October 5, 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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- Top Stories
- Calendar Features
- On The Web This Week
- Federal Agency Update
- Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
- Job Openings
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|Top Stories||Back to Top|
Registration Now Open for WTP Fall Meeting
Registration for the 2018 NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) Fall Awardee Meeting and Workshop is now open! The WTP Awardee Meeting will be held on October 24, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The WTP Workshop will be held from October 24 – 25, 2018. Both events will take place on the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC. The WTP Workshop will focus on opioid-related hazards in the workplace and developing a training framework to address exposure, use, and prevention. The Hyatt Place Durham Southpoint Hotel block reservation deadline is TODAY! Registration closes October 10, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
Wildfire Cleanup Crews Benefit From Worker Training
The NIEHS WTP helped those involved in cleaning up after California’s 2017 and 2018 wildfires and mudslides safely handle the hazardous materials they could encounter. Through the HAZMAT Disaster Preparedness Training Program, WTP awardee Center for Construction Research and Training funds groups, such as the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), which taught workers from the Santa Rosa California area how to handle such materials in a safe manner.
Environmental Factor [Author: Kelly Lenox]
Scenes Across the Carolinas, Where Florence Is Far From Over
Across the Carolinas, states that have been battered time and again by hurricanes and tropical storms — where this time at least 45 people died, thousands were displaced, more than 1,000 remain in shelters, and damage is expected to surpass several billion dollars — Florence remains far from over. Along the coast, entire neighborhoods remain submerged, streets are still impassable, and residents and towns are struggling to rebuild.
The New York Times [Authors: Jack Healy, Julia Jacobs, Jacey Fortin and Adeel Hassan]
Post-Florence: Hog Waste Contaminates the Floodwaters, and Disaster Expert Chip Hughes Looks Ahead to Clean-up
During Hurricane Florence, Joseph “Chip” Hughes, Jr., MPH, was with his family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 120 miles from the coast. But his university town, one that usually avoids hurricane damage due to its inland location, was met with a torrential downpour. He watched the waters rise, flooding his neighbors’ homes, his street, the local shopping center. Hurricane Florence had flooded out dozens of communities along its path, many of which were agricultural and were unprepared for the deluge. Among the wreckage, numerous disaster preparedness experts are preparing to begin clean-up efforts. Hughes is the Program Director of the NIEHS WTP, which has deployed training teams to North Carolina’s hardest-hit areas.
New Ebola Cases Highlight Challenges in DRC
Health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported two more cases of Ebola virus, a fatal case in a patient whose family refused vaccination and an illness in a patient from a community marked by resistance to outbreak response efforts. Officials have now reported 161 cases of Ebola in DRC, including 105 deaths. Nine cases are still under investigation and though case counts have slowed in recent weeks, the outbreak is still ongoing in an insecure and unstable region.
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy [Author: Stephanie Soucheray]
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Integrating Opioid Use Disorder Treatment into Health Workforce Training
The Health Resources and Services Administration Workforce is hosting a webinar highlighting innovative resources, guidelines, and trainings for health professionals to combat the opioid epidemic. It will 1) provide an overview of the opioid epidemic and treatment options; 2) discuss tools and models for training opportunities to broaden addiction medicine; and 3) share innovative practices and upcoming opportunities to combat opioid and substance use disorders. The webinar will be held on October 9, 2018, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET.
Stress and Environmental Contamination: Tips and Tools from ATSDR
This webinar hosted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will discuss how stress can affect health and why environmental contamination can cause it. It will offer practical tips and tools for acknowledging stress with community members and helping them cope. The webinar will wrap up with suggestions for dealing with stress individuals may feel as a professional working with communities affected by environmental contamination. The webinar will be held on October 10, 2018, from 1:00-3:00 p.m., ET.
APHA-Occupational Health and Safety Section Webinar: Preventing and Reducing Opioids Use and Exposure in the Workplace
Co-sponsored by the NIEHS WTP and the Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health, this webinar will discuss the opioid epidemic and review strategies for prevention of occupational exposure. The webinar will discuss development of workplace programs and training to prevent opioid abuse and addiction, and increase access to treatment and recovery resources for workers with opioid use disorder. The webinar will be held on October 17, 2018, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET.
Sharing & Management of Disaster Related Data
Managing and sharing data have become important issues in the context of research data. When it comes to disaster-related data, time is of the essence, it’s even more important to ensure that data are properly collected, managed, and curated. Data must also be shared with the appropriate stakeholders to get information out to everyone who needs it, when they need it. This webinar will discuss best practices for data management and data sharing and how they apply to disaster-related data. The webinar will be held on October 18, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. ET.
After the Storms: Lessons from Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and Efforts to Protect Workers
A Protecting Workers Alliance webinar, hosted by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH), will focus on efforts to protect workers after the storms. After a series of devastating storms, participants will hear about lessons from post storm clean-up; learn how past experiences are being put to work in the Carolinas; and discuss policy and training needs and opportunities, in a climate-changed world. The webinar will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. ET/ 11:00 a.m. PT.
Implications of Substance/ Opioid Misuse and Addiction for the Workforce Development System
Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Workforce development professionals must have increasingly greater awareness of the issue and its impact on participants and employer partners as well as on workforce service delivery. This webinar will discuss federal efforts to support communities in addressing these challenges. It will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2018, from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET.
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‘It’s Not An Easy Conversation’: Mental Health In The Workplace
Once relegated to the fringes of medical establishments that treated the mind and body as separate, the idea that our mental health affects our physical well-being is now widely accepted. More attention is being paid to the importance of mental health in the workplace, but this new focus is not without controversy. Some laud this as an overdue recognition of a major contributor to worker health and safety, while others lament it as an impractical distraction from the primary responsibilities of injury prevention.
Safety + Health [Author: Susan Vargas]
Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers from Livestock and Poultry Wastewater and Sludge During and After Floods
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a guidance document created to protect workers from illnesses and injuries associated with livestock and poultry wastewater and sludge from animal feeding operations during and after floods. Workers may be at risk of exposure to animal diseases that may be passed from animals through contact with workers’ broken skin, eyes, nose, mouth, or mucous membranes.
Infection Rates and Risk Factors for Infection Among Health Workers During Ebola and Marburg Virus Outbreaks: A Systematic Review
Infection in health workers (HWs) has characterized outbreaks of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and Marburg virus disease (MVD). A study in the Journal of Infectious Disease (JID), conducted a systematic review to investigate infection and mortality rates and common exposure risks in health workers in EVD and MVD outbreaks. Results indicated many outbreaks reported high proportions of infected health workers, emphasizing the need to improve the implementation of appropriate infection control measures consistently across all healthcare settings.
JID [Authors: Selvaraj et al.]
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Labor Department Awards Workplace Safety and Health Training Grants to Assist in Educating Workers, Job Creators
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has awarded $9.3 million in Susan Harwood federal safety and health training grants to 74 nonprofit organizations nationwide. The grants will provide educational and training programs to help employees and employers recognize serious workplace hazards, implement injury prevention measures, and understand their rights and responsibilities.
FY 2018 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program
The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program is designed to assist in implementing 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 for the grant program are due January 31, 2018.
EPA Takes First Steps in Identifying Next Group of Chemicals for Risk Evaluation under TSCA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the approach it will use to identify chemicals that could be included in the next group of risk evaluations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The document lays out EPA’s approach for identifying potential chemicals for prioritization. Additionally, EPA will be looking for input from the public on which chemicals should be prioritized for risk evaluation and which chemicals may be low priorities under TSCA. EPA will accept comments until November 15, 2018.
Request for Information: Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Compressed Breathing Gas Containers
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a special permit to the Digital Wave Corporation, allowing the company to extend the service life of certain carbon-fiber reinforced aluminum-lined cylinders. Some stakeholders, including respirator and cylinder manufacturers, have expressed concern to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) about the safety of cylinders extended beyond the manufacturers' stated service life. NIOSH is seeking information about the potential effect of the special permit. Comments must be received by November 30, 2018.
ASPR and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Forge New Partnership to Deliver Novel and Robust Health Security Capabilities
The President unveiled a National Biodefense Strategy and signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum which directed federal agencies to collaborate on biodefense. A new partnership forged between the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) aims to strengthen the capabilities needed to protect the nation from 21st century health security threats. Through the partnership, ASPR and DARPA will share data and collaborate to maximize impacts and investments.
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Constructing Justice: Black Workers Graduate from New Painters Pre-Apprenticeship
A cohort of Black workers have graduated from a pre-apprenticeship program, positioning them to succeed in apprenticeship trade programs that ultimately lead to career track jobs in the construction industry. This cohort represents the first graduating class that has completed the Ready to Work Filling the Pre-Apprenticeship Readiness Gap Program. The training program was created through a partnership between the Los Angeles Black Worker Center and Painters and Allied Trades District Council 36. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Labor Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) also participated in the program.
Coping with Disasters: Health Information Guide
Disasters and their anniversaries can take a toll on the mental health of affected communities, caregivers, and first responders. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has collected resources to help communities recover from the emotional impact of disasters. The guide includes links to recent additions to the Disaster Lit database, including resources from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
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CDPH Seeks Assistant Deputy Director
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Center for Healthy Communities is recruiting for a leadership position to guide programs, policy, and research pertaining to environmental and occupational health. The Assistant Deputy Director serves as the medical/public health administrator overseeing Center programs in environmental and occupational health, including Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Environmental Health Investigations, Environmental Health Laboratory, and Occupational Health – and a cross-branch Emergency Preparedness Team. The position is permanent, full-time and located in Richmond, CA.
MDPH Seeks Director of Occupational Health Surveillance Program
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is seeking an experienced occupational health professional to lead the Occupational Health Surveillance Program (OHSP), a nationally renowned state program that conducts surveillance and prevention activities. The Director of OHSP has lead responsibility within MDPH for overseeing the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to identify priority occupational health concerns. The Director will also be in charge of tracking emerging issues and trends related to workers’ health, and fostering internal and external collaborations.
Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship
In the U.S. and across the globe, people are taking community-building into their own hands to promote well-being and enable a high quality of life. To amplify these voices, the Aspen Global Innovators Group and the Aetna Foundation have launched a new fellowship for community leaders addressing health inequities through the lens of the social determinants of health. The Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship will select five leaders working on these issues to participate in a curated, one-year fellowship program. Applications are now being accepted until November 16, 2018.
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