glass Logs Would Emit Toxic Vapors, Says Document

The Hanford nuclear reservation in south central Washington state holds 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. The plan to contain that waste by turning it into glass logs, or vitrification, has been plagued with problems for decades. The current federal funding for cleanup is less than federal and state lawmakers say is needed. Now, an internal U.S. Department of Energy document says that the vitrification process would create a toxic vapor.

OPB [Author: Allison Frost]

Military Deployment Tied to Increased COPD Risk

Clinicians evaluating patients' occupational histories should take into account military service, given that a study of U.S. military veteran rosters has found an increase in the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Investigators found that 44% of veterans had been exposed to inorganic dust.

Medscape [Author: Walter Alexander]

More Than One Disaster A Day Looming Without Action on Risk Reduction, UN Warns

The Global Assessment Report (GAR2022), released by the United Nations (UN) Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) ahead of next month’s Global Platform on reducing risk, reveals that between 350 and 500 medium- to large-scale disasters took place every year over the past two decades.

UN News

GAR2022 Report

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

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. They include 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

NIEHS Climate Change and Environmental Justice Stakeholder Engagement Meeting

NIEHS is hosting a Climate Change and Environmental Justice Stakeholder Engagement Meeting on May 17 at 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET. The purpose of the meeting is to share information about the Justice40 Initiative and one of the pilot programs covered under the initiative – the NIEHS Environmental Career Worker Training Program, as well as to solicit feedback and suggestions on how to enhance the program's effectiveness.

Meeting Registration

NIOSH Webinar: Promoting Partnerships to Explore the Impacts of Technological Change on Work and Well-being with a Focus on Disparities

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Expanding Research Partnerships webinar series is designed to promote innovative and impactful work and expand partnerships in occupational safety and health. This three-part series for 2022 explores how technological change is impacting work and well-being. The June 8 webinar at 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET will approach this topic through the lens of work-related disparities.

Webinar Registration

Opioids and the Workplace, Risk Factors and Solutions

NIEHS WTP is hosting a webinar on opioids and the workplace on June 9 at 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET. The presenters will share potential strategies to reduce the negative impact of workplace factors on the opioid crisis and reform punitive policies into supportive ones. These strategies include policy changes at the workplace, community, state, and federal levels to begin or expand interventions, as well as training, research, and funding opportunities.

Webinar Registration

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

Evaluating COVID-19-Related Surveillance Measures for Decision-Making

As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to evolve, the types of data available have changed with the identification of new variants, the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, the introduction of new COVID-19 therapeutics, the reopening of the economy, and the relaxing of mitigation measures. The latest guidance from the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) highlights new and updated COVID-19 data measures and surveillance strategies that decision makers can use to inform policy decisions.

National Academies

Cal/OSHA Releases Fact Sheets and FAQs on Updated COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards

The California Department of Industrial Relations (Cal/OSHA) posted fact sheets and updated its FAQs on COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to reflect revisions adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on April 21, 2022. The ETS revisions incorporate updated guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and make the ETS more flexible if changes are made to CDPH guidance in the future.

Cal/OSHA Press Release

Book Review: Anatomy of an Environmental Tragedy

Keith O’Brien’s “Paradise Falls” tells the story of how a group of local mothers put the Love Canal disaster on the map. O’Brien’s book begins in the 1970s, as children unearthed rocks that made their eyes burn. “Secrets,” O’Brien writes, “long kept in Niagara Falls, began bubbling to the surface on the east side of town, seeping into people’s homes, newspaper stories, national headlines, and finally the American consciousness at large.”


American Chemistry Council Releases “State of TSCA Report: Fix Implementation Now Before It Is Too Late”

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is urgently calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reverse misguided policy changes and get TSCA implementation back on track. As part of this effort, ACC issued the State of TSCA Report: Fix Implementation Now Before It Is Too Late.

American Chemistry Council Press Release

A First in the U.S., Unions Announce Deal to Build Offshore Wind Farms

A first of its kind in the U.S., offshore wind developer Ørsted and North America’s Building and Trade Unions (NABTU) have agreed to a “historic” national project labor agreement (PLA) for offshore wind projects along the Atlantic Coast. The agreement sets better standards for working conditions, equity, and pay standards, a livable wage in an industry that is flourishing.

Clean Technica [Author: Cynthia Shahan]

How Suburban Colleges Are Helping Students Get Jobs in Growing Green Economy

Programs that train people to install and maintain solar panels, electric car chargers, wind turbines and other skilled green jobs are hard to find at suburban community colleges. But some local colleges provide students other ways to be part of the growing green economy, education experts say.

Daily Herald [Author: Doug Graham]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

Fact Sheet: The Biden Administration Responds to Early Wildfires in New Mexico

Early season wildfires in New Mexico and across the Southwest are devastating communities and ravaging landscapes. So far this year, the number of acres burned across the United States is approximately 78% above the 10-year average. Much of the West, Plains, and Texas remain in a historic drought with above average temperatures and below normal precipitation, creating the conditions for more large and dangerous wildfires this year.

White House Briefing Room

U.S. Department of Labor Emphasis Program to Prevent Hearing Loss Moves to Enforcement Phase Begins May 17

Following a 90-day outreach period, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Regional Emphasis Program for Noise Induced Hearing Loss will move into the enforcement phase beginning May 17. The emphasis program targets manufacturing industries with high rates of occupational hearing loss in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

U.S. Department of Labor 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

Bill Passes in House to Establish List of Presumptive Illnesses for Federal Firefighters

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 288-131 to approve and advance the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act, H.R. 2499, a bipartisan measure authored by Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) that ensures federal firefighters receive the same access to job-related disability and retirement benefits as state, county, and municipal firefighters.

Wildfire Today [Author: Bill Gabbert]

Construction Workers Say Their Anxiety and Depression Has Gotten Worse Amid Pandemic: CPWR

Symptoms of anxiety and depression among construction workers have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among women and workers living in poverty, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. Anxiety and depression are of particular importance in the construction industry, CPWR notes, citing a 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

Safety and Health Magazine

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

OSHA Seeks Safety and Occupational Health Specialist (OTI Instructor)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking a Safety and Occupational Health Specialist to communicate and carry out OSHA Training Institute (OTI) policy to ensure compliance with standards. The position will also serve as liaison between course participants and Institute management. The position is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and the deadline to apply is May 16.

Job Posting

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