Since 2005, the ICWU Center for Worker Health and Safety Education and its union Consortium has developed and implemented disaster preparedness training programs for First Receivers, a Plume Software class, presented worker/community disaster programs and built a working relationship with FEMA in Louisiana and Mississippi through training their staff, contractors and local responders. In the process we have developed worker trainers who are delivering these programs with experienced Center staff and have the resources in place to expand these programs to a new Consortium partner, the United American nurses (UAN). The existing program has the staff, trainers, curriculum and equipment to deliver disaster training to many hundreds of workers to safely respond to the threat of chemical, biological and radiologic exposures from domestic terrorist attacks and natural disasters. This proposal builds on the last 5 years of disaster and terrorism training that has developed worker-trainers to teach Disaster courses, deliver Disaster training for a unique work force and work with other grantees to prepare for these events. Homeland Security Presidential Directive #8 clearly defines a training component of "preparedness to maximize the ability to prevent, respond to, and recover" from these events and states that a significant portion of these workers are in "public health and clinical care" areas. The proposed programs will prepare workers and worker-trainers to meet the National Preparedness Goals through the dissemination of lessons learned from September 11 and the Katrina disaster, combined with feedback from participants in First Receiver, Plume Software and FEMA classes, and years of HAZMAT training, best practices and information gathered through the years of interactive training based on direct worker experiences. The Council on Foreign Relations'report "Drastically Underfunded, Dangerously Unprepared" simply states "It is impossible to underestimate the need to prepare for this threat" (Appendix W). The NIEHS grantees as a whole have the opportunity to be one element in our nation's plan to prepare for catastrophic events by strengthening our emergency response training capabilities. The long term organizational goal of the ICWU Consortium is to expand and institutionalize disaster training programs within an established multi union national hazardous materials training Center. The three immediate educational goals are to deliver Mass Casualty First Receiver training to health care workers to protect themselves when they are exposed to victims;Chemical Plume Software programs to evaluate releases and Workplace Shelter in Place programs;a range of Disaster Preparedness programs to worker/community groups and FEMA. To reach these goals we will develop worker-trainers to assist in delivering disaster programs (First Receiver, Workplace Shelter in Place and Chemical Plume Software) and to build a number of joint projects with other NIEHS grantees. The long term educational goal of the Consortium is to provide students with the confidence, tools and problem solving skills to identify inadequacies in their hospitals'first receivers, emergency preparedness and shelter in place programs. Strategically, the ICWU Center is expanding the Consortium and workforce served by our training to include the United American Nurses. We will continue to evaluate our successes in making programmatic and institutional workplace improvements.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
International Chemical Workers Union
United States
Zip Code
Becker, Paul; Morawetz, John (2004) Impacts of health and safety education: comparison of worker activities before and after training. Am J Ind Med 46:63-70
McQuiston, T H; Coleman, P; Wallerstein, N B et al. (1994) Hazardous waste worker education. Long-term effects. J Occup Med 36:1310-23