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NIEHS WTP: May 12, 2023 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, May 12, 2023

Weekly E-Newsbrief

May 12, 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.

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

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Resources are available through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on mental health in the workplace. Although OSHA’s mission is to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers. The regulatory agency historically approaches that mission by focusing on physical hazards in workplaces, things that can be seen and measured. However, work environment requires a broader approach that includes both traditional occupational safety and health and paying attention to the huge impact of mental health on workers' well-being as well.

Good Headspace Helps Make a Safe Workplace

Mental Health at Work

U.S. Approves Temporary Nuclear Waste Storage in New Mexico

The U.S. nuclear energy regulator issued a license to Holtec International to build and operate a temporary facility to store nuclear waste from power plants, despite a New Mexico state law that could present a hurdle to the project. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said the license authorizes private company Holtec to store 500 canisters holding nearly 8,700 metric tonnes of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants for 40 years.

Reuters [Author: Timothy Gardner]

Self-Checkout Lanes Impact Black and Brown Workers

Self-checkout lanes are now as ubiquitous as shopping carts in grocery and big-box stores. Despite their contribution to thefts and layoffs, that retail automation technology is here to stay and will affect Black and brown workers the most.

WBEZ Chicago [Author: Esther Yoon-Ji Kang]

U.S. Poultry Farms Reduce Avian Flu Outbreaks as USDA Begins Vaccine Testing

Federal officials said improved biosecurity has reduced the number of outbreaks at commercial farms compared with a year ago. The virus is still circulating in wild birds and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects activity to peak in spring and summer. Also, the USDA said its Agricultural Research Service started testing several vaccine candidates for possible use in poultry.

CIDRAP [Author: Lisa Schnirring]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Equity in the Workplace: Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in Healthcare

Join the Women's Bureau for a discussion to raise awareness on gender-based violence and harassment in the healthcare sector, particularly in occupations dominated by women, like nurses. This webinar will also highlight existing Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulations and guidance, workplace protections, as well as promising practices that can be implemented by employers. The webinar will be on May 23, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EDT.

Event Registration

National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council

The National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council is a Congressionally mandated body that advises the secretary of HHS, the director of NIH, and the director of NIEHS on matters relating to the direction of research, research support, training, and career development supported by NIEHS. An important function of the council is secondary review of research grant applications with a focus on NIEHS scientific program priorities and program balance. The upcoming council meeting will be held June 6 and 7, 2023.

Event Information

Indigenous Environmental Health Research Workshop: Method, Ethics and Practice to Collaborate with Communities

The Indigenous Environmental Health Research Workshop is a two-day interactive workshop of dialogue and hands-on sessions to provide an overview of Indigenous ways of knowing and community-driven methods in Indigenous Environmental Health Research. The workshop will be held July 13-14, 2023.

Event Registration

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Recovery-Friendly Workplaces Can Help Combat the Nation’s Opioid Crisis: Report

The opioid epidemic has had a wide-ranging impact on U.S. workers, but employers who support recovery can help, states a new policy report. The University of Southern California-Brookings Schaefer Initiative for Health Policy’s research on the impact of the nation’s opioid epidemic identifies the consequences to the labor supply, ranging from increased absenteeism and workplace incidents to withdrawal from the workforce because of disability, incarceration or death.

Safety and Health Magazine

Experts Concerned About Impact of Deer Park Shell Fire on People of Color

A Shell chemical plant caught fire near Deer Park, Texas, on May 5, 2023. The company insists that there is no ongoing threat to the community. However, environmental justice groups argue that plant fires or chemical spills can lead to long-term consequences for people living nearby, most being low-income families and communities of color.

ABC 13 [Author: Rosie Nguyen]

Grant Will Develop Psychological Safety Training for Construction Workers

Hongtao Dang, assistant professor of construction management in the School of Design and Construction recently received a grant from the State of Washington, Department of Labor & Industries, Safety & Health Investment Projects to develop a training program to improve psychological safety for people in the construction industry. As part of the grant, Dang will work with construction companies to gather real-world workplace data and information for case studies and then will develop a set of student and instructor manuals that will eventually be used in training modules.

WSU Insider [Author: Tina Hilding]

Fighting the Haze: Effects of Wildfire Smoke and Particulate Matter on Brain Function

With wildfires growing in size and frequency, it is increasingly important to gain a better understanding of the effects of particulate matter on public health. While air pollution has mostly been associated with negative effects on lung and heart health, there are gaps in knowledge on how it affects brain health.

Science Matters

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

Fact Sheet: Actions Taken by the Biden-⁠Harris Administration to Ensure Continued COVID-⁠19 Protections and Surge Preparedness After Public Health Emergency Transition

As the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends on May 11, 2023, the Administration has taken significant steps to ensure all individuals have continued access to lifesaving protections such as vaccines, treatments, and tests, and that the nation is well prepared to manage the risks of COVID-19 going forward.

The White House

U.S. Department of Labor Awards $2.8M to Continue Employment, Training Services to Combat Ohio Opioid Crisis

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced an incremental award of more than $2.8 million for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to support its continued efforts to provide employment and training services for people in communities affected by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose.

DOL News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Report Finding Nearly Half of Accommodations for Disabled Workers Have No Cost

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that a new report, “Accommodation and Compliance: Low Cost, High Impact” by the Job Accommodation Network, finds that nearly half of workplace accommodations made for people with disabilities can be implemented at no cost to employers.

DOL News Release

Full Report

U.S. Department of Labor Announces National Emphasis Program to Reduce, Prevent Workplace Falls, a Leading Cause of Workplace Fatalities

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has begun a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls, the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries and the violation the agency cites most frequently in construction industry inspections. The emphasis program will focus on reducing fall-related injuries and fatalities for people working at heights in all industries.

OSHA News Release

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

Climate and Health Outlook

The Climate and Health Outlook from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) is an effort to inform health professionals and the public on how our health may be affected in the coming months by climate events and provide resources to take proactive action.


COVID-19 Isolation and Exposure Calculator

People who have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 can use this tool to determine if they need to isolate or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19. The calculator does not apply to certain groups, such as healthcare personnel, or high risk congregate settings.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WTP Curricula Catalog

The National Clearinghouse Online Curricula Catalog provides access to training curricula produced by organizations funded by the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP). Material downloaded from the online curricula catalog may be used for educational purposes only, in support of the WTP’s goal of increasing worker health and safety.

Curricula Search

Job OpeningsBack to Top

CPWR Seeks a Principal Investigator for BTMed

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is seeking a new Principal Investigator for The Building Trades National Medical Screening Program (BTMed). BTMed provides free medical screening services to construction workers formerly employed at Department of Energy nuclear weapons sites, who may be at risk for occupational illnesses.

Job Posting

Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor: Injury and Violence Prevention and Control

The University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Sciences in collaboration with the Translational Center for Resuscitative Trauma Care in the School of Medicine is seeking to fill one or more Assistant/Associate/Full Professor (tenure track) positions in Injury and Violence Prevention and Control. Seeking ideal candidates with research experience in injury and violence prevention and control who will develop independent and collaborative scholarly activities that leverage their expertise with other disciplines.

Job Posting

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