October 21, 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.
Subscribing to the National Clearinghouse Newsbrief is the best way to stay on top of the worker health and safety news.
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A Rare but Dangerous Flesh-Eating Bacteria is Infecting Florida Residents
Parts of Florida hit hardest by Hurricane Ian are seeing nearly double the normal number of infections from a flesh-eating bacteria that thrives in brackish floodwaters. In the aftermath of a hurricane, infections typically start when open wounds, cuts or scratches come into direct contact with warm brackish water.
NPR [Author: Emily Olsen]
Amazon Workers Say Minor Aches Suddenly Became Debilitating as They Raced to Meet Speed Targets
Data collected in workplace inspections indicates that Amazon's pace of work wildly increases the risk of injury for its more than 750,000 U.S. warehouse workers. The risk of debilitating muscle and joint injuries is off the charts, workplace regulators have said. Because these injuries build up over time, Amazon workers may not know they're at risk for months or years — but they can be left with a lifetime of pain.
Insider [Author: Katherine Long]
Workforce Development Needed as Labor Shortage Worsens
With the manufacturing workforce aging and skilled workers becoming more difficult to find in that and other industries, an initiative is underway to fill that gap as well as make sure this area has a labor force ready. Nearly all industries were rocked by a mass exodus of employees of all ages during the pandemic, but manufacturing was hit the hardest and experienced a nearly 60 percent jump in resignations compared to pre-pandemic rates.
Yahoo News [Author Charles Boothe]
‘We’re on Our Own.’ How People with Disabilities Are Left Out of Climate Planning
As climate-related disasters become more common and more severe, most countries in the world are “neglecting their obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of persons with disabilities in their responses to the climate crisis,” according to a June report from the Disability Inclusive Climate Action Research Program at McGill University and the International Disability Alliance.
PBS News Hour [Author: Drew Costley]
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Evaluating the Effectiveness of OSH Training Delivered in a Distance Learning Format: Critical Factors for Success
In a new report, which will be the focus of this webinar, The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) presents findings from a longer, comprehensive evaluation process that included comparative analyses of OSHA 510 and OSHA 500 trainings to assess effectiveness and impact of the distance learning format on both subjective and objective measures. We will leave time for questions at the end of the webinar and encourage you to submit any advance questions during the registration process. The event will be held on October 26, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
From Data to Action Virtual Training on Responding to Infectious Disease Outbreaks
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is hosting a free webinar on responding to COVID-19 using data. Tribes and Tribal organizations may use COVID-19 surveillance data to increase visibility, understanding, awareness, and the ability to predict and respond to public health emergencies or disasters. This webinar provides public health professionals and emergency responders with an introduction to data interpretation. The event will be held on October 27, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
Engaging in EPA’s Upcoming Proposed PFAS Drinking Water Regulatory Process
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a webinar to prepare communities for how to get involved and provide EPA with their input on the upcoming proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The webinar will be held on November 2, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Funding Opportunity: Understanding the Effects of Climate Change on Environmental Hazards in Overburdened Communities
The Gulf Research Program (GRP) is accepting applications from academic and research institutions for projects that develop or augment models of the potential impacts of multiple, interacting climate hazards on local environmental health disparities. This funding opportunity seeks to advance the understanding of climate hazard (e.g. extreme heat, sea level rise, flooding and extreme weather events) effects on communities that are overburdened by environmental hazards (e.g., heat-related stress, air and water contaminants). Application deadline is November 11, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
|On The Web This Week
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The Legacy of 'Sandy Cough' and Why Mold is Still a Major Problem After Storms
As New York City continues to confront a changing climate and the prospect of more frequent intense storms, are we better prepared to fight off fungal invaders? Experts say yes, sort of, pointing to recent changes to the law and to homeowners’ understanding of the seriousness of mold. They add that the city needs to do more to protect its most vulnerable residents against the ravages of flooding and the mold that follows.
The Gothamist [Author: Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky]
U.S. Surgeon General Says Workplaces are Taking a Toll on Americans’ Mental and Physical Health
The report cites workplace trends like quiet quitting and the Great Resignation as signals of the damage done to Americans by problems like endless hours, unpaid leave, and chronic stress. Remedying the issue will require employers to change the way they operate.
Stat News [Author: Elizabeth Cooney]
On the Safe Side Podcast Episode 32: Reducing the Stigma Around Mental Health
In this episode, the Safety + Health editorial team dives into how to help reduce the stigma around workers’ mental health. The team also discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced changes in safety training with Douglas Castro, operations manager of EHS911 and Global ERA Training.
|Federal Agency Update
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U.S. Department of Labor Awards Initial $15M Grant to Support Disaster-Related Employment, Other Assistance to Florida in Wake of Hurricane Ian
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced an initial award of $15 million to support disaster-relief employment, and employment and training services in Florida as the state continues its recovery from Hurricane Ian. The funding allows the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to provide individuals with temporary employment focused on debris removal and water damage cleanup; as well as career and training services for workers affected by the storm.
Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Driving U.S. Battery Manufacturing and Good-Paying Jobs
President Biden is announcing that the Department of Energy is awarding $2.8 billion in grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 20 manufacturing and processing companies for projects across 12 states. President Biden is also announcing the American Battery Materials Initiative, a new effort to mobilize the entire government in securing a reliable and sustainable supply of critical minerals used for power, electricity, and electric vehicles (EVs).
EPA Researchers Release Cumulative Impacts Report, Prioritizing Environmental Justice in New Research Cycle
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified the cumulative impact assessment as one means to address environmental injustice. In the newly published Cumulative Impacts Research: Recommendations for EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) report, ORD defines cumulative impacts and shows the various research areas that can use this evolving concept. This research is essential to solving longstanding environmental health problems, including health disparities exacerbated by racial and social injustices
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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WTP Resources: Disaster Preparedness Booklets
The National Clearinghouse has developed safety and health awareness booklets for emergency responders and cleanup workers. These pocket-sized guides can be distributed and used as a resource when workers are on a disaster site. The booklets address a variety of disaster types, and some are available in more than one language.
Link Between Exposure to Wildfire Smoke and Cardiovascular Harm Revealed
NIEHS-funded researchers uncovered the biological mechanisms by which exposure to wildfire smoke harms the heart and lungs in mice. Wildfires are growing in intensity and frequency, posing a threat to public health worldwide. Although evidence links wildfire exposure with cardiopulmonary effects, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown.
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32BJ SEIU Union Hiring for Multiple Positions
At the forefront of building the nation’s labor movement, 32BJ SEIU is changing the narrative around important social and economic issues facing working families. Founded in 1934, 32BJ is the largest union of property service workers in the nation. The mission of the union: To build and grow a diverse, effective, politically independent and democratic organization of workers to change our lives for the better, improve our communities, and build a more just society for present and future generations.
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