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Safety and Health
for Occupational Safety and Health
New Hampshire Coalition
for Occupational Safety and Health
Rhode Island Committee
on Occupational Safety and Health
Western Mass Coalition
for Occupational Safety
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Three American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Funded Projects Based at UMass Lowell/The New England Consortium-Making a Difference in Protecting Workers, Communities and the Environment________________________________________________________________
Brian Mitchell and Sandi Chabot making glue.Green Chemistry Training for Occupational and Environmental Health Advocates: Twenty-three environmental and worker health and safety activists met to engage in a training of trainers for a new curriculum for short green chemistry training sessions. The training was part of a project of The New England Consortium (TNEC), a New England-wide worker health and safety training program that is based in the University of Massachusetts Lowell's Center for Health Promotion and Research (CHPR). Project funding came from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) new Partnerships for Environmental Public Health Initiative and is part of the federal government's stimulus funding to spur a greener economy. This is one of several projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
Dr. Craig Slatin, Principal Investigator of TNEC, along with Dr. Joel Tickner, who directs the Chemicals Policy and Science Initiative of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production (LCSP) wrote the application to NIEHS. They proposed that TNEC, the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow (AHT), and the Coalition for a Healthy and Safe Connecticut (CHSC) would act in partnership to train environmental and worker health and safety activists who would become a network promoting policies to promote the advancement of green chemistry in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The AHT and the CHSC are statewide coalitions working to advance occupational and environmental public health.
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Board of Higher Education Approves Environmental Health Bachelor of Science Program
The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved a new Environmental Health Bachelor of Science degree program in the School of Health and Environment.
The one-of-a-kind program in the Northeast will begin September 2010, meeting a growing demand from the public health field. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that half of current environmental health practitioners will retire within the next 10 years.
"This new environmental health program at UMass Lowell will offer a new generation of students an opportunity to learn skills that will help them tackle the world's toughest problems, many of which are preventable," says Associate Professor Joel Tickner of the Department of Community Health and Sustainability, who led the development of the new program. "Our research and interviews showed that with the shortage of qualified professionals, students will have tremendous career options that will make a difference for all of us."
Environmental health, a branch of public health, includes the study of epidemiology, toxicology, sanitation, occupational health and safety, food safety, health communications and policy. It involves learning about all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health.
"This new degree program fits in with the vision of the School of Health and Environment to better understand the complex links between our environment and health," says Shortie McKinney, Dean of the School of Health and Environment. "This critical thinking is necessary to turn problems into solutions to prevent diseases and human hardships."
Opportunities for environmental health specialists are diverse-they work as inspectors, health and safety experts, scientists, researchers and analysts at local, state and federal environmental and public health agencies, as well as for industry, consulting firms and not-for-profits.
"More than 90 percent of environmental health graduates who are actively seeking a job have one at graduation or soon after," says Tickner. "It's this generation of change agents that will help solve our health and environment issues for a healthier future."
TNEC Honors Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso as he leaves UMass Lowell for D.C.
The New England Consortium (TNEC) recently launched a Networking Group for alumni of TNEC training and the Work Environment program. Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, a former Chair and Professor in the Department of Work Environment at UMass Lowell for 22 years, was the guest speaker at the group's first meeting on June 21st.
President Barack Obama nominated Professor Moure-Eraso to serve as Chair of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), an independent agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The United States Senate confirmed him on June 23. Moure-Eraso spoke to the group of worker health and safety advocates and business owners about the need to be proactive in protecting workers and communities. "There is a strong need for networking groups within the worker health and safety movement. It is important to keep up-to- date with information that will prevent accidents on the job," commented Moure-Eraso.
The staff and faculty of TNEC presented Professor Moure-Eraso with an award that's inscribed: "In recognition of your outstanding contributions to improving the health and safety of workers through research and practice." Dr. Moure-Eraso is tireless in his efforts to protect workers on the job; and, he has worked in the United States and internationally throughout his professional career.
TNEC staff and faculty along with the alumni wish Dr. Moure-Eraso the best as he takes on a very challenging position as Chair of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.
Panel: 'Green' Creates Jobs
The evenings speakers (l to r) Karla Armanti, Richard Gustafson, Craig Slatin, and Thomas Sullivan"Green" jobs are important to the environment and to the economy, a panel of experts said at a recent panel discussion in Bedford, NH this past April and is an area where there's plenty of room for growth in New Hampshire.
The panelists said that of 3.6 million green jobs nationally, only 1,600 are in New Hampshire. About 50 people attended the event hosted by the Bedford Democratic Committee at the Bedford Public Library.
The panelists explained that green jobs are roughly defined by U.S. Department of Labor Statistics as jobs that protect or restore the environment or conserve natural resources.
"We've realized that we've polluted our land and our water to the point where we can't live in it and be healthy, so we've got to clean that up," said Craig Slatin, a panel member who is Chair of the University of Massachusetts Lowell's Department of Community Health and Sustainability.
"And we have to figure out also how to make the things we want to make and do the things we do without making more toxic waste. So, there's one area where we need green jobs." Slatin continued, "The other thing is that we need to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, so we need to come up with green jobs to conserve energy in buildings, new sources of energy generation and new ways of producing food that has lesser impact on the planet."
One attendee commented, "I think (green jobs) that you can leverage to build our economy are the most important ones. So where we're creating new green technologies that can be exported at scale and whether we build photovoltaics or wind turbines or some other energy technology, if we can export that, we can start to make some significant impacts on turning the economy in the way it should move."
(Some parts of the article were taken from the Bedford/Journal.)
UMass Lowell Staff Assists with Clean Up in Gulf Region
(l to r) David Coffey, TNEC Training Manager, Issachar Nichols, Trainer Petroleum Education Council and Jimmy Smith, TNEC Adjunct Trainer
The April 20, 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 crew members and sparked the greatest environmental disaster in United States history. As part of the national response coordinated by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), The New England Consortium (TNEC) sent two staff members to the Gulf Region to assist the in the evaluation of training for cleanup workers and volunteers.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and Mississippi an experienced network of worker safety and health experts, trainers and support staff began mobilizing within hours to aid in the recovery of the Gulf Coast. This network gained much of its experience during the response to the World Trade Center, Oklahoma City and anthrax terrorist attacks. During the ensuing years, through the evaluation of the lessons they had learned, this little known network developed mechanisms for getting needed safety and health resources into the field.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) and its 18 awardees organizations which include TNEC make up this network. The WETP supports the training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, transportation and emergency response.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the NIEHS, is a signatory to the National Response Plan (NRP). Upon activation of the NRP, NIEHS may be called upon by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide training and technical assistance in the form of instructional staff, curriculum development experts, professional staff safety training, assistance and support in development of site specific health and safety plans, and assistance with respirator fit-testing and the distribution of personal protective equipment.
David Coffey, Training Manager at TNEC and Jimmy Smith, a long time TNEC Adjunct Trainer deployed to the area on May 12. "The people of New Orleans and the Gulf Region could not be more helpful," commented Coffey. "We had to travel great distances of the Gulf region and the strong feeling of despair among the people wanting to work on the clean up was palpable."
Coffey and Smith spent the majority of their time evaluating training for workers and volunteers. It is NIEHS' goal to keep the workers and volunteers safe from fly-by-night contractors who give out certificates when their training quality fails to meet the standard set by the NIEHS program.
Safety personnel feared that many people will be required to clean up the spill and its resultant damage without proper personal protection. Training is mandatory for all workers seeking to work on the clean-up, but does not guarantee a job. Mr. Smith mentioned that "heat emergencies are already being seen and the summer thunderstorms and hurricane season is just a short time away,"
After spending a week in the area, Coffey and Smith returned to New England. Conditions will be very hard for most of the workers. There is concern that people's anger towards BP could get directed at the cleanup crews they mistakenly believe are working directly for the oil giant.
While Coffey and Smith were in the area the spill was still far from the shores. Unfortunately, as it spreads toxins are washing ashore destroying the precious wildlife and unique fishing areas of the Gulf Coast.
Green Collar Job Program At UMass Lowell Highlighted by Governor's Visit
Governor Deval Patrick and Paul Morse, Director and Co-PI The New England Consortium Governor Deval Patrick met with participants of JFYNetWorks' Weatherization Technician Training Program (WTTP) on May 5 to discuss the program's success made possible by a $200,000 'Pathways out of Poverty' state grant. JFYNetWorks and The New England Consortium (TNEC) have teamed up to provide training to participants in the program. The program will assist low-income workers in Lowell capitalize on employment opportunities in the Commonwealth's growing clean energy sector. The event was held at the University's Center for Family, Work and Community where JFY has space to work with students in the Lowell area.
The New England Consortium and JFYNetWorks have worked together for over 10 years to provide training to students attending their Environmental Technician Training Program. TNEC has delivered OSHA-10 and Confined Space training to WTTP participants at its training center located in the Wannalancit Mill Building. The WTTP will train 40 individuals in weatherization techniques from the Greater Lowell area. Pathways out of Poverty grants are designed to jumpstart training in clean energy careers for low and moderate income residents.
Governor Deval Patrick chatting with Chancellor Marty Meehan and Gary Kaplan, Director of JFYNetworks
University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) Chancellor Marty Meehan joined the meeting with the Governor, training partners and students. "I was deeply moved by the stories of the participants. This is exactly what a University should be doing, working with the community to provide assistance to programs like JFYNetWorks. This program benefits all of us."
"Thanks to Governor Patrick's focus on clean energy and the opportunities in energy efficiency, benefits in the form of jobs are coming to the people of Massachusetts," said JFYNetWorks Executive Director Gary Kaplan. "The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Conservation Services Group and UMass Lowell have played important roles in providing these 20 trainees with the skills they need to work in weatherization."
Awards also funded efforts in Worcester, Springfield, Brockton and Pittsfield to expand the clean energy workforce by boosting skills of low-income workers.
Health and Safety Networking GroupThe New England Consortium (TNEC) is excited to invite you to join our health and safety networking group. We welcome your participation as former participants of TNEC training and we welcome those of you who have an interest in meeting and networking with like-minded health and safety professionals.
The TNEC Networking Group meetings are brief (about 1 ½ hours) and start with a light meal and opportunity to meet and network with other members. A presentation by a guest speaker on a timely topic related to worker health and safety is followed by a lively, facilitated discussion.
The TNEC Networking Group was created to serve as a resource among worker health and safety advocates. Our first Networking Group meeting was held on June 21st at UMass Lowell. Our guest speaker was Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso the recently appointed Chair of the U. S. Chemical Safety Board. Future topics will address state regulatory agencies and their involvement with worker health and safety and connecting health and safety information with action.
The TNEC Networking Group will hold meetings in Lowell (UMass Lowell) and around New England. TNEC partners include MassCOSH, Western MassCOSH, ConnectiCOSH, RI COSH and New Hampshire COSH. If you reside or work in the Greater Lowell area you may wish to attend the Lowell meetings. If you live in other areas around New England, you may wish to attend the meeting facilitated by your local COSH group. Their contact information is listed below this article:
Greater Boston Region - MassCOSH
West of the City of Worcester - Western Mass COSH
Rhode Island - RI COSH
New Hampshire - New Hampshire COSH
For additional information regarding the TNEC Networking Group in Lowell contact Bridget McGuiness at 978.934.3277 or via email [email protected]
The TNEC Networking Group in Lowell will meet once per quarter throughout the year. Our next meeting is set for Tuesday, September 28, 2010 from 8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.. The meeting will be held on the UMass Lowell campus at TNEC's training center located in the Wannalancit Office & Technology Center, 600 Suffolk Street, 5th floor, Lowell, MA.
Standing Together for Safe and Healthy Work
42 Charles Street
Dorchester, MA 02122
20 Years of working to keep NH workers safe!
NH Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
161 Londonderry Turnpike
Hooksett, NH 03106
An injury to one is an injury to all
683 North Mountain Road
Newington, CT 06111
741 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
Western Mass COSH
640 Page Blvd, Suite 104
Springfield, MA 01104
Upcoming Conferences Where TNEC will be Exhibiting
Massachusetts Green Career Conference
October 1, 2010
Holiday Inn - Marlborough, MA
Partners in Worker Health and Safety Training
Contact: Diane Malachowski, Manager Region 1 OTIEC, [email protected]
603-645-0050; Toll-free 800-449-6742; Fax 603-645-0080 175 Ammon Drive, Manchester, NH 03103-3308
OSHA Training Institute Education Center
The New England Consortium (TNEC) is the region's model Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Worker Health and Safety training organization. Since 1987, TNEC has provided dynamic hands-on, participatory health and safety training.
TNEC is one of 20 programs administered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Education Training Program.
TNEC is a partnership between the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Coalitions/Committees for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
In addition to providing HAZWOPER training, COSH groups work on a variety of worker health and safety training and other issues.
To learn more, call your local COSH group:
New Hampshire COSH 603.226.0516
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read our newsletter. We hope to keep you safe and healthy with information that will protect you on the job.
This work is partially supported under NIEHS grant number: