The ICWUC seeks to continue its national multi union training program to protect a range of collateral duty emergency responders and disaster workers and develop a cadre of worker trainers by offering 496 classes to 7,258 trainees (HWWT) and 246 classes to 3,657 trainees (HDP). Our goal is to have active, informed workers and trainers on the front lines of handling toxic substances to recognize the danger of spills, leaks, exposure to highly infectious agents, disasters and catastrophic releases, protect themselves and improve their workplaces. To accomplish this, we use a range of adult education principles and techniques that rely on the knowledge and experiences of the participants to teach key principles in a non-threatening and engaging method that motivates trainees to improve their worksites. We will include two new partners, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the largest public sector union and the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC), a national network of experienced occupational health professional with a range of expertise in chemical and biological exposures and health effects. We will launch a major initiative to conduct Spanish and bilingual classes and develop bilingual worker trainers to deliver training on a range of disaster hazards. We will continue to develop worker trainers, offer hazmat classes to industrial, health care, government and school workers. We will continue our Plume Software and exposure to highly infectious disease classes, authorize trainers and staff in OSHA classes and continue our work with other NIEHS Grantees. The ICWUC Center will continue to collect pre and 6 months post-training survey data of participants' attempts to change their workplaces (which has resulting in two published papers). By comparing this paired data source for the same individuals, this has indicated that the intervention of the ICWU Center's program motivates, educates and arms these workers with skills to return to their worksite and make improvements in site safety plans and procedures. Two other papers documented joint labor/management programs to train all site workers and track improvements. We will explore the role of worker trainers as site experts outside the classroom.

Public Health Relevance

The ICWUC seeks to continue its national multi union training program to protect a range of collateral duty emergency responders and disaster workers, develop a cadre of worker trainers by using adult education principles and techniques, expand Spanish programs and add two new partners, AFSCME and AOEC.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Hazardous Waste Worker Health and Safety Training Cooperative Agreements (NIEHS) (U45)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1)
Program Officer
Wright, Demia
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
International Chemical Workers Union
United States
Zip Code
Mahan, Bruce; Maclin, Reggie; Ruttenberg, Ruth et al. (2018) Labor-Management Cooperation in Illinois: How a Joint Union Company Team Is Improving Facility Safety. New Solut 28:227-239
Mahan, Bruce; Morawetz, John; Ruttenberg, Ruth et al. (2013) Workplace safety and health improvements through a labor/management training and collaboration. New Solut 23:561-76
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