September 15, 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.
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2023 WTP Fall Awardee Meeting and Workshop Registration is Now Open!
Registration is now open for the 2023 NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) Fall Awardee Meeting and Workshop. The awardee meeting will be held on October 17, 2023, and will be a hybrid event to allow for remote participation. The workshop will follow on October 18-19, and will be in-person only at the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC. Registration for the awardee meeting and workshop will close on October 11, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
'No Words': 9/11 Death Toll Continues to Rise 22 Years Later
As the nation prepared to mark the twenty-second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the New York City Fire Department has added 43 new names to its World Trade Center Memorial Wall. The memorial wall commemorates firefighters, paramedics and civilian support staff members who have died from illnesses related to the rescue and recovery efforts in the aftermath of one of the darkest days in U.S. history.
ABC News [Authors: Aaron Katersky & Bill Hutchinson]
Why the CDC Has Recommended New Covid Boosters for All
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in favor of the recommendation that everyone over the age of 6 months should get the latest covid-19 booster. The Food and Drug Administration approved the new booster, stating it was safe and effective at protecting against the covid variants currently circulating in the U.S. The number of hospitalized patients with covid has ticked up modestly in recent weeks, CDC data shows, and infectious disease experts anticipate a surge in the late fall and winter.
Kaiser Health News [Author: Arthur Allen]
The World is Still Falling Short on Limiting Climate Change, According to U.N. Report
The world needs to "rapidly accelerate action" on cutting heat-trapping emissions, warns a new report from the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change. Climate scientists warn that the world needs to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), when the world is currently on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming. To avoid that, the UN report warns that emissions need to fall 43 percent by 2030 and by 60 percent by 2035, compared with 2019 levels.
NPR [Author: Lauren Sommer]
Despite Successes, Addiction Treatment Programs for Families Struggle to Stay Open
Recovering Hope Treatment Center is one of only five providers in Minnesota that offer family-based residential treatment, allowing women to enter the program while pregnant or to bring one of their children younger than five years old with them for the duration of their stay. Family-based residential treatment has been recognized by behavioral health professionals as having better outcomes for women and their children. Financial hurdles and logistical constraints involved in running family treatment programs make it difficult for some states to establish and maintain these facilities, despite the successes of Recovering Hope and other programs.
Kaiser Health News [Author: Christina Saint Louis]
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Indoor Chemistry and Environmental Justice: Housing, Consumer Products, and Health Risks
This workshop aims to identify opportunities and mechanisms to include environmental justice considerations in funding priorities and research projects as outlined from the report Why Indoor Chemistry Matters. The workshop will be held both in-person at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. and virtually on September 19, 2023 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET and September 20, 2023 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. ET.
TRB Webinar: Enhancing Wheelchair Accessibility on Commercial Service Aircraft
Barriers to airline travel and the ability of people that use mobility devices on board commercial service aircraft has sparked national dialogue around considerations for passenger dignity, safety issues, and implications for airlines. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) will host a webinar with U.S. Department of Transportation officials, industry leaders, and disability advocates to engage in a dialogue around considerations related to the ability of individuals to use their mobility devices when they fly. The webinar will take place online on September 25, 2023, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.
|On The Web This Week
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BTEA Toolbox Talks: National Suicide Prevention Month
The Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA) is the construction contractor’s unified advocate for construction safety standards, professional development, government affairs and public relations. In this BTEA Toolbox Talks, advocates and panelists discuss the risks associated with suicide among constructions workers and measures the industry and employers can implement to reduce harm among workers.
California Fast Food Workers to Get $20 Per Hour if Minimum Wage Bill Passes
An estimated 1 million fast food and healthcare workers in California are set to get a major raise after a deal was announced earlier this week between labor unions and industries. Assembly Bill 1228 would increase minimum wage to $20 per hour for workers at restaurants in the state that have at least 60 locations nationwide. For healthcare workers under the proposed bill, minimum wage salaries vary depending on the clinic, with salaries between $18-23 for next year and increasing to $25 between 2026-2033.
USA Today [Author: Sara Chernikoff]
Shelter in Place Lifted After Fire at Michigan Paper Mill Produces Plumes of Heavy Smoke
Residents near a northern Michigan paper mill that caught fire September 13, prompting the closure of several roads and a lock and dam on a nearby river, were told to shelter in place as environmental officials monitored local air quality. Plumes of thick and heavy black and gray smoke visible for miles around billowed from the Tissue Depot property in downtown Cheboygan, about 290 miles northwest of Detroit. Cheboygan Fire Chief Don Dailey said no mill employees or firefighters have been injured. The shelter in place order was lifted on September 14 after the level of particulates in the air had diminished overnight “to safe levels.”
Defying Industry, California Lawmakers Vote for Employer-Paid Food Training
The California Legislature is moving to require employers to compensate food service employees for the cost of food safety training mandated by the state’s public health laws. If signed into law, the legislation would overturn a common practice in which employees cover the expense of obtaining the certification themselves. The bill’s sponsors cited a New York Times investigation published in January that showed how the National Restaurant Association, a lobbying group, raises millions of dollars from workers through the fees charged by a food safety training program it administers, ServSafe.
New York Times (subscription required) [Author: Talmon Joseph Smith]
|Federal Agency Update
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EEOC Issues Federal Workforce Reports Focused on Workers with History of Arrest or Conviction
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released two companion reports examining the federal employment of workers with arrest or conviction records. The EEOC developed these reports in support of President Biden’s Executive Order 14035, which calls for the expansion of federal employment opportunities for individuals with arrest or conviction records and requires the evaluation of barriers to federal employment faced by these individuals.
Biden-Harris Administration Making $100 Million Available to Improve EV Charger Reliability
The Biden-Harris Administration today opened applications for the Electric Vehicle Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator which will provide up to $100 million in Federal funding to repair and replace existing but non-operational, electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Reliability is a critical component to the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive approach to build a convenient, affordable, reliable, equitable, and Made-in-America national EV charging network.
Department of Labor Announces Proposed New Rule to Strengthen Protections for Temporary Farm Workers
The Department of Labor proposed a new rule that would strengthen protections for farm workers in the H-2A program and help prevent abuses that undermine wages and standards for all agricultural workers. The proposed rule would add new protections for worker self-advocacy, better protect workers against retaliation, make foreign labor recruitment more transparent and enhance the department’s enforcement.
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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Keystone Lecturer Highlights Alabama Fire College Tribal Training
If you happened to miss NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) Kenneth “Kenny” Oldfield’s July 17, 2023 Keystone Science Lecture, you can read about the highlights in the August issue of Environmental Factor (E-Factor). Oldfield, a principal investigator for Alabama Fire College (AFC), shared his experience operating a training program to help communities across the country respond to emergencies. Through grants from WTP, AFC is able to provide training in hazardous materials emergency response, confined space rescue, and occupational safety and health topics to emergency and industrial responders, labor unions, and Native American tribes. You can find more E-Factor articles featuring WTP grantees and additional success stories on the WTP Program Highlights page.
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The Veterans Health Administration Seeks Healthcare Engineer
This Project Engineer position is assigned to Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. Duties include project planning, producing designs, managing designs and construction, and providing construction administration for minor construction projects and non-recurring maintenance, including all areas and aspects (architectural, electrical, life safety, mechanical, civil, structural, etc.) at medical center and associated Community Based Outpatient Clinics.
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