September 7, 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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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 Wednesday, October 24, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The WTP Workshop will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, 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. Registration closes Wednesday, October 10, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
Audit: Hanford Needs to Do Better Record Keeping
A new audit report from the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General, states Hanford needs to do a better job in recording the status of the site’s approximately 12,000 wells that are either decommissioned or in use. Investigators’ limited sample of 15 wells concluded that a database to track well inspections was not up to date on most them. According to the report, wells in disrepair can provide pathways for contaminants at the nuclear reservation to reach the groundwater, endangering human health and the environment.
The Colombian [Author: Annette Cary]
From Surviving to Thriving: Equity in Disaster Planning and Recovery
The Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) began rolling out a new report called From Surviving to Thriving: Equity in Disaster Planning and Recovery. The report gathers ideas for reforms, policy proposals, and other recommendations from CPR’s Member Scholars and staff. It presents a path forward for policymakers at all levels of government as they work to anticipate and prepare for disasters. The report covers a variety of topics, including worker safety, the importance of protective standards and safeguards, enforcement, and inequality.
Industry Looks for Hurricane Lessons as Climate Changes
Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 60 inches of rain around the area of the Houston Ship Channel, one of the busiest seaports in the U.S. In the year since, petrochemical facilities and companies have been reassessing how they prepare for, and respond to, storms. Chemical companies such as Huntsman and Covestro are preparing for these situations and investing in improving the company’s resilience to extreme weather events.
NPR [Author: Rebecca Hersher]
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September Is National Preparedness Month
The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters. National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, provides an opportunity to focus on how we all should improve our preparedness efforts. This year’s NPM will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Happen. Explore the link below to find NPM resources and ideas to promote preparedness.
Updating APHA Policy Statements: Occupational Lead Poisoning Case Study
As part of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section Fall Webinar Series, this webinar will discuss the importance of APHA policy statements as tools for members of the Occupational Health and Safety section to use for initiating policy changes at local, state and national level. The webinar will discuss the policy statement updating process, explain the primary changes to the update of APHA OHS section’s occupational lead poisoning, and list the guidelines and timelines for submitting an updated policy statement. The webinar will be held on September 12, 2018 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm ET.
Life’s Work, A Fifty Year Photographic Chronicle of Working in the U.S.A by Earl Dotter
Labor photographer Earl Dotter will launch his new retrospective book and exhibit of : Life’s Work, A Fifty Year Photographic Chronicle of Working in the U.S.A. The book demonstrates the breadth of Earl Dotter's work in occupational photography and how important his documentation is for improving working conditions across the United States. The event will be held on September 13, 2018 from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm ET at the AFL-CIO Washington, DC headquarters.
Webinar: Planning for Disaster: Partnerships Ensure Continuity of Operations
As part of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Disaster Information Specialist webinars, this webinar will discuss steps that libraries can take to develop Continuity of Operations plans to deal with new realities in disaster preparedness. The development and maintenance of real life collaboration between two military libraries, one federal library, and one local hospital library will be discussed. The webinar will be held on September 20, 2018 at 1:30 pm ET.
Opioids and the Workplace
The New York City Central Labor Council (NYC CLC), Rutgers School of Public Health, and the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) are sponsoring a workshop to discuss the national opioid epidemic impacting communities and worksites throughout the country. In this workshop participants will learn facts about the crisis, the impact of prescription and illegal opioids, the connection between hazardous jobs, workplace injury, and opioid misuse, overdose, and addiction, worker protection guidelines, and non-punitive strategies for helping addicted workers. The workshop will be held on September 27, 2018 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET in 256 West 38th Street, New York, NY.
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The Power of Preparedness: Prepare Your Health
The devastating hurricanes of 2017 demonstrated how important it is to prepare for disasters. These potentially life-threatening situations have real impacts on personal and public health. As part of National Preparedness Month, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will focus the first week on personal preparedness, and the importance of nonperishable food, safe water, basic supplies, and the personal items needed to protect individual’s health until help arrives.
At Hearing for Bronx Trash Hauler, More Questions About Safety and Oversight
Given the exhausting nature of commercial driving, federal authorities have basic safety protocols to protect workers and the public. The law limits drivers’ hours and requires adequate time off between shifts. Sanitation Salvage, a Bronx trash hauler, was suspended last month after the New York State Department of Transportation found that drivers had been sent back to work despite having been on duty for 70 or more hours over the prior eight days. Sanitation Salvage’s bid last week, requesting to have its suspension lifted produced more damning findings and fresh questions about why it took regulators so long to act.
ProPublica [Author: Kiera Feldman]
N95 Day 2018: Getting Down to the Particulars about Filter Class
N95 Day, an annual National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) event, is a time to recognize the importance of respiratory protection in the workplace and become familiar with the available resources to help make educated decisions when selecting and wearing a respirator. In efforts to widen their educational scope during the 100 Years of Respiratory Protection Celebration, NIOSH is using N95 Day to educate about the different classifications of air-purifying respirators, in particular filtering facepiece respirators.
NIOSH Science Blog [Authors: Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz and Bingbing Wu]
Preventing Deaths and Injuries of Fire Fighters Working at Basement and Other Below-Grade Fires
Fire fighters are at significant risk of injury or death when fighting fires in basements or floors below-grade level. The increased risk is due to limited entry and egress, working above the fire, weakened floor structures, being caught in the fire’s flow path, unknown fire load, and ventilation issues. These risks can lead to fire fighter entrapment from floor collapse, burns, and asphyxiation. Fire departments should conduct a complete 360-degree size-up to locate the fire, attack the fire externally, and reassess fire conditions prior to conducting interior operations.
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Justice Department Announces Release of New Fentanyl Safety Video for First Responders
The Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance released the Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders’ companion training video Fentanyl: The Real Deal. The video provides first responders with unified, scientific, and evidence-based recommendations for protective actions first responders should take when the presence of fentanyl is suspected, when exposure occurs, and when individuals exhibit signs of opioid intoxication.
OSHA to Hold Second Stakeholder Meeting on Whistleblower Issues
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is hosting a meeting to solicit public comments and suggestions from stakeholders on whistleblower issues in the finance industry within OSHA’s jurisdiction. OSHA is seeking input on improving whistleblower customer service and understanding of the whistleblower laws it enforces. The meeting will be held at the Department of Labor national headquarters in Washington, DC on October 16, 2018. More information will be available in the news section of the Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage.
OSHA’s New Webpage Provides Updates on Protecting Workers from Legionnaire’s Disease
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised the Legionellosis Safety and Health Topics page to provide the latest information on preventing, identifying, and controlling Legionella bacteria hazards in the workplace. The webpage provides employers, healthcare providers, and health and safety professionals with new resources to protect workers and collaborate during worksite investigations of Legionellosis.
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EPA Podcast: Love Canal 40th Anniversary
In 1978, the Love Canal environmental tragedy in Niagara Falls, New York transformed the nation, spurring a continuing legacy of federal response to cleaning up waste sites and giving a voice to communities nationwide. In this podcast, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 Administrator Pete Lopez commemorates the 40th anniversary of Love Canal, highlighting its significance in the passage of the Superfund law.
Preparedness Impact Project
The Preparedness Impact Project is a joint effort from the Directors of Public Health Preparedness and Oak Ridge Associated Universities and other partners to improve national preparedness by sharing educational materials, messages and stories from the field on the impact of public health preparedness programs.
MERS Information Resources App
This mobile application on Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) provides access to information resources developed by the World Health Organization (WHO's) Infectious Hazard Management program. These information resources will provide health workers and other frontline workers with essential information and guidance for the prevention and control of MERS.
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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.
Ford Foundation Seeks Program Officer
The Ford Foundation seeks a dynamic, strategic leader to serve as a Program Officer in its new ‘Future of Work’ (FoW) program area, which strives to actively ensure that the ‘future of work’ places workers and their well-being at the center and reduces inequality. The Program Officer would help shape FoW program strategy, develop grant portfolios and related activities, and participate as a thought-leader on issues related to the ‘Future of Work’ in various public and private settings. Apply for this position by September 25, 2018.
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