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Your Environment. Your Health.

Ensuring Skilled and Other Support Personnel Are Prepared for Disasters

May 21-22, 2008
Beaver, West Virginia

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) and the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration's OSHA Training Institute.

Purpose and Scope

Pre-incident training is critical for workers who may find themselves responding to a disaster. Skilled and other support personnel (such as construction, utility and transportation workers) along with federal, state and local government workers and others may find themselves working on a disaster site, be it during the response, cleanup or recovery stage. These populations need to understand the unique hazards that are present on a disaster site before they are deployed there.

The Disaster Site Worker courses (OSHA 7600 and OSHA 5600) arose from a clearly identified need at Ground Zero and can save lives during disaster responses by providing workers who respond to disasters the critical knowledge they need to protect themselves. To date, limited use of this course has been reported, raising concerns about the lack of pre-incident training being provided to disaster site workers.

The meeting was held May 21-22, 2008 at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy, 1301 Airport Road, Beaver, West Virginia 25813-9426.

Workshop Flyer



Workshop Notes


May 21, 2008

Time Topic
9:00 - 9:20 a.m. Welcome
Barbara McCabe, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) National HAZMAT Program
Janet Bertinuson, Superintendent, National Mine Academy
9:20 - 9:40 a.m.

Overview of Workshop and Workshop Goals

Frame the Issues for the Workshop
Chip Hughes, Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Worker Education and Training Program (WETP)

DSTM's Role and Interest in the Disaster Site Worker Courses
John Ferris, Acting Deputy Director, Directorate of Science, Technology and Medicine (DSTM), OSHA
Jim Barnes, Director, Office of Training and Educational Programs, Directorate of Training and Education (DTE)

9:40 - 10:40 a.m.

Potential Consequences of Disaster Site Work

Disaster Fatality Statistics (290KB)
Gregory Fayard, DOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries

PTSD Among Emergency Responders versus Construction Workers (165KB)
Jeanne M. Stellman, SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Mine Disasters and Response Activities (1MB)
Davitt McAteer, former Assistant Secretary, Mine Safety and Health Administration

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Challenges of Training at a Disaster Site

Facilitated discussion working towards strategies to ensure workers receive pre-incident training
Facilitator: Don Elisburg, National Clearinghouse

Brief recap of training at the World Trade Center
Chris Trahan, CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training

Brief recap of training at Katrina
Ron Snyder, Kirkwood Community College

DHS Disaster Training Requirements and Katrina Experience
Mike Zustra, Director, Environmental Health and Safety, The Shaw Group

How and where they fit in and the importance of NIMS compliance
Tim Gallagher, FEMA Training Officer in charge of USAR

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Comprehensive Safety and Health Training for Workers Engaged in Disaster Response Activities
Facilitated discussion on how we clarify the differences between Disaster Site Worker, HAZWOPER and site specific training and why there is a need for each of them
Facilitator: Chris Trahan, CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training
2:30 - 2:55 p.m. Building Coalitions at the Grassroots Level
Case Study of the Alliance
Chief Jim Riley, Chair of State USAR Alliance and Bill Byrnes, IUOE Local 825
3:15 - 4:45 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Discussions on policy changes to ensure the training is widely used and other ways to promote the training/marketing plans

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Time Topic
8:30-9:15 a.m. Review of the Development and Delivery of the Disaster Site Worker Course
  • Overview of Development Process
    Jim Barnes, DTE and Jim Remington, NIEHS
  • Experiences in delivering the course
    Chip Booth, IUOE National HAZMAT Program and Robert Nesbit, University of South Florida
9:15-10:00 a.m. Revisiting the Disaster Site Worker Courses (1MB)
Discussion of the 7600 course, the 5600 course and a new update course for trainers
Bruce Lippy, The Lippy Group
10:15-11:45 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Discussions on the content of each course and how the courses connect to one another
12:00 - 12:30 p.m. Wrap up
Private Sector and Construction Industry Disaster Preparedness Coordination
Stewart Burkhammer, Burkhammer Consulting Services


For more information, contact:

Kerri Voelker
Tel 919-794-4700
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