October 26, 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
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NIEHS Announces Funding Opportunities for Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael Related Research
NIEHS is accepting Competitive Revisions to existing NIH grants and applications to the Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Research Opportunities in Environmental Health Sciences (R21), related to exposures and health outcomes as a consequence of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Topics of interested include: human health studies, environmental exposure assessment, and high throughput toxicity assessment of chemicals necessary to understand short and/or long-term health effects of chemicals known or suspected to be released into the environment as a consequence of Hurricanes Florence and Michael.
Hanford Wants More Time to Empty Leak-Prone Radioactive Waste Tank
The Department of Energy (DOE) will have more time to empty some of Hanford’s leak-prone underground waste storage tanks under an order issued in federal court. Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson agreed to a request by the state of Washington and DOE to give DOE until the end of 2026 to empty radioactive and hazardous chemical waste from nine more single-shell tanks. Work to empty waste from 177 single-shell tanks into 27 newer, double-shell tanks has slowed because of precautions to protect workers from chemical vapors.
Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]
Occupational Keynote: ‘The Unpredictability of Storms’ and Other Lessons Learned from Hurricane Harvey
Before Hurricane Harvey came ashore in August 2017 in Harris County, TX, its ferocity was not a constant. Ed Emmett, a judge for Harris County, who presented the Occupational Keynote at the 2018 National Safety Council Congress & Expo, said the unpredictability of storms such as Harvey was one of the key lessons his team learned.
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NIOSH Webinar: Overlapping Vulnerabilities in the Aging Workforce
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health webinar series, in conjunction with the National Center for Productive Aging and Work, is hosting the next installment of the Productive Aging and Work annual webinar series, titled Overlapping Vulnerabilities in the Aging Workforce. The objective of this webinar is to explore three complementary views on how the social and economic context can influence the occupational safety and health experience of aging workers. The webinar will be held on October 30, 2018, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. ET.
NIOSH Webinar: New Insights into the Opioid Crisis and Work: Important Information for Workers and Employers
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health webinar series is hosting a webinar focused on new research at the important intersection of work and the nation’s opioid crisis. In this webinar, presenters will share their latest insights related to the risks of opioid use, misuse, and overdose in worker populations. The webinar will be held on November 6, 2018, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET.
EPA Webinar: Building Resilience in Partnership with Vulnerable Communities
The ability of a community to respond, recover, and bounce back from increased risk to local waters from extreme weather and natural disasters is not equally distributed. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a webinar that will look at the environmental justice factors contributing to vulnerability and examples of how EPA and its partner programs have effectively worked to help build resilience within vulnerable communities. The webinar will be held on November 8, 2018, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET.
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.
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.
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An Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard of Could Become One of the Biggest Environmental Disasters in the U.S
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil tragedy commanded the nation's attention for months. Eleven lives were lost and communities around the Gulf of Mexico ground to a halt under hundreds of millions of gallons of oil. Yet, lurking underneath the fresh disaster, an older spill was spewing ever faithfully forth: A leak that began when another oil platform was damaged six years earlier. The Taylor oil spill is still surging after all this time; dumping what's believed to be tens of thousands of gallons into the Gulf per day since 2004.
CNN [Author: AJ Willingham]
Workers Using Prescription Opioids and/or Benzodiazepines Face Safety and Health Risks
The opioid crisis that faces the nation has a great impact on workers and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a comprehensive program to address opioids in workers. One issue of concern is workers who use prescription opioids and/or benzodiazepines for medically appropriate reasons. Workers who use either prescription opioids or benzodiazepines or a combination of both, for medical reasons, can face safety and health risks in U.S. workplaces, which employ 160 million people across all occupations.
NIOSH Science Blog [Authors: Sudha Pandalai and Paul Schulte]
CDC Grand Rounds: New Frontiers in Workplace Health
Workplace health promotion programs traditionally rooted in occupational safety and health focus on preventing injury and illness resulting from the workplace environment. As gains have been made in reducing workplace hazards, and the prevalence of disease has shifted toward chronic diseases, employers have encountered rising health care costs. This article discusses the current U.S. workplace health promotion programs; workplace health promotion program evidence and best practices; new CDC resources; and the role of public health in a 21st century workplace.
MMWR [Author: Fischer et al.]
Occupational Safety and Health in Public Health Emergencies: A Manual for Protecting Health Workers and Responders
Published by the World Health Organization, a new manual provides an overview of the main occupational safety and health risks faced by emergency responders during disease outbreaks and other emergencies, such as natural disasters, chemical incidents, radiological emergencies, and emergencies involving conflicts. It is focused on needs in low-resource settings and provides technical guidance on good practices and procedures in establishing systems that can reduce occupational exposures, injury, illness, and death among response workers.
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CSB Releases “Call to Action” on Combustible Dust Hazards
As part of its investigation into the May 2017 Didion Mill explosion, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued “Call to Action: Combustible Dust” to gather comments on the management and control of combustible dust from companies, regulators, inspectors, safety training providers, researchers, unions, and the workers affected by dust-related hazards. This initiative asks for information from all individuals and entities involved in the safe conduct of work within inherently dust-producing environments at risk for dust explosions. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com until November 26, 2018.
GAO on the Opioid Crisis: Status of Public Health Emergency Authorities
Opioid misuse and related deaths are a serious, growing public health problem in the United States. Over 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency for opioids on October 26, 2017, and the declaration was renewed on January 19, 2018. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review the decision to declare a public health emergency for the opioid crisis and what actions have been taken under the declaration. This report describes: 1) the factors HHS indicated as affecting its decision to declare and renew the public health emergency for the opioid crisis, and 2) the public health emergency authorities the federal government has used to address the opioid crisis.
NIOSH Science Blog: Three Tips for Choosing the Right Hearing Protector
Some noises can damage our hearing, leading to hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and difficulty communicating especially in background noise. Permanent noise-induced hearing damage is incurable. If you cannot reduce your noise exposure by turning down the volume, moving away from the sound, or limiting the time you are exposed, hearing protection is your only option. As part of the National Protect Your Hearing Month the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes tips for picking the right hearing protector.
NIOSH Science Blog [Author: Murphy et al.]
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Opiate Addiction and Treatment Health Information Resources
This page of resources compiled by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) includes links to information on addiction, treatment of opioid addictions, pregnancy and neonatal abstinence syndrome, data, and more. It includes links to searches of NLM resources, including PubMed, the Drug Information Portal, MedlinePlus, and Disaster Lit.
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Recruiting Cal/OSHA Safety and Health Inspectors
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is hiring safety and health inspectors throughout the state. These are field positions that conduct compliance inspections in many different settings and consult with employers on a wide range of health and safety issues. The upcoming application deadline is October 31, 2018.
Workers' Center of Central New York (WCCNY) Seeks Organizer
The Workers' Center of Central New York (WCCNY) is a Syracuse-based, grassroots organization committed to workplace and economic justice. The Workers’ Center of Central New York aims to empower low-wage workers to combat workplace abuses and improve wages and working conditions. WCCNY is seeking a new organizer to work in collaboration with existing staff, and with the support of the board of directors. Organizer will work to expand and diversify the center’s membership base of low-wage workers in Syracuse, develop and lead strategic campaigns for workplace and economic justice, and recruit and coordinate volunteers/allies. Application deadline is November 1, 2018.
Switzer Foundation Seeks New Executive Director
The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation is seeking an Executive Director to oversee and grow its environmental fellows and leadership programs. With one foot rooted in vision and the other in implementation, the Executive Director will direct a small and talented staff in managing programs that entail awarding academic fellowships and project grants, sponsoring professional and leadership development activities, and fostering a growing national network of Switzer Fellows, environmental practitioners, and organizations.
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