October 14, 2022
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
- We Want Your Feedback
- Newsbriefs Past Issues
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Agenda Available: Fall 2022 NIEHS WTP Awardee Meeting and Workshop
The workshop will explore the ways in which HAZWOPER training has evolved over the last several years and consider changes that may take place in the future. Workshop participants will consider and discuss the audience for HAZWOPER training, the conditions under which HAZWOPER work is performed, the changing distribution of hazards, and approaches for teaching refresher courses. The awardee meeting and workshop will be held on October 19-21, 2022.
‘It’ll Start to Kill me.’ Hurricane Ian Caused Gas and Chemical Spills, Records Show
The full scope of Hurricane Ian’s environmental impacts may not be known for months, but federal records provide an early glimpse of some of the damage dealt by the historically powerful storm. The snapshot of potential impacts — reported to the federal government by local agencies, corporations and private citizens — already paints a grim picture.
Tampa Bay Times [Author: Max Chesnes]
No Turning Back. World’s Largest Radioactive Waste Melter Starts in Eastern WA
There’s no turning back at the Hanford site’s vitrification plant after the heat up of the world’s largest melter for radioactive waste started Saturday, 20 years after construction of the plant began. The 300-ton melter now must remain hot continuously around the clock as it initially makes practice glass and eventually starts glassifying radioactive waste for the first time at the nuclear reservation.
The Spokesman Review [Author: Annette Cary]
Climate Change Magnifies Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke in Care Deserts
Hazardous levels of air quality from wildfire smoke raises alarms about people’s immediate health care needs and questions about whether worsening pollution could result in long-term health issues. People could increasingly face such risks as climate change makes wildfires, drought, dust storms, and floods more frequent across the U.S. and the world.
Kaiser Health News [Authors: Julie Appleby and Jazmin Orozco Rodriguez]
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Engineering Initiative Webinar Series: New Chemical Review Process
Join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) New Chemicals Program for a webinar on EPA’s process for assessing the potential risks of new chemicals under section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act and the types of data the agency considers in this assessment. The webinar will cover examples of quantitative and qualitative data unlikely to be accepted for engineering assessment, considerations EPA makes when evaluating data, and clarifications of common misconceptions in EPA’s new chemical assessments. The event will be held on October 18, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. EDT.
EPA National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call
The purpose of these calls is to inform communities about EPA's environmental justice work and enhance opportunities to maintain an open dialogue with environmental justice advocates. As environmental justice continues to be integrated into EPA programs and policies, the Agency hopes that these calls will help reaffirm EPA’s continued commitment to work with community groups and the public to strengthen local environmental and human health outcomes. The event will be held on October 18, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
CSB Announces Dates for Upcoming Public Meetings
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s (CSB) business meetings are held to inform and update the public on its activities as well as fulfill its requirements to hold a minimum of four public meetings for fiscal year (FY) 2023. The Board will review the CSB’s progress in meeting its mission and as appropriate highlight safety products newly released through investigations and safety recommendations. At the close of each meeting, there will be an opportunity for public comment. The next meeting will be held on October 27, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
|On The Web This Week
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Survey Finds Lack of Training on Preventing Struck-By Incidents in Construction
Nearly 4 out of 5 construction employers, supervisors and workers say their organization needs training on identifying and preventing struck-by hazards, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.
Listen: Why Disaster Relief Underserves Those Who Need it Most
When a disaster like Hurricane Ian destroys a house, the clock starts ticking. It gets harder for sick people to take their medications, medical devices may stop working without electricity, excessive temperatures, mold, or other factors may threaten someone's health. Every day without stable shelter puts people in danger.
|Federal Agency Update
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National Center for Disaster Fraud Warns of Fraud After Hurricane Ian
The National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), a national coordinating agency, was created by a partnership between the Department of Justice and various law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Its goal is to improve and further the detection, prevention, investigation and prosecution of fraud related to natural and man-made disasters, and to advocate for the victims of such fraud.
U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposed Rule on Classifying Employees, Independent Contractors; Seeks to Return to Longstanding Interpretation
The proposed rule would provide guidance on classifying workers and seeks to combat employee misclassification. Misclassification is a serious issue that denies workers’ rights and protections under federal labor standards, promotes wage theft, allows certain employers to gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding businesses, and hurts the economy at-large.
Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Delivers New Memorandum of Agreement to Streamline Employment and Job Training Funding for Tribal Nations
The new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to implement the Tribal “477 Program,” named for Public Law 102-477, has been signed by 12 federal agencies—including the Departments of the Interior, Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, and Justice—and will go into effect immediately.
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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Opioids in the Workplace Awareness Training
The Rutgers Center for Public Health Workforce Development is happy to offer a new online training program - Opioids in the Workplace: Awareness. This 1-hour training is free, entirely web based and can be accessed anytime via internet browser. This training was developed based on the NIEHS Worker Training Program’s Opioids and the Workplace Training Tool.
EJScreen: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool - Updated
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated and added new capabilities to EJScreen, the Agency's publicly available environmental justice (EJ) screening and mapping tool. EJScreen 2.1 makes important improvements to better meet the needs of users, including the addition of new data on US territories, supplemental indexes, threshold maps, and refreshed demographic and environmental data.
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32BJ Union is Seeking a Lead Airports Researcher
32BJ’s Research & Policy Department plays a vital role in the Union’s organizing and contract campaigns by conducting research and developing and implementing strategies and tactics to advance campaign goals. Work includes serving as a resource and partner to campaign leadership, and performing industry, company and individual research. The airports team works very closely with organizers to conduct field research such as investigating health and safety issues.
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