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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: November 9, 2018 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, November 9, 2018

Weekly E-Newsbrief

November 9, 2018

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

Minorities Are Most Vulnerable When Wildfires Strike in U.S., Study Finds

A new study suggests people of color, especially Native Americans, face more risk from wildfires than whites. In the PLOS One study, the researchers found that people with the greatest vulnerability were disproportionately people of color. But it was not because these people were living in places that were more likely to burn in a fire. Instead, the factors included things like access to a car — critical for evacuations — and whether the people spoke English fluently.

The New York Times [Author: Kendra Pierre-Louis]

PloS One Journal [Authors: Davies et al.]

CDC Director Warns Congo’s Ebola Outbreak May Not Be Containable

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said that the Ebola outbreak in conflict-ridden Congo has become so serious that international public health experts need to consider the possibility that it cannot be brought under control and instead will become entrenched. If that happened, it would be the first time since the deadly viral disease was first identified in 1976 that an Ebola outbreak led to the persistent presence of the disease. In all previous outbreaks, the disease was contained before it spread widely. The current outbreak is entering its fourth month, with nearly 300 cases, including 186 deaths.

The Washington Post [Author: Lena H. Sun]

It Was Supposed to Keep Hanford’s Medical Records Confidential. Instead, the Company is Writing a Check

A former Hanford contractor has agreed to pay to settle Department of Justice allegations that it falsely claimed to have met requirements for a new electronic medical records system for Hanford employees. The system installed by Computer Services Corp., or CSC, never worked correctly and had to be replaced, according to federal court documents. The problem created the potential for workers at risk for chronic beryllium disease — the incurable lung disease — to be exposed to the metal beryllium, despite medical restrictions to protect them.

Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]

Jacobs Engineering Endangered Kingston Disaster Clean-Up Workers

A federal jury ruled that a global contractor, which was tasked with keeping disaster clean-up workers safe, has instead endangered them. Hundreds of blue-collar laborers who say they were sickened during the clean-up of the nation’s largest coal ash spill, sued Jacobs Engineering. The panel ruled Jacobs failed to adhere to its contract with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), failed to keep workers safe and, in its failures, likely caused the poisoning by coal ash of the laborers.

Knox News [Author: Jamie Satterfield]

Puerto Rico Governor Creates "9/20 Committee" to Improve Protocols on Counting Disaster Deaths

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló issued an executive order creating a committee to establish protocols about reporting deaths related to natural disasters. The group is called the 9/20 Committee, an apparent reference to Sept. 20, the day Hurricane Maria hit the island last year. The committee's creation comes two months after an independent analysis determined Maria was responsible for an estimated 2,975 deaths in Puerto Rico from September 2017 through February 2018. That analysis was conducted by researchers at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. 

CBS News

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

CPWR Webinar: Predicting Exposure to Hazards Using the Exposure Control Database

Predicting worker exposure to jobsite hazards such as silica and implementing effective controls to protect workers have historically been a challenge in the construction industry. To bridge this gap, The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) has developed an interactive, online Exposure Control Database that calculates exposure to four major hazards, including silica, welding fumes, noise, and lead, using prepopulated objective data. This webinar will discuss the database and how to use it to estimate worker exposure to hazards. It will be held on November 14, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Information and Registration

NNLM Webinar: Combat Mosquito-Transmitted Disease with an App!

Mosquitoes are the world’s most dangerous animal, and there is something we can all do to reduce the threat of mosquito-transmitted disease in our communities. Join the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) to find out why mosquitoes are so dangerous and learn how NASA Earth-observing satellite data is being used to predict, monitor, and respond to vector-borne disease around the world. In this presentation, participants will be introduced to a Citizen Science effort and the newest GLOBE field measurement campaign, GLOBE Mission Mosquito. The webinar will be held on November 14, 2018, from 11:00 to 12:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Information and Registration

PROTECT Webinar: Chemical Exposures and Our Health

The PROTECT (Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats) Superfund Research Program (SRP) has scheduled an upcoming webinar, titled Without Consent: Chemical Exposures and Our Health. The webinar will be presented by Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., a recognized expert on environmental pollution exposures at University of California, San Francisco and held on Monday, November 26, 2018, from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Information and Registration

Registration Open for COSHCON18, Dec. 4 – 6, 2018, Baltimore, MD

The National Conference on Worker Safety and Health (#COSHCON18) will take place December 4 - 6, 2018, at the Maritime Conference Center (MCC), located in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. #COSHCON18 will be an exciting gathering of grassroots health and safety groups. The MCC is just outside Baltimore and minutes from the BWI airport.

Information and Registration

Save the Date: NACCHO Preparedness Summit 2019

The 2019 Preparedness Summit, sponsored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), will look at how threats to our national health security have evolved significantly. The summit will feature experts from the healthcare and emergency management fields as well as public health preparedness professionals, looking at opportunities to address the gaps between these life-saving industries and work more collaboratively in the face of emerging threats. The summit will be held on March 26-29, 2019, in St. Louis, MO.

Preparedness Summit

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

New CPWR Report Finds Rate of Fatal Injuries on the Rise for Small Construction Contractors

A new Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) Quarterly Data Report reveals the gap between worker fatality rates at small and large contractors has steadily widened during the construction recovery. Between 2008 and 2016, construction establishments with 20 or more employees experienced a 30% drop in their fatality rate, while small construction employers (those with fewer than 20 employees) saw their rate of fatal injuries increase by 57%.

CPWR Report

New CSB ‘Safety Digest’ Focuses on Emergency Planning, Response

A new Safety Digest from the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) outlines responsibilities of first responders, companies, and communities when preparing for chemical incidents. The digest also summarizes four CSB incident investigations conducted between 2008 and 2017 during which the agency found inadequate emergency response and preparedness contributed to a combined 17 fatalities, as well as numerous injuries and emergencies.

Safety + Health Magazine

CSB Safety Digest

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

FY 2019 FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program is designed to assist States, U.S. Territories, Federally-recognized tribes, and local communities to implement a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program. The goal is to reduce overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events, while also reducing reliance on federal funding in future disasters. This program awards planning and project grants and provides opportunities for raising public awareness about reducing future losses before disaster strikes. Applications are due January 31, 2019.

Grant Information

Comment Period Extended: OIRA Request for Information and 2018 RCC Stakeholder Forum

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting public input on how the Federal Government, under the auspices of the United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), may reduce or eliminate unnecessary regulatory differences between the United States and Canada. The deadline to submit comments in response to that RFI has been extended until December 10, 2018. In addition, the 2018 RCC Stakeholder Forum will be held December 4 -5, 2018, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. For questions about the RFI or the stakeholder forum, please contact

OIRA Request

RCC Stakeholder Forum

Partnerships Help Save Lives When Disaster Strikes

Since 2002, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program has provided funding and guidance to 50 states, four cities, and eight territorial health departments across the nation to protect communities. Planning and exercising plans help ensure that health departments are ready to respond and save lives when emergencies occur. The following blog provides stories illustrating how CDC’s PHEP program works with states and local communities to ensure they are ready to respond to any emergency.

Public Health Matters Blog [Authors: Vazquez et al.]

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

New Tool Aimed at Helping Rural Community Leaders Target Opioid Abuse

The Office of National Drug Control Policy, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, has published a guide intended to help rural communities address opioid misuse and other substance abuse by providing a centralized list of federal programs and resources. The resource guide is part of the Rural Opioid Federal Interagency Working Group’s effort to improve coordination among federal agencies and reduce potential overlap. The guide features links to funding, training, and direct service providers, as well as other information.

Safety + Health

Rural Opioids Report

Job OpeningsBack to Top

Health Workers Working Healthy Program Seeks Program Manager

The Program Manager for the Health Workers Working Healthy Program is the staff person responsible for program implementation of the Training Fund’s safety and health initiative, which will entail helping to conduct a safety and health needs assessment, developing training materials and curriculum, recruiting environmental service workers and other frontline healthcare workers, and evaluating the program’s effectiveness. The application deadline is November 30, 2018. To apply for this job, send resume to

Position Description

Featured Safety Jobs with the American Society of Safety Engineers

Featured Jobs

Featured Safety Jobs with the American Industrial Hygiene Association

Featured Jobs

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