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Your Environment. Your Health.

Global Safety and Health Issues and Their Impact on Worker Training

October 20-22, 2009
Chapel Hill, NC

Global Safety and Health Issues and Their Impact on Worker Training

Purpose and Scope of the Workshop

The Fall 2009, NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program's workshop Global Safety and Health Issues and Their Impact on Worker Training provided a forum on emerging developments in global health and safety that promise to have a major impact on worker training. New developments in nanomaterials manufacturing, hazard communication and regulation of chemicals in the European Union could fundamentally influence workplace safety and health in the U.S. and abroad.

Below are the conference agendas, attendees list, and links to each day's presentations.




Click on the links below to view the presentations from the Fall Awardee Meeting and the Technical Workshop. If there is no hyperlink, then no PowerPoint presentation was used.

Awardee Meeting:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Time Topic
1:00-2:00 p.m. Welcome and NIEHS Update (1MB)
Joseph "Chip" Hughes, Sharon Beard, Ted Outwater, Kathy Ahlmark, Jim Remington, Carolyn Mason, NIEHS
2:00-2:15 p.m. NIEHS National Clearinghouse Update (49KB)
Deborah Weinstock, National Clearinghouse/MDB, Inc.
2:15-3:15 p.m. H1N1 Session
This panel provided participants an opportunity to hear about and see the draft H1N1 training tool being developed by the Clearinghouse and also provided a presentation that addressed key flu issues for healthcare workers including mandatory vaccination and respirator policies.
3:30-5:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Technical Workshop:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Time Topic
9:00-9:15 a.m. Introductions and Welcome
Joseph "Chip" Hughes, WETP, DERT, NIEHS
Gwen Collman, DERT, NIEHS (444KB)
9:15-9:45 a.m. Keynote Address
Margaret Kitt, NIOSH
Global Safety and Health Issues and their Impact on Worker Training (1MB)
Paul Schulte, Education and Information Division, NIOSH
9:45-11:00 a.m.

Global Harmonization of Hazard Communication
In 2003, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The GHS includes criteria for the classification of health, physical and environmental hazards, and specifies what information should be included on labels of hazardous chemicals and safety data sheets. With OSHA's proposed standard to modify its Hazard Communication Standard to conform with GHS out for comment, this panel discussed the impact of the proposal on workers and provided thoughts as to whether this proposal provides an improvement to the current Hazard Communication Standard
Moderator: Donald Elisburg, National Clearinghouse

11:15 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Control Banding and Nanotechnology Their Implications for Workers and Worker Training (144KB)
Nanotechnology carries tremendous promise, but could produce so many new compounds that OSHA's regulatory mechanism could be severely taxed. Currently there are 600 OSHA PELs and 80,000 chemicals in regular use. Nanotechnology could theoretically produce orders of magnitude more. Determining appropriate sampling schemes for nanomaterials has proven difficult and expensive. Consequently, control banding, as an alternative approach, has been garnering great interest. This panel explored the latest developments in nanotechnology, both in technical accomplishments and federal policy. The potential for control banding was also reviewed with a demonstration of how it can be applied to nanotechnology.
Moderator: Bruce Lippy, The Lippy Group

1:25-1:45 p.m. Les Leopold on his book, The Looting of America (256KB)
Les presented his book which debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, it examines how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance.
1:45-3:00 p.m.

REACH and its implications for workers and worker training
This panel presented various perspectives on how REACH is working in the EU and what it might mean about the prospects of replacing dangerous chemicals with safer alternatives in the U.S.
Moderator: Paul Renner, Labor Institute

3:20-5:00 p.m. Concurrent Roundtable Discussions with Panelists
  • The Control Banding and Nanotechnology Breakout Session discussed three main issues regarding nanotechnology and worker safety and training: 1) since there is no specific training guidance for nanotechnology, the default training used is chemical safety guidance; 2) there are no current regulations regarding what labeling needs to be provided on end products; and 3) worker training should be integrated in current training, possibly adding a module in HAZCOM.
  • The GHS and HAZCOM Breakout Session discussed the proposed rule in order to craft comments for OSHA. Some issues of concern included: the lack of requirements and language on training in the rule, the modification of language concerning specific carcinogens on signs from "cancer causing" to "may cause cancer," and the implication of symbols and signs and whether they are communicating the right intention. 
  • The REACH Breakout Session discussed how REACH would benefit workers' safety and health. For instance, REACH would promote transparency, which would give workers access to information and knowledge that they can use as tools to drive change in the workplace. One issue of concern is exposure scenarios, as not all scenarios are explained.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Time Topic
9:00-9:20 a.m. Summary of previous day
9:20-11:30 a.m.

Looking South: Awardee experiences in Latin America
Moderator: Ted Outwater, WETP, NIEHS

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

Meeting Resources

The following links are resources for the fall 2009 workshop.

Global Harmonization of Hazard Communication:

Control Banding and Nanotechnology:

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