The NJ Department of Environmental Protection has announced it finalized the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) Rule and Fleet Reporting Requirement. New Jersey became the first state on the east coast, joining California, Oregon and Washington, to establish a Clean Trucks program. Read more here.
More than 40 organizations, including unions, and more than 6,300 individuals have signed a petition urging the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to make its emergency temporary standard permanent for healthcare workplaces. Read more here.
Unions, public health, and occupational safety organizations call for permanent OSHA Covid-19 standards for health care and other workers
More than 40 unions and other organizations signed a petition, along with more than 6,300 individuals, to urge the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to adopt a permanent standard on Covid-19 in health care workplaces, building on the emergency temporary standard (ETS) OSHA adopted in June and set to expire on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. The petition also encouraged OSHA to work expediently to issue a separate, broader standard to protect all workers from workplace exposure to Covid-19 and other aerosol transmissible diseases. The petition was delivered to OSHA today, announced National Nurses United (NNU). Read more here.
While President Joe Biden has nominated three people to the independent board that investigates chemical accidents, supporters of the Chemical Safety Board said other steps also must be taken so the agency properly can do its job. A letter from 22 unions, environmental groups and other advocacy organizations to Chair Katherine Lemos, the last remaining member of the board, called for more investigators. Read entire article here.
Statement from Healthy Schools Now on Gov. Murphy’s Budget Announcement: $75 million for schools is a good start; Billions needed to create safe schools for 1.2 million+ NJ students
For immediate release – November 19, 2021 Contact: Heather Sorge, firstname.lastname@example.org, (908) 310-7874 Statement from Healthy Schools Now on Gov. Murphy’s Budget Announcement $75 million for schools is a good start; Billions needed to create safe schools for 1.2 million+ NJ students The following statement on today’s announcement from Gov. Phil Murphy about funding for New Jersey Schools is from Heather Sorge, Healthy Schools Now organizer with the New Jersey Work Environment Council (NJWEC). “We’re pleased to see that Governor Murphy has identified $75 million in previously appropriated funds that can be used for badly-needed renovations and improvements in New Jersey’s public school buildings. "This is just a small down payment, however, on the billions needed to create safe learning environments in both School Development Authority (SDA) districts and Regular Operating Districts (RODs). For example, the State estimates the cost to fund the next round of major projects in just the SDA districts is close to $2 billion. "For too long, students, teachers and staff in many SDA buildings have been exposed daily to mold, mildew, asbestos, lead and vermin. Lack of indoor air quality is an issue and there is a pressing need to update HVAC systems to reduce exposure [...]
Press Statement For Immediate Release: November 4, 2021 Contact: Debra Coyle, 609.707.1320; email@example.com New Jersey Work Environment Council Statement on OSHA’s New Vaccine and Testing Standard “Paid Time off for Vaccines is Good, but OSHA Misses the Mark by Passing Costs on to Workers for Testing and Masks” The following statement about the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) released today by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is from Debra Coyle, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council (NJWEC). “Vaccines are safe and effective, and we’re glad to see the new OSHA ETS requires paid time off for vaccines and recovery. We are concerned however, that these proposed rules do not require employers to pay for the costs of testing for unvaccinated workers, or for the cost of masks needed in the workplace. This is not how OSHA standards typically work, because employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace. We think it’s unwise and unfair to put this burden on workers, who have already paid enormous human and financial costs during this pandemic. “Vaccines are just one piece of the puzzle we need to solve the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We still need to put in place the other puzzle pieces so that New Jersey workers are protected on the job. Since the [...]
The following statement is from Debra Coyle McFadden, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC). “We’re glad to see Doug Parker, a highly qualified safety professional, confirmed today by the U.S. Senate. As assistant secretary of labor, he will head the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “Doug brings his experience as head of Cal/OSHA, the nation’s largest statewide safety agency. He also served as executive director at Worksafe, a non-profit that provides legal services and public advocacy for workers seeking to improve safety on the job. Worksafe and WEC are both affiliates of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. Read more here.
Clean-energy investment is a way to tackle climate change and at the same time create jobs upon which futures can be built Investment in renewable energy nationwide, spurred by President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” campaign, represents even more than an opportunity to fight back against the health, safety and economic threats from climate change. Done right, it also has the potential to dramatically make work pay again for millions of Americans who’ve been shoved aside for too many years in an economy where the rich got richer and — well, you know the rest. Read the entire OpEd.
When Abraham Lincoln School in Garfield reopens in September, students will cram into a building constructed 50 years after the 16th president was assassinated and is showing its age: A sagging roof, water damage from leaks in the mortar, no air- conditioning. It gets no better in some schools in Paterson, where the local teachers union has reported mold, leaky ceilings and rodents. But they do have running drinking water, which is more than can be said of at least half the schools in Jersey City. Those schools are examples among dozens throughout New Jersey’s 31 so-called Schools Development Authority (SDA) districts that will fully reopen this school year in “deplorable conditions,” as the Education Law Center put it in legal filings. Hot, overcrowded, poorly ventilated classrooms have become a way of life for students and teachers in these districts that have been so down-at-the-heels that the Supreme Court ruled decades ago that the state is responsible for school repairs and replacement so students can get a “thorough and efficient” education. Read the full story here.
As the new school year starts, the National Coalition for Healthier Schools, coordinated by Healthy Schools Network, is calling for critical and immediate actions and $75 Million in funding to rapidly expand EPA’s capacity to mount education and technical assistance campaigns on clean indoor environments in the nation’s schools: Clean Air, Clean Water, and Clean and Healthy Products. “Clean air in every school should be a national priority for all k-12 schools and childcare facilities,” says Claire Barnett, executive of the Healthy Schools Network. “No child should suffer a full day of polluted and or cold and flu virus-filled indoor air. Teaching suffers; learning suffers; absences and asthma rise. Children are denied the future they and the nation need.”... “Students and staff deserve to learn and teach in healthy schools with adequate ventilation systems. Proper ventilation is important when it comes to good indoor air quality and reducing the spread of COVID-19. Funding must be authorized at the state and federal level to help achieve these goals,” said Heather L. Sorge, NJ Work Environment Council. Read the full article here.