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NIEHS WTP: September 1, 2023 Newsbrief

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Weekly E-Newsbrief, September 1, 2023

Weekly E-Newsbrief

September 1, 2023

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.

Top StoriesBack to Top

Take Control of Disaster Preparedness During National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2023 National Preparedness Month theme is “Take Control in 1, 2, 3.” The campaign will focus on preparing older adults for disasters, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionally impacted by the all-hazard events, which continue to threaten the nation. The NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) has developed training tools and other resources that may be used to deliver disaster preparedness and response training.

WTP Disaster Preparedness and Response Page

September is National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month following International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. The NIEHS Worker Training Program in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published a new report highlighting the benefits of recovery friendly workplace (RFW) programs across the country. The report also emphasizes the need to increase resources for RFW programs and provides recommendations for policymakers. The findings from the landscape analysis are highlighted in the latest issue of the NIEHS Environmental Factor.

Environmental Factor [Author: Susan Cosier]

Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs Page

Hurricane Idalia: How Climate Change is Fueling Hurricanes

Hurricane Idalia's arrival on Florida's Gulf Coast on August 30 signaled activity in the Atlantic's hurricane alley might not be as quiet this year as meteorologists had once predicted. Scientists initially forecast in May that the U.S. would see a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, but raised that forecast in mid-August, projecting a more dangerous storm season. Climate change is making hurricanes wetter, windier and altogether more intense. There is also evidence that it is causing storms to travel more slowly, meaning they can dump more water in one place, and that hurricanes are also making landfall in regions far outside the historic norm.

Reuters [Author: Gloria Dickie]

CDC Advisory Group Under Fire for Proposed Infection Control Guidelines

Nurses, patients, and professional groups are pushing for more rigorous infection control standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) following a preview of proposed changes to its isolation precaution guidelines and an advisory group meeting this week during which a vote on the changes was postponed. National Nurses United and others say the proposed guidelines weaken existing infection control standards, privileging employer and hospital bottom lines over employee and patient safety.

Med Page Today (subscription required) [Author: Sophie Putka]

They Tried to Bring Another Fire Station to Lahaina, But the Blaze Arrived First

Two Lahaina residents who had fought for years to build a new fire station to protect their community watched as a deadly blaze consumed their homes this month. Joseph Pluta and Rick Nava said they had already arranged for a land donation, secured more than $400,000 toward the project and worked out logistics to ship a modular fire station to west Maui.

NBC News [Author: Evan Bush]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Labor Day is September 4: How to Get Involved with Labor Rights

The week leading up to Labor Day, the Department of Labor (DOL) observes Labor Rights Week. DOL is getting the word out that ALL workers in the U.S. have the same right to a safe and healthy workplace and the right to report violations of labor laws without fear of retaliation. These worker protections apply to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Check out the ways you can take action to protect worker rights.

DOL Blog

National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council

The National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council (NAEHSC) is a Congressionally mandated body that advises the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the director of the National Institutes of Health, and the director of the NIEHS on matters relating to the direction of research, research support, training, and career development supported by NIEHS. An important function of the council is secondary review of research grant applications with a focus on NIEHS scientific program priorities and program balance. The next NAEHSC meeting will be held on September 12-13, 2023.

Event Information

Golden Ready Preparedness Forum for Older Adults

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI) are hosting a Golden Ready Preparedness Forum for Older Adults. The event will feature a variety of workshops and information on topics such as natural disaster preparedness, active shooter preparedness, cybersecurity awareness, and health preparedness in the event of a disaster. The event will take place on September 12, 2023, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Event Registration

Webinar: Occupational Safety and Health Practice in the Workplace of the Future

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Expanding Research Partnerships 2023 is a three-part webinar series designed to explore leveraging collaboration to address key challenges to occupational safety and health research, training, and practice. This installment will focus on occupational safety and health practice in the workplace of the future. The webinar will be held on September 13, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Event Registration

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

The Future (Of Construction) Is Female. It Starts at Builder Camp

For one week, the girls did electrical work, plumbing and carpentry. They routed, leveled, drilled, and sawed. For some, it may have been the spark to change their lives. For others, it may be the experience that makes them forever comfortable around power tools and mechanics in their homes, a lifetime of empowerment after a week off Instagram.

The Washington Post [Author: Petula Dvorak]

OSHA Says Workplace Violence Injuries are Work-Related, Even When Sustained Outside the Workplace

The Standard Interpretation Letter stated that “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recordkeeping regulation does not allow employers to exclude injuries and illnesses resulting from random acts of violence occurring in the work environment from their recordkeeping forms.” OSHA reached this conclusion even though the referenced incident had occurred not at the worksite, but on a public highway, an area that historically has fallen within the Department of Transportation’s jurisdiction.

JD Supra [Author: Seyfarth Shaw]

‘This Stuff is Killing Me’: After Decades of Delay, New Black Lung Protections Come Too Late for Some West Virginia Coal Miners

Half a century ago, 40,000 West Virginia miners went on strike until Congress passed landmark legislation to improve working conditions for coal miners. However, the lingering and now increasing trend of silica-induced lung disease wasn’t directly addressed until this summer when the Mine Health and Safety Administration proposed regulations to set and enforce a stricter limit on silica dust exposure.

Public Health Watch [Author: Allen Siegler]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

DOE Announces $126 Million for Small Businesses to Pursue Clean Energy Research and Development

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced 106 awards totaling $126 million in research and development grants for 90 different small businesses whose projects will address multiple mission areas across the DOE, including clean energy and decarbonization, cybersecurity and grid reliability, fusion energy, and nuclear nonproliferation. DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer awards strive to transform DOE-supported science and technology breakthroughs into viable products and services.

DOE News Release

Department Of Labor Announces Proposed Changes to Clarify Regulations On Authorized Employee Representation During Workplace Inspections

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise regulations regarding who can be authorized by employees to act as their representative to accompany the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance officers during physical workplace inspections. Specifically, the proposed rule clarifies that employees may authorize an employee, or they may authorize a non-employee third party if the compliance officer determines the third party is reasonably necessary to conduct an effective and thorough inspection.

OSHA News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Awards $10.5M in Initial Funding to Support Disaster-Related Jobs in Hawaii After Severe Wildfires on Maui

After severe wildfires swept across the Hawaiian island of Maui on Aug. 8, 2023, the state’s disaster declaration was approved, which cleared the way for federal aid to assist in recovery efforts. To support disaster-relief jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the initial award of $10.5 million to Hawaii.

DOL News Release

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

WTP Disaster Tools App

The National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training (WTP) in partnership with CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training have a Disaster Tools app that provides centralized, on-the-go access for all WTP disaster training tools. These training tools provide health and safety guidance to those involved in disaster response and cleanup activities. The app is available for download on Apple iOS and Android devices.

Disaster Tools App Download

Disaster Tools App User Guide

Call for Worker Training Program (WTP) Grantee News and Resources

The WTP Clearinghouse aims to support grantees by promoting your training materials and your efforts to improve workers’ health and safety. Let us know when your organizations are featured in media or podcasts; have developed new resources, such as factsheets or reports; or have upcoming events featuring your work or staff. Email your resources to be considered for posting on the WTP Clearinghouse or in the Weekly E-Newsbrief!

Email your resources to

Job OpeningsBack to Top

The University of Utah Seeks an Industrial Hygiene (Tenure Track) Faculty Member

The nationally recognized Industrial Hygiene (IH) program at the University of Utah is seeking tenure-track faculty (open rank) to contribute to our teaching, research and service missions. The IH program faculty have research strength in aerosol science and exposure assessment, and seek colleagues with complementary skills who value innovative, collaborative inter-disciplinary research.

Job Posting

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