September 21, 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
- We Want Your Feedback
- Newsbriefs Past Issues
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Resources for Hurricanes, Floods, and Disaster Recovery
To address the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the health information resources available below can help support response and recovery for responders, healthcare providers, cleanup workers, and the general public.
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. Registration closes October 10, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
NIEHS Worker Training Program Interactive Listening Sessions
The NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) is conducting a series of interactive listening sessions across the country to learn about the impact of the opioid epidemic on workers and the workplace. The goal is to learn what is happening in affected industries and occupations and to identify training needs, gaps, and opportunities. Three upcoming listening meetings will be held on the following dates: 1) September 23, 2018, in Hamden, Connecticut, 2) September 24, 2018, in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and 3) September 27, 2018, in New York City.
This Lawsuit Would Protect Hanford Workers from Deadly Vapors
A settlement agreement has been reached in a three-year-old lawsuit filed by Washington state to better protect workers from chemical vapors at the Hanford nuclear reservation. Washington state, watchdog group Hanford Challenge, and union Local 598 filed suit against the Department of Energy (DOE) and its tank farm contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions. The settlement agreement in the federal court lawsuit does not dismiss the lawsuit, but puts it on hold as DOE continues to improve safety for tank farm workers.
Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]
The Health Dangers Don’t Stop with a Hurricane’s Churning. They Can Get Worse.
Long after Hurricane Florence’s winds and rains have faded, its aftermath will still pose life-threatening hazards: snakes, submerged sharp objects, bacterial infections, and disease-carrying mosquitoes. People are trapped by floodwaters and facing dwindling supplies of medicines, food, and drinking water. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a danger as people crank up portable generators, and respiratory viruses will circulate in crammed shelters. Disaster experts categorize health hazards in the wake of disasters as short-term, midterm, and long-term dangers, which are further discussed in this article.
The Washington Post [Authors: By William Wan, Lena H. Sun and Carolyn Y. Johnson]
Congress Passes Measure to Protect Board that Monitors Nuclear Safety
Congress has moved to block an effort to weaken a federal board that oversees worker and public safety at nuclear facilities, adding language to an appropriations bill to prevent the agency from altering the board’s structure. The language protecting the board was introduced by New Mexico Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, who have decried the Energy Department’s push to impose staff cuts and other changes on the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. The safety board has had largely unrestricted access to nuclear facilities; but since the Energy Department’s order came into effect, the board has been prevented from accessing information its reports rely on.
ProPublica [Author: Rebecca Moss]
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PEPH Webinar: Air Sensor Stories
In response to growing interest in exploring local air quality concerns, NIEHS grantees developed an interactive workshop for audiences seeking to understand the potential benefits and challenges associated with using air sensors. This webinar will discuss how workshop materials were developed through a collaboration between four NIEHS-supported community engagement cores and pilot tested with diverse community partners. The webinar will be held on September 24, 2018, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. ET.
Environmental Contributors to Cardiovascular Disease: Emerging Research on Heavy Metals and Air Pollution
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death worldwide, causes over 15 million deaths each year. Toxic chemicals and pollutants are major contributors to CVD mortality. In this webinar, Bruce Lanphear, M.D., Ana Navas-Acien, Ph.D., M.D., and Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., will present on how environmental contributors, including exposure to lead, arsenic, and particular matter, are associated with CVD and its risks factors. The webinar will be held on September 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm ET.
Workshop on Opioids and the Workplace
The New York City Central Labor Council, 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 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET in New York, NY.
Hurricane Harvey: In the Eye of the Storm
John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Global Health Now Live is hosting their second live event to discuss lessons drawn from the Harvey response. The event will feature David E. Persse, M.D., public health authority for the City of Houston, and Joshua M. Sharfstein, M.D., vice dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The event will be held in the Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute on September 27, 2018, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Wildfire Smoke: Impacts on Public Health and Lived Experience
This webinar will feature Colleen Reid, Ph.D., assistant professor in geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who will provide an overview of the latest research on the various health impacts of exposure to smoke from wildfires. Warren Dodd, Ph.D., assistant professor at the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, Canada, who will discuss his team's qualitative study that explored how the 2014 wildfire season in the Northwest Territories affected mental and physical health. The webinar will be held on October 1, 2018, at 2:00 pm ET.
APHA-Occupational Health and Safety Section Webinar: Preventing and Reducing Opioids Use and Exposure in the Workplace
Co-sponsored by the NIEHS Worker Training Program (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 ET.
New Insights into the Opioid Crisis and Work: Information for Workers and Employers
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health (TWH) Webinar Series is hosting a webinar focused on new research at the important intersection of work and the nation’s opioid crisis. This webinar features national experts, Chris Cain, C.I.H., of the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), Letitia Davis, Sc.D., of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Sara Luckhaupt, M.D., of the NIOSH Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies. The presenters will share their latest insights related to the risks of opioid use, misuse, and overdose in worker populations. The webinar will be held November 6, 2018, from 1:00-2:30 pm ET.
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Earl Dotter: A Lifetime of Documenting the Hard Work of Others
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) recently hosted a conversation with Earl Dotter, a labor and occupational health photojournalist. He has dedicated his life to chronicling the lives of workers in America, often documenting the dangers of work. The event marked the release of Dotter’s new photograph book, and exhibit of the same name, “Life’s Work: A Fifty-Year Photographic Chronicle of Working in the USA.” The exhibition of his work will be on view in the center lobby of the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, DC, until November 29, 2018.
From Surviving to Thriving – Worker Health and Disaster
The Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) is rolling out the Worker Health and Disaster chapter of their latest report, titled From Surviving to Thriving: Equity in Disaster Planning and Recovery. In this chapter, CPR discusses how subpar efforts to protect workers from unsafe and unhealthy working conditions exacerbate exploitative practices by companies seeking to make money off the devastation. This chapter also provides recommendations for protecting the health and safety of recovery workers.
CPR Blog [Author: Katie Tracy]
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OSHA Seeks Members to Serve on Committee for Improving Construction Workers' Safety and Health
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health. The group advises the Secretary of Labor on developing standards and policies affecting the construction industry. OSHA is seeking employee, employer, state safety and health agency, and public representatives with experience and expertise in construction-related safety and health issues to fill 14 vacancies. Nominations must be submitted by November 16, 2018.
New DOL OIG Audit Report
The new Office of Inspector General Audit (OIG) report encourages The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to strengthen reporting requirements for employers that report a severe injury, but do not receive an inspection. OIG found OSHA did not know the total number of work-related fatalities and severe injuries, and had limited assurance employers abated hazards properly. As a result, OSHA lacked information needed to target compliance assistance and enforcement efforts effectively.
CDC’s New Clinical Tool in The Fight Against Opioid Epidemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has released guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. The quality improvement (QI) measures provided in the resource are meant to be flexible so that healthcare systems and practice leaders can pick interventions that will work best for their practice and patient population.
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Hurricane Key Messages for Employers, Workers, and Volunteers
This National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health document focuses on key messages for employers, workers, and volunteers responding to hurricanes. Topics include Carbon Monoxide, Chemical Safety Recommendations, Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance, Heat Stress, Mold, Personal Protective Equipment, and Stress Associated with Traumatic Incidents and Emergency Response.
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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 to ensure that Massachusetts workplaces are safe and Massachusetts employees are healthy. The Director of OHSP has lead responsibility within MDPH for overseeing the collection, analysis and interpretation of data to identify priority occupational health concerns that threaten the health of Massachusetts workers, identifying data gaps and developing plans to address those gaps, 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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