The New England Consortium's
E-Quarterly            Vol. 5 No. 7 December 2011 
A Newsletter about Working with Toxic Materials, Health and Safety Training, Law and Public Policy Working with Toxic Materials, Health and Safety Training, Law and Public Policy
Happy Holidays from all of us at The New England Consoritum
From all of us at The New England Consortium
In This Issue
Save The Date
Progress on Worker Health and Safety Protections
Teen Safety - Signed, Sealed, and Delivered
A Breath of Fresh Air in Brockton Schools
Green Construction: An Update
For Our Loyal Customers


University of Massachusetts Lowell
600 Suffolk Street, 5th Floor 
Wannalancit Mills 
Lowell, MA 01854
Connecticut Council
on Occupational
Safety and Health
Civil Service Employee Association (NY) Local 1000, AFSCME
Massachusetts Coalition
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
and Health
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  Is it time for your 8-Hour Refresher?
OSHA requires annual 8-Hour Refresher training for employees working with hazardous materials.  If you already had your 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Site training, you are required to annually take an 8-Hour Refresher. Click on the following link and check out the open enrollment training calendar and register at the same time.
Click here to register for 8-Hour training or to view the Open Enrollment Calendar for a date that fits your schedule
Save The Date

The New England Consortium
Semi-Annual Advisory Board Meeting 
Friday, January 27, 2012 
            University of Massachusetts Lowell

Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, Chair U.S. Chemical Safety Board will lead us in a discussion on lessons learned from the Chemical Safety Board fatality investigations in 2010-2011,  including explosions at the Bayer CropScience (Charleston, WV) and Kleen Energy (Middletown, CT) facilities.  He will address key recommendations resulting from these investigations and effective ways that communities can be involved to prevent these types of catastrophes.
The meeting is held from 9:00am - 2:00pm.  Dr Moure will speak after lunch.

RSVP: Diane Doherty at 978.934.3197 or via email 
Professor Rafael Moure-Eraso
Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso 

Progress on Worker Health and Safety Protections for Massachusetts State Workers
Safety begins here

   When the Occupational Safety and Health Act passed in 1970, the law made it an option for states to provide OSHA protections to their public employees. Massachusetts did not exercise that option. For years, Massachusetts safety advocates and public sector unions had urged past Governors and the legislature to extend safety protections to public employees. According to the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), each year 10-15% of workers in Massachusetts killed on the job are public sector workers. Thousands more are injured or become ill - but only private sector workers are covered under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
Over the last several years, MassCOSH has coordinated a multi-faceted campaign working with advocacy organizations and the State Safety Coalition to promote legislation to cover all public sector workers in the Commonwealth. While the legislative effort has been slow, the coalition did succeed in persuading Governor Deval Patrick to issue Executive Order 511 (EO 511) which has put in place several steps to move this process forward.  It only applies to state workers and does not cover local and municipal employees; and, its implementation varies within and across different agencies and departments. For example, the state's universities and state colleges are challenging the applicability of the Executive Order to their institutions. This is disappointing and employee unions at different campuses are pushing for more compliance by the university system with the spirit of the order.
   However, the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards has enjoyed meaningful success and deserves a lot of credit for the breadth of its outreach, training and technical assistance. This success has been most evident in a number of secretariats and agencies where the union local members are particularly active and the management structure is supportive of building a stronger health and safety infrastructure.
In a fact sheet posted by Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, the agency outlines key aspects of the Executive Order:
  • Creation of a centralized health and safety infrastructure allowing for the dissemination of health and safety information, support, and assistance resources throughout all agencies. The infrastructure consists of: The Governor's Massachusetts Employee Safety and Health Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee), and the appointment of a Health and Safety coordinator for each secretariat and joint labor-management health and safety committees to cover all employees in the executive branch. (In some agencies, these committees were already in existence so they were brought into the process).
  • Assessment of current health and safety management practices to provide a big picture view of health and safety management across the entire executive branch, and guide development of effective strategies for moving this issue forward at the central level. The assessment, completed by the health and safety committees, consists of: completion of hazard assessment questionnaires, a gap analysis (a comparison of what is currently in place for protection against each serious hazard) as well as the incorporation of health and safety management ideals.
  •  Identification of effective and realistic next steps to improve state  worker health and safety:  
  • Creation of centralized access to resources which will include model health and safety policies, inter-agency peer-to-peer support, training, and sharing of innovative and effective health and safety strategies.
  • Collection of injury and illness statistics for State Employees to ensure that state agencies collect and report work-related injury and illness data comparable to the OSHA requirements for private sector employers and to require participation for agencies selected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.
   The Advisory Committee will develop recommendations primarily based on the following: reviews of worker injury and illness statistics and information developed by the health and safety committees. UMass Lowell and TNEC are indirectly represented on the EO 511 Advisory Committee through the activities of several participants. TNEC Project Director, Paul Morse serves in his capacity as Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Teachers Association's Environmental Health and Safety Committee. Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, MassCOSH Executive Director, and David Wegman, Professor Emeritus in the UMass Lowell Department of Work Environment are active leaders in carrying out the committee's mission. 
   If you are a state employee interested in finding out more information and/or would like to get in touch with your health and safety committee, contact Hilary Hackbart at the Workplace Safety and Health program in the Department of labor Standards, 617-969-7177 ext. 333 or
   There are currently 22 States (only Vermont in New England) and jurisdictions operating complete State plans (covering both the private sector and State and local government employees) and 5 - Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and the Virgin Islands - which cover public employees only.
(Source: Paul Morse)
Teen Safety - Signed, Sealed, and Delivered  
Peer Leaders MassCOSH
MassCOSH Peer Leaders
Adam was just 16 years-old when he died while on the job at a country club on the North Shore. The Beverly high school student had been working for less than a month before the accident occurred that took his life.
   "I would give up my home, my job, my everything - if he could come back," said Margaret Carey, reflecting on her son.
   Teens Lead at Work (TL@W), a program of TNEC partner MassCOSH, has found that all too often, parents are only vaguely aware of the tasks their child completes on the job. They may know their son works in a restaurant, but not that he works near hot surfaces with slippery floors, or that their daughter works in landscaping, but not that she works with power tools without proper protection.
   This summer, a record 18 peer leaders took the challenge of educating parents head on in the form of informative, easy-to-read brochures for adults. The 12 unique publications address various topics including workplace safety, sexual harassment, and tools parents can use to keep their child safe.
   The first half of the summer, pear leaders carefully researched and decided what would go into the numerous documents, while the final weeks were spent digitally putting it all together.
   "We wanted to create a tool that would make it easy for parents to find out more about what their child does on the job and if some of the tasks are too dangerous or even illegal for their kid to be doing," said Nhu Pham.
   The youth are partnering with unions, including 1199SEIU and AFSCME Local 1526 who will disseminate the youth's work to their members, many of whom are parents. The publications will also provide teen-approved methods on how to talk to their child about safety without coming off as annoying or nosey.
   "There is that misconception that teens don't want any parent involvement in their lives," said Tonia Greene. "But parents still play a very very important role in their lives. [Parents] still have to keep their kids safe and talking to them is a very important step. We hope that parents take advantage of all our hard work."
   The pamphlets were just one project TL@W's peer leaders initiated to increase their impact and engage more youth and adults. Thanks to an increased number of peer leaders, as well as a spike in demand for their workplace trainings, TL@W doubled its goal of educating 300 youth - training over 600 youth on such topics as sexual harassment, workplace violence, wage and hour law, and health and safety.
   "I am very proud of what TL@W has achieved this year," said Nancy Luc, who coordinates TL@W. "They displayed real leadership when holding their trainings, played an essential organizing role in our three day Leadership Education in Action to Promote Safety (LEAPS) for young workers conference, and of course these very informative brochures will be used for years to come. I hope that parents realize that even in their child's teenage years, they can play a critical role in keeping their child safe on the job."
(Source: MassCOSH)

A Breath of Fresh Air in Brockton Schools
Image for Brockton School article
Tools for Schools
This Spring, a ten year-old Fitchburg middle school student from died after a severe asthma attack that started while at school. The loss of such a young student served as a strong reminder that school air quality can sometimes be a matter of life and death for students, teachers and other school staff with respiratory issues, especially asthma.
   Recognizing the right to a healthy work and learning environment for teachers, administrators, and students, TNEC partner MassCOSH joined with the Brockton Education Association (BEA), the Greater Brockton Asthma Coalition, and the Brockton Public School District to proactively improve the indoor air quality of their buildings. For some individuals, the partnership could not have occurred sooner.
   "The air quality in this building is horrible", said one Brockton Public School teacher who wished not to be identified.  "For the first few months that I worked here, my students never heard my normal voice because I was so congested all the time.  My allergies rarely bother me outside of school, but as soon as I walk into the building I begin to feel congested.  My husband has even suggested I look for employment elsewhere because he worries about it as well."  
   The collaboration formed between the four organizations, and funded last year by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), aims to greatly expand the role parents, families and health care providers can play in efforts to improve access to education and resources on asthma management. The group also seeks to educate school staff and families on daily environmental practices that can improve air quality.
   "We formed the Greater Brockton Asthma Coalition because this community suffers from high rates of asthma," said Linda Barros, Healthy Homes Program Manager and the coalition's coordinator.  "Many of our families live in homes that are old and poorly maintained and then they go to school and spend more time in buildings that need repairs.  By helping families assess asthma triggers in their home and working with staff to do the same in the Brockton schools, we have already created measurable results."
   With help from MassCOSH, the BEA held a training based on the EPA's I   indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program during one of its union member meetings. After the training, teams of knowledgeable staff focused their efforts on three buildings in the district and distributed a classroom environmental survey to identify asthma triggers such as pests, leaks and mold.
   Walk throughs of the schools conducted by school staff and MassCOSH also aided in identifying improvements that could reduce asthma triggers further. The findings from the survey and the walkthroughs were then combined and written up as formal recommendations to the Brockton Public schools to improve building conditions and ease the high rates of asthma among children in Brockton.  
   It is often the case that schools need major repairs, like leaking roofs, to address poor environmental quality and that may take years to get in the budget. Indeed the BEA teacher teams identified major problems such severe leaks and moisture-damaged building materials such as rugs.
The teams also took it upon themselves to help schools achieve some immediate solutions to their air quality issues. Staff created a newsletter to let people know about asthma triggers and included tips on how to reduce clutter, a major technique to reduce food and harborage for pests. They met with facilities to talk about cleaning schedules and what would need to be done to schedule a major cleaning over the past summer. The school environmental committee even incorporated some creative techniques to encourage others to participate in improving their working environment by organizing a 'clean-the clutter' contest for teachers with prizes awarded for their hard work.
   "Brockton Public Schools is committed to providing a comprehensive education in a safe and supportive environment," said Michael P. Thomas, Executive Director of Operations & School Administration.  "We know that students learn better in clean and orderly environments and we are always looking for ways to enhance the health and wellbeing of our school communities.  Improving our school buildings - whether replacing roofs and windows or switching to green cleaners - is a clear indication of our commitment to wellness district wide.  We will continue to work with our faculty, staff and with MassCOSH to expand our efforts for the benefit of our students and staff."
    "MassCOSH has been very proud of the work done by the newly formed Brockton Healthy Schools Committee to improve the indoor air quality of their buildings," said Tolle Graham, MassCOSH's Labor and Environment Coordinator. "They serve as a great example of how anyone can take the initiative and help make dramatic strides in making their workplace and community a healthier place to work and live."
   For more information on how to improve the environmental conditions in your school, please contact: Tolle Graham, 617-825-7233 x19 or by email:
(Source: MassCOSH)
Green During Construction:  An Update
Green Construction
Green Construction
What is Green Building?
The practice of maximizing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use resources-energy, water, and materials-while  minimizing building impacts on human health and the environment, throughout the complete building life cycle- from siting, design, and construction to operation, renovation, and reuse.
(US EPA, 2008)
   The green building movement focuses on constructing buildings that are environmentally responsible by making efficient use of energy and other resources during the assembly and throughout the life cycle of a
building.   Organizations such as Green Global, LEED, Green Guide for Health Care and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (NECHPS) have developed certification standards that are gaining adherents and advocates among building investors, designers, developers and architects. Investors, and in some cases state and city regulations, require designers and builders to meet these certifications.  While there are obvious benefits, there is also a glaring disconnect. While City Center in Las Vegas received six awards for Green building, six workers died during its construction and the site received dozens of serious OSHA violations.
   There have been recent developments that meet some of the concerns raised by occupational health and safety professionals.
   Passage of a new Providence city ordinance: The Green during Construction Pledge, which includes key clean air quality protocols in bid and contract specifications for construction projects, has been officially enacted as an ordinance by the Providence City Council and signed by Mayor Taveras in March. (IBEW 99 and the RI Building Trades Council were instrumental in the ordinance being passed.)
   The NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health arranged a meeting between the Director of NIOSH, and the President and CEO of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC indicated they were open to working with NIOSH to find ways to integrate safety and health (S&H) into various LEED credits.

   The NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health has meanwhile
issued a bold set of initiatives as a way to establish this integration:

■ Include Occupational Safety and Health in Federal sustainability
procurement and construction efforts
■ Include Occupational Safety and Health in green/sustainable standards
as they are being updated
■ Integrate Occupational Safety and Health into green elements of
contractor specifications
■ Develop/validate/disseminate a LEED-like safety and health rating system
Meanwhile RICOSH has submitted Green during Construction for credit to the 
Green Guide for Health Care's model standards for Best Practices for Creating High Performance Healing Environments. The Green Guide for Health Care is a leader in developing Green building codes in the health care industry. And, in another development the NORA Construction Sector Council a national multi-stakeholder group of researchers and practitioners has recently formed with the purpose of developing protocols and recommendations to integrate worker safety and health into green construction. {RICOSH is a member.}
(Source: RI COSH)

For our Loyal Customers
logo   TNEC has provided excellent training to federal and state agencies, small businesses and large multi-national corporations for over 18 years.  Many companies and agencies over the years have sent multiple employees to our 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Site Health and Safety courses and the 8-Hour refresher.  To thank our loyal customers and for those who are choosing us for the first time and who send more than three employees to our trainings over a one year period, we will begin to offer up to a 15% discount on the price of the course.  To find out if you are eligible for the discount pricing contact David Coffey, Training Manager at 978.934.3296 or or Therese O'Donnell 978.934.3329 or
NOTE: TNEC changes its Refresher curriculum each year, beginning in September, so that students returning to TNEC year after year for their Refresher training are presented with new materials each time.
   From September 1, 2010 through August 31, 2011, the curriculum for the Site Worker Refresher includes Reviews of Student Work History for the past year, and small group activities emphasizing OSHA priority safety issues such as: Walking and Working Surfaces, Hazardous Materials, Gulf Oil Spill, Occupational Stress, Record Keeping, Infectious Diseases and Global Harmonization.  Other review topics: Reflecting on Health and Safety, NIOSH Pocket Guide Activity, Respiratory Protection, Action Cards Discussion and Table Top activity.

Project Partnersowelltter

Civil Service Employee Association
CSEA Local 1000, AFSCME

Occupational Safety and Health 
New York's Leading Union

143 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210

Phone: 516.257.1465 

  Standing Together for Safe and Healthy Work
1532B Dorchester Avenue
 Dorchester, MA 02122

Phone:  617.825.7233
Fax: 617.822.3718

20 Years of working to keep NH workers safe!
NH Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
161 Londonderry Turnpike
Hooksett, NH 03106

 Phone: 603.232.4406
Fax: 603.232.4461

An injury to one is an injury to all
683 North Mountain Road
Newington, CT 06111
Phone: 860.953.2674
Fax: 860.953.1038



741 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903

Phone: 401.751.2015
Fax: 401.751.7520


Western Mass COSH
640 Page Blvd, Suite 104
Springfield, MA 01104
  Phone: 413.731.0760
Fax: 413.731.6688
Upcoming Conferences Where TNEC will be Exhibiting 

Annual New Hampshire Safety & Health Conference
Grappone Conference Center
Concord, NH
April 10th & 11th, 2012

Partners in Worker Health and Safety Training

OSHA logo
Contact:   Diane Malachowski, Manager Region 1 OTIEC,
    603-645-0050; Toll-free 800-449-6742; Fax 603-645-0080

OSHA Training Institute Education Center

                       175 Ammon Drive, Manchester, NH 03103-3308  
   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 to over 24,000 workers.

   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 and the Civil Service Employees Association of New York (CSEA Occupational Safety and Health), Local 1000, AFSCME

   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:
ConnectiCOSH                        860.953.2674
CSEA                                      518.257.1465
MassCOSH                              617.825.7233
New Hampshire COSH             603.232.4406
RICOSH                                  401.751.2015
WesternMassCOSH                  413.731.0760
   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:
2 U45 ESOO6172-19