November 16, 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.
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- On The Web This Week
- Federal Agency Update
- Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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WTP Fall Meeting Presentations on Opioid-Related Hazards Are Now Available
Presentations from the Worker Training Program (WTP) Fall Workshop are now available! The WTP Workshop, held October 24 – 25, 2018, focused on opioid-related hazards in the workplace and developing a training framework to address exposure, use, and prevention.
Resources to Support Wildfires Response & Recovery in California
On November 8, 2018, several wildfires erupted in the Butte and Solano counties of northern California and the Los Angeles and Ventura counties of southern California. This batch of wildfires includes the Camp Fire in Butte County which is now the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The Woolsey Fire has destroyed properties and singed hillsides and coastline Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) has compiled resources to assist with response and recovery from the latest California wildfires.
Did the Woolsey Fire Disturb a Nuclear Waste Site? California Says No, a Group of Doctors Say Yes
As the Woolsey fire tore through more than 90,000 acres of Southern California, it scorched land at a closed-down lab where the U.S. government and private companies tested nuclear weapons and rocket engines for decades beginning in the 1940s. The Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL) is now a federal Superfund site. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control said they believed there was nothing to worry about at the Santa Susana site in relation to the Woolsey fire. But some physicians disagree.
Quartz [Authors: Zoë Schlanger & Daniel Wolfe]
Inside Tesla’s Factory, A Medical Clinic Designed to Ignore Injured Workers
A medical clinic at Tesla’s auto assembly plant in California routinely minimizes workers’ injuries and fails to provide proper medical treatment, according to an investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Injured employees have been systematically sent back to the production line to work through their pain with no modifications, according to former clinic employees, Tesla factory workers, and medical records. Former clinic staffers maintain that the unsafe practices are meant to keep work-related injuries and hospital trips off official injury logs.
Reveal [Author: Will Evans]
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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.
National Environmental Justice Public Teleconference Meeting
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will convene a public teleconference to introduce a new charge for the NEJAC from the Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM). This new charge will focus on the reuse and revitalization of Superfund and other contaminated sites. The meeting will also discuss the final letters that will address the environmental justice concerns that were raised during the NEJAC public meeting in Boston, MA on August 2018. The meeting will be held on November 28, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
CDC EPIC Webinar
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cindy Hinton and the CDC Emergency Partners Information Connection (EPIC) Team are hosting a webinar to discuss how community leaders, community members, emergency response workers, and caretakers can plan ahead to lessen the harm of emergencies on people with disabilities. The webinar will be held on November 28, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. ET.
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.
The Natural Disasters That Have Shaped Our Science and Our Culture
Science and engineering can be used to understand extreme events and to design our cities to be resilient. As climate change increases the intensity of extreme storms and urban population growth increases the complexity of our life-sustaining systems, it’s important to examine the history of natural disasters to understand how we can make society more resilient. Hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science, this event will feature speaker Lucy Jones, Ph.D., the founder and chief scientist of Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society. The event will be held on December 6, 2018, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. ET.
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.
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Cal/OSHA Issues Advisory on Worker Safety for Regions with Wildfire Smoke
California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) is advising employers that special precautions must be taken to protect workers from hazards from wildfire smoke. Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases, and fine particles that can harm health. Guidance for employers and workers on working safely in conditions with heavy smoke caused by the wildfires is available on Cal/OSHA's web page.
Nurses Fleeing Fast-Moving Camp Fire Scramble to Save Patients — And Themselves
Staff at Adventist Health Feather River Hospital arrived at work unaware that flames were creeping toward the hospital. The hospital was alerted that the Camp Fire was closing in and, moments later, flames jumped a canyon separating the hospital from the fire. The medical staff were ordered to get patients out of the building and then flee themselves. Nurse Nichole Jolly describes how she evacuated Feather River Hospital in Paradise twice after she was driven back the first time when her vehicle, and her pants, caught fire.
NBC News [Author: Noah Berger]
Mental Health Concerns as Florence Ruins Farms, Crops, Harvests
Hurricane Florence came at a time of very low resilience, said Scott Marlow, senior policy specialist with Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI). When Florence hit, many were just starting to rebuild after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The national average for net income in farming is down 50 percent from 2013, and it’s not moving. As the need for mental health services goes up, the lack of rural health care access will be highlighted.
North Carolina Health News [Author: Taylor Knopf]
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HHS Secretary Azar Declares Public Health Emergency in California Due to Wildfires
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency in California due to wildfires. The declaration follows President Trump’s emergency declaration for the state. This declaration provides HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services beneficiaries and their healthcare providers and suppliers greater flexibility in meeting emergency health needs created by the wildfires. In addition, regional emergency coordinators (RECs) have been deployed to coordinate with state and local health authorities and emergency response officials.
EPA Releases First Draft Chemical Risk Evaluation Under TSCA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the draft risk evaluation for Pigment Violet 29 (PV29), one of the first ten chemicals undergoing risk evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, the draft risk evaluation for PV29 will be available for public comment for 60 days. With this action, the Agency will be providing the public with an opportunity to submit their feedback on the conclusions, findings, and determinations in the draft risk evaluation. EPA will use feedback received from the public to inform the final risk evaluation.
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American Lung Association Wildfires Resources
During a wildfire, people throughout the surrounding area may suffer the effects of the smoke. The American Lung Association webpage provides information on staying health during Wildfires. It includes general recommendations, information for those who have lung disease, chronic heart disease or diabetes, recommendations for clean up, and other resources.
Podcast: Improving Global Public Health Through Data Sharing
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hosted a podcast featuring Dr. David Heymann, a professor of infectious diseases and epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, discussing how sharing surveillance data improves global public health.
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Arise Chicago Seeks Development Director
Arise Chicago, a leading workers’ rights organization, seeks a creative, motivated, full-time Development Director to lead and expand fundraising strategies to support and grow the organization to increase their ability to fight for workplace justice across Chicago. Arise Chicago trains, organizes, and develops the leadership of low-wage, primarily immigrant workers and religious allies to improve working conditions and advance working family policies. To apply, send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Development Director Application” in the subject line.
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 JKeller@1199ctraining.org.
Worksafe Seeks Occupational & Environmental Health Specialist
Worksafe is seeking an Occupational & Environmental Health Specialist to support their mission to advance safety, health, and justice for low-income and immigrant workers throughout California. The Occupational & Environmental Health Specialist will contribute scientific and technical expertise to Worksafe’s policy advocacy and trainings. The successful candidate will also spearhead Worksafe's efforts to protect workers from chemical hazards and toxic substances. The application deadline is December 12, 2018.
LOHP Seeks Trainer/ Program Coordinator
The Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) is the community engagement/ outreach program of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. This position will focus on 1) developing training and outreach programs with a special emphasis on low-wage workers, immigrant workers and youth, 2) building the capacity of worker leaders, unions and community organizations to promote and address health and safety, and 3) creating strong partnerships with key stakeholders. The application deadline is December 14, 2018.
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