September 9, 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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Final Announcement: Call for Abstracts for the 2023 National Trainers’ Exchange
The 2023 Trainer’s Exchange will take place in Indianapolis, IN, May 2-4, 2023, and is hosted by OAI, Inc. in conjunction with the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP). The National Trainers’ Exchange will bring together safety and health trainers and training stakeholders from the Department of Energy and the NIEHS WTP to exchange ideas about how to make training for hazardous materials and emergency response workers more effective and empowering. Through participatory workshop sessions, participants will share best practices, training techniques, and ways to overcome challenges. The new deadline for submission is Sunday September 11, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
National Recovery Month 2022
National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), which started in 1989, is a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) aims to increase public awareness surrounding mental health and addiction recovery.
Firefighters Battling Wild Blazes Are Suffering From Anxiety, Addiction—and Can’t Find Help
As fire seasons have grown more severe across the West, the federal agencies that battle the blazes are facing another problem: a workforce struggling with stress, anxiety and addiction, and not enough mental-health support to help.
Wall Street Journal [Authors: Dan Frosch and Jim Carlton]
Wastewater Surveillance Becomes More Targeted in Search for Poliovirus, Monkeypox and Coronavirus
Early in the coronavirus pandemic, health officials closely monitored sewage samples for signs of the virus to track where it could be circulating. Now, that technique is being used to detect other infectious diseases: polio and monkeypox.
13 WREX News [Author: Jacqueline Howard]
As Concerns About PFAS Rise, Doctors Scramble to Learn About the Toxic Chemicals
A major report from the National Academies recommended that individuals with significant exposure to toxic chemicals, known as PFAS, get a blood test and ongoing medical monitoring. The guidance covers a wide range of people, including those who live near commercial airports, military bases and farms where sewage sludge may have been used.
WBUR [Author: Gabrielle Emanuel]
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Come and join workers and advocates from the New England COSH Network for an evening with Region 1 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) staff to share your concerns and questions and hear from others about health and safety issues in their workplaces. This event will be multilingual and interpretation will be available in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian and Cape Verdean Creole and Cantonese/Mandarin. The event will be held on September 14, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. EDT.
America’s Growing Drug Overdose Crisis
In this webinar, we will hear from public health leaders who are addressing the drug overdose crisis. Speakers will discuss the latest research on the drug overdose crisis, including stimulants, and the role of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, how evidence-based prevention and harm reduction solutions can lower the risk of death or acquiring infectious diseases, and the need to ensure equal access to treatment and culturally responsive care to address the overdose crisis. The event will be held on September 15, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
Global Patterns of COVID-19-related Violence Against Health Workers
This virtual webinar will gather experts from the global health community to examine this worrying development, along with strategies being taken to protect and safeguard the rights of health personnel. The session will include discussion of a recent report by the International Council of Nurses, International Committee of the Red Cross, International Hospital Federation, and World Medical Association on current practices to prevent, reduce, or mitigate violence against health care. The event will be held on September 21, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. EDT.
|On The Web This Week
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The Tragedy of North Birmingham
Industrial plants in Birmingham, Alabama, have polluted the air and land in its historic Black communities for over a century. In an epicenter of environmental injustice, officials continue to fail to right the wrongs plaguing the city’s north side.
ProPublica [Author: Max Blau]
Meatpacking Workers, Advocates Describe 'Dehumanizing' Conditions in Nebraska Plants
Every day, around 26,600 Nebraska workers, many of whom are immigrants, head to work in meatpacking plants across the state. Many of these workers have reported unsafe environments and abusive work culture.
Lincoln Journal Star [Author: Jenna Thompson]
Now Hiring: U.S. Offshore Wind Ramps Up, Workers Taught Safety
At a 131-year-old maritime academy along Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts, people who will build the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm are learning the skills to stay safe while working around turbines at sea.
AP News [Author: Jennifer McDermott]
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Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Launches the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative to Create Equitable, Debt-Free Pathways to High-Paying Jobs
The Biden-Harris Administration is announcing the launch of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative, a national network of more than 200 employers and industry organizations, labor organizations, educators, workforce intermediaries, and community-based organizations who are committed to strengthening and diversifying Registered Apprenticeship.
U.S. Department of Labor Reminds Recovery, Clean-Up, Rebuild Employers, Workers: Worker Protections, Employer Responsibilities Cannot be Uprooted
Coinciding with national Disaster Preparedness Month in September, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has launched its Natural Disaster Compliance Assistance Toolkit, which includes information on how to avoid violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act with a focus on provisions where compliance failures are most commonly found in investigations of employers engaged in the disaster recovery, clean-up and rebuilding efforts.
U.S. Department of Labor awards $1.9M to 14 Organizations Nationwide to Provide Workplace Safety, Health Training; Recognize Infectious Diseases
The grants will fund education and training programs to help workers and employers recognize infectious disease hazards – including coronavirus – and identify preventive measures for a safe workplace. Administered by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases training grants also include education on worker rights and employer responsibilities detailed in the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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At Brownfields Conference, Worker Training Grantees Discuss Justice40
The National Brownfields Training Conference in Oklahoma City provided an opportunity for the NIEHS Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP) to showcase its grantees, review progress, and discuss next steps of the White House’s Justice40 initiative.
Environmental Factor [Author: John Yewell]
WTP Tools and Resources: Opioids & Substance Use
Workers in high-risk occupations or who work in hazardous environments face significant risk of injury, which may lead to opioid or other substance use, overdose, or death. Workers involved in emergency response, law enforcement, health care, and environmental services also face the risk of occupational exposure to opioids. WTP provides training resources, fact sheets and materials for workplace prevention and response of substance use.
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VA is Seeking an Industrial Hygienist/Green Environmental Management Systems (IH/GEMS)
In summary, this position serves as an expert on issues related to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements, as well as for new or enhanced information system software related to occupational safety and health. There will be participation with national-level committees to ensure that consistent and appropriate industrial hygiene measures are followed. The position is under the Engineering Service at the Oscar G. Johnson Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Iron Mountain, MI.
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