244689 Creating healthy communities through hazardous waste worker training programs

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:10 AM

Timothy Fields Jr., MS , Worker Education and Training Program, National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training/MDB, Inc., Washington, DC
Joy Lee , Worker Education and Training Program, NIEHS National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training/ MDB, Inc, Washington, DC
This panel presentation will discuss how federal hazardous waste worker training programs, such as NIEHS' Worker Education and Training Program and EPA's Brownfields Job Training Program, effectively meet the needs of communities impacted by public health and environmental hazards by encouraging residents of these communities to participate in the environmental remediation process and thereby become part of the solution in addressing the disproportionate impacts in their communities. These programs are fundamental in providing required technical training and critical life skills to these residents, which have created new life and career opportunities that did not previously exist for the individual or their community. Trained residents are able to obtain new green/environmental jobs, become environmental justice advocates which help to both protect the environment and revitalize their communities. Moreover, the health and safety skills taught by field expert instructors impact public health and the environment not only for the work arena, but also within the home and communities. Graduates of the training programs share with their family and community what they have learned in the training and incorporate safety and health practices into their daily lives. They use this understanding to obtain meaningful jobs which result in public health and environmental benefits, and improve the health of their family members and neighbors by teaching them about the potential health risks that exist in their communities or surrounding areas.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Explain how hazardous waste worker training programs can promote healthy communities by empowering residents of environmental justice communities to get involved in the cleanup and redevelopment efforts within their communities. Describe how worker training programs are essential to adequately prepare workers for a career in environmental cleanup or construction, but also to address the critical components of environmental justice, including, but not limited to, public health, social issues, economic issues, and employment opportunities. Demonstrate through real-life examples the benefits of federal hazardous waste worker training programs in promoting healthy communities by being better informed and aware of the hazards in their communities. Define the components of a successful training program.

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Occupational Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I coauthored the "Environmental Justice and Hazardous Waste Worker Training Programs" report and work at the NIEHS National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.