HAZARDOUS MATERIALS WORKER HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING RELEASE DATE: July 13, 2004 RFA Number: RFA-ES-04-005 Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued: July 9, 2009 - This RFA has been reissued as (RFA-ES-09-004). EXPIRATION DATE: November 23, 2004 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION: National Institutes of Health (NIH) (http://www.nih.gov) COMPONENT OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (http://www.niehs.nih.gov) CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER: 93.142 Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 22, 2004 Application Receipt Date: November 22, 2004 THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION o Purpose of this RFA o Research Objectives o Mechanism(s) of Support o Funds Available o Eligible Institutions o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators o Special Requirements o Where to Send Inquiries o Letter of Intent o Submitting an Application o Supplementary Instructions o Peer Review Process o Review Criteria o Receipt and Review Schedule o Award Criteria o Required Federal Citations PURPOSE OF THIS RFA The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) invites applications for cooperative agreements to support the development of model programs for the training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, transportation and emergency response. The major objective of this solicitation is to prevent work related harm by assisting in the training of workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials encountered during hazardous waste operations, hazardous materials transportation, environmental restoration of contaminated facilities or chemical emergency response. A variety of sites, such as those involved with chemical waste clean up and remedial action and transportation related chemical emergency response may pose severe health and safety concerns to workers and the surrounding communities. These sites are often characterized by the multiplicity of substances present, the presence of unknown substances, and the general uncontrolled condition of the site. A major goal of this program is to provide assistance to organizations in developing their institutional competency to provide appropriate model training and education programs to hazardous materials and waste workers. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES Background The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Section 126(g), authorizes an assistance program for training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous waste generation, removal, containment or emergency response and hazardous materials transportation and emergency response. The Congress assigned responsibility for administering this program to the NIEHS, an Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the Public Health Service (PHS) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This RFA lists 4 distinct program areas: Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program, Minority Worker Training Program, Brownfields Minority Worker Training Program, and the Hazmat Disaster Preparedness Training Program. A website has been created at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/rfaguidelines.html which provides important supplementary instructions needed for the preparation of an application in addition to background reports and other information about the four program areas. Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (HWWTP) Hazardous material and waste workers include workers engaged in: active and inactive waste treatment, storage and disposal, hazardous waste generation, clean up and remedial action, emergency response, and workers engaged in hazardous materials transportation including the safe loading, unloading, handling, and storage Target populations for this training include those covered by requirements of Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Part 1910) and Environmental Protection Agency (CFR, Title 40, Part 311) standards for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, regulations governing the NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (CFR, Title 42, Part 65), as well as hazardous materials transportation workers regulated by the US Department of Transportation (49 CFR 171-177). In completing the sixteenth year of the Superfund WETP (FY 1987-2003), the HWWTP has supported twenty primary awardees. These represent over one hundred different institutions that have trained more than 1 million workers across the country and presented over 61,000 classroom and hands-on training courses, which have accounted for more than 16 million contact hours of actual training. More information about the awardees and descriptions of all NIEHS WETP programs can be found at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/program/description.htm. Minority Worker Training Program (MWTP) The Minority Worker Training Program was established in 1995 to provide a series of national pilot programs to test a range of strategies for the recruitment and training of young persons. These are individuals who live near hazardous waste sites or in a community at risk of exposure from contaminated properties who wish to obtain work in the environmental field. The programs represent a broad geographic spread and reach several urban populations in high-risk contaminated areas. These programs promote long lasting and effective partnerships in minority communities that help reinforce occupational health and worker education. The different programs provide pre-employment job training, including literacy, life skills, environmental preparation and other related courses, construction skills training, environmental worker training including hazardous waste, asbestos and lead abatement training; and safety and health training. Some training also includes enrollment in apprenticeship programs for construction and environmental remediation worker training. In addition, particular focus is placed on establishing a program of mentoring. This program helps to enhance the participants’ problem solving skills, understanding of individual self-esteem and team work in the application of technical knowledge to environmental and related problems. The MWTP promotes partnerships or sub-agreements with academic and other institutions, with a particular focus on historically black colleges and universities, and public schools and community-based organizations located in or nearby the impacted area to provide pre-math, science or other related education to program participants prior to or concurrent with entry into the training program. Since the inception of the program, 2,628 young minority adults have been successfully trained in worker health and safety for construction and environmental cleanup work. 1,686 of these trainees are employed, representing an overall job placement rate of 64 percent. Brownfields Minority Worker Training Program (BMWTP) As part of the DHHS commitment to the Brownfields National Partnership Agenda, the NIEHS has provided support for the establishment of the BMWTP targeting the Brownfields Communities. The strategy of this initiative is to broaden the NIEHS MWTP to include a new component on Brownfields Worker Training, addressing the need for a more comprehensive training program to foster economic and environmental restoration of the identified Brownfield sites. The BMWTP also educates new workers in life skills training, remedial science and math, and specific health and safety training that will ultimately assist them with entry into careers in the construction and environmental remediation and technology workforce. As defined by the EPA, Brownfield sites are "abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination." The BMWTP has reached 1,860 minority adults since it began. 1,225 of these trainees are employed, representing an overall job placement rate of 66 percent. Hazmat Disaster Preparedness Training Program (HDPTP) NIEHS has developed a Hazmat Disaster Preparedness Training initiative in response to the experiences and lessons learned in recent national disasters including terrorist attacks. Background resources describing this initiative include technical Workshop reports which are available at the NIEHS Clearinghouse web site: 1) Learning from Disasters: Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Preparedness Through Worker Training (http://www.wetp.org/wetp/docs/awardee_mtgs/spring02/WMDreport.pdf) 2) Worker Training in a New Era: Responding to New Threats (http://www.wetp.org/wetp/docs/awardee_mtgs/fall02/WrkTraining-NewEra-FINAL.pdf). This initiative is intended to foster the development of WMD- specific training programs as an extension to the HWWTP for the purpose of preparing a cadre of experienced workers for prevention and response to future terrorist incidents in a wide variety of facilities and high-risk operations. The purpose of the NIEHS HDPTP is to complement the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) various preparedness training programs by enhancing the safety and health training capacity of hazmat workers and emergency responders to prevent, deter, or respond to terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. Training developed under this program should reference the National Incident Management System (NIMS) standardized incident management processes, protocols, and procedures that all responders -- Federal, state, tribal, and local -- will use to coordinate and conduct response actions. GENERAL TRAINING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The immediate goal of worker health and safety training is educational in nature, designed to provide students with relevant information, program- solving skills, and the confidence needed to use these tools. Long-term goals of the model training programs should be to assure that workers become and remain active participants in determining and improving the health and safety conditions under which they work and that avenues for collaborative employer-employee relationships in creating safe workplaces are established. Primary prevention of disease and injury among hazardous waste workers requires heavy reliance on the use of engineering control methods, appropriate work practices and the use of personal protective equipment such as respirators and protective clothing. These approaches are highly dependent on individual workers being knowledgeable in the use and application of these approaches and understanding their limitations. Worker safety and health training is adult-based, action-oriented, and result-centered. The goals and objectives of worker training focus on outcomes rather than on learning for its own sake. Workers come to training with a great volume of experience, and are, in many ways, the richest resources of a training class. Experience shows that successful adult education often emphasizes peer-sharing activities, such as problem-solving and simulation exercises, that tap the experience of the learner. Successful worker training often mirrors the way people learn at work from each other. After training, workers should be able to bring what they have learned in the classroom or work-site training back to their jobs. These training goals and objectives apply to all programs; however, there are specific goals and objectives restricted to the MWTP, BMWTP and the HDPTP. Applications which are responsive to this solicitation must clearly delineate the training populations being targeted by specifying a discrete training plan, program resources and a segregated program budget which responds to a combination or all of the authorized NIEHS assistance programs through HWWTP, MWTP, BMWTP and the HDPTP. An applicant can apply for each of the following programs, the HWWTP, MWTP, and the BMWTP. Only the HWWTP applicants may apply for the HDPTP. HWWTP Specific Goals and Objectives Applicants should refer to SARA Section 126 requirements for training. Coverage of all hazardous waste and emergency response workers is based on potential exposure and health risk. The language of section 126 (d) (1) and (g) is clear that training scope be broad. Section 126 states that the training be required for personnel engaged in hazardous substance removal or other activities, such as those involved in transportation, which expose or potentially expose such workers to hazardous substances. The same section later requires that special training be provided to workers who may be exposed to unique or special hazards. Section (g) (1) authorizes this training assistance program for the training of workers who are or may be engaged in activities related to hazardous waste removal or containment or emergency response. A minimum level of training for hazardous materials and waste workers and supervisors is also specified in SARA Section 126(d). General site workers are required to receive a minimum of 40 hours of initial instruction off site and a minimum of three days of actual field experience under the direction of a trained, experienced supervisor at the time of assignment. Supervisors are required to receive the same training as general workers and a minimum of eight hours of specialized training in managing hazardous waste operations. Important background information for this RFA is available from the National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training. This organization, which is a support contractor to NIEHS, is the primary communications channel through which the WETP distributes technical reports, news updates, and training information to its awardees, interested members of the hazardous waste worker-training community, and the public. A list of curricula developed by current NIEHS awardees is available from the National Clearinghouse on the web at http://www.wetp.org/wetp/index.cfm?fuseaction=catalog. The Minimum Criteria for Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response is also available at http://www.wetp.org/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=569 . There is no limiting language regarding training coverage. Thus, the scope covers worker health protection from hazardous waste work and exposure to hazardous substances in the broadest sense. An applicant may join with one or more nonprofit organizations in a single application and share resources in order to maximize worker group coverage, enhance the effectiveness of training, and bring together appropriate academic disciplines and talents. Such arrangements are strongly encouraged. The application must have specific plans to implement the cooperative arrangements necessary for program integration and to insure effectiveness. Detailed plans of this collaboration and budgets must be described only in the lead organization’s application. Specific expertise, facilities or services to be provided by each participating member must be identified. Awardees submitting competing continuation applications should also describe how they have met special cooperative agreement terms and conditions of their awards, including their interaction with other investigators and NIEHS program staff. Awards will be made for direct student and worker trainer training, technical support of training, and training program evaluation. It is believed that adequate curricula and training materials exist for worker training that can be adapted with minimal effort. Means of multiplying training are also encouraged to meet the need; thus, programs such as effective train the trainer programs are encouraged. Programs targeted to multi-state and nationwide coverage to reach wider worker populations will be given preference in funding. Applications will not be considered that cover municipalities or other jurisdictions covering fewer than two states. Applicants are also encouraged to develop plans for independently continuing the program. Applications should include plans for reaching underserved workers in the proposed target populations especially those disadvantaged in education, language skills or limited in literacy. The inclusion of institutions and organizations that have historical involvement and expertise in responding to environmental justice issues is also strongly encouraged. Participation of minority institutions and community-based organizations from people of color communities may include the: o Adaptation of curricula to address health disparities and environmental justice concerns; o Development of training programs that outreach to environmentally disadvantaged groups and non-English speaking populations; and o Delivery of high quality training that can augment efforts to promote toxic use reduction, emergency preparedness in the community, chemical process safety and pollution prevention. Due to the complexity and the number of new emerging training innovations and technologies occurring in the worker health and safety arena, NIEHS identified several training opportunities in the previous RFA (ES-99-009) that were specifically related to the advancement of the WETP. It was important that these new emerging training technologies and approaches be woven and integrated into the framework of the program. NIEHS had learned that successful examples of training partnerships involve the creation of clear mechanisms for assuring avenues for input and collaboration by labor, management, local government officials and other stakeholders, as well as a vision for integrating training into other workplace programs and initiatives. In addition, it was clear that the context and technical approaches to safety and health training had undergone a rapid transition since the 1990’s, as computer and telecommunications technology have unleashed a wealth of technical information resources and established innovative modes of training development, delivery and evaluation. Applicants should refer to http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/rfaguidelines.html for a list of these important ongoing program initiatives. MWTP Specific Goals and Objectives The MWTP will maintain its focus on building strong training collaborative programs between worker training organizations, such as labor-based organizations, community-based organizations, and historically black universities and colleges. Special attention will be directed at programs that successfully integrate job skills training with worker health and safety training to reach multiple urban locations for training. Utilization of existing curricula is the preferred method for development of specific training under this program. Major program goals are: o Recruit target populations that are members of minority groups who live in urban areas near hazardous waste sites or in communities at risk of exposure to contaminated properties. We strongly encourage that priority for recruitment is given to young adult persons of color. These individuals must be unemployed or underemployed. o Develop a training plan for a five-year period for training at urban areas across the country. Training must be provided for two to five locations during the five-year period for this program. o Train students in the skills and knowledge required for different career opportunities in environmental restoration and construction. This experience should include the ability to: - conduct pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship programs for construction and environmental remediation worker training, and other emerging environmental fields; - conduct mentoring programs aimed at assisting trainees in completing the training course; - conduct basic construction skills training as well as specialized training related to environmental clean-up; - conduct environmental worker training including hazardous waste, asbestos, lead abatement, and technician/sampling level training; and - conduct basic worker health and safety training. o Develop partnerships with local community-based organizations (as defined in the review criteria) to provide services such as: - literacy training and related academic courses in reading writing, and math; life skills and or job readiness training, problem solving skills, understanding of self-esteem and team work in the application of technical knowledge to environmental and related problems; and environmental preparation and other related training. o Develop formal arrangements with environmental clean-up contractors and hazardous materials employers for placing and keeping participants in environmental clean-up jobs. o Develop strategies for increasing retention of participants throughout the various phases of the program. o Provide evaluation of the retention of participants in the training program, effectiveness of the training program and stability. o Develop a tracking program that describes the longevity of post-training employment of graduating training program participants, type of jobs, and specific types of sites where participants work. BMWTP Specific Goals and Objectives The BMWTP will focus on the development of specialized Minority Worker Training Programs that provide training to disadvantaged residents surrounding the over 400 Brownfields Assessment Grants as listed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Every effort should be made to reduce duplication of efforts or overlap in training at the locations selected under this program as related to similar job training programs. NIEHS will not support the development of two programs such as the MWTP, BMWTP and the EPA Brownfields Job Training and Development Demonstration Grants in the same pilot community. More information about the Brownfields Job Training Grants can be found at http://www.epa.gov/swerosps/bf/job.htm Major program goals are: o Use the MWTP as a model to train and recruit community members for environmental job training opportunities associated with Brownfield sites across the country. o Establish collaborative programs in the form of partnerships and sub- agreements with the Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Grants to promote this initiative on the local level. There must be evidence of partnership with organizations specifically the Brownfields Grant Communities. A complete listing of eligibility Brownfields Assessment Grants with descriptions of each program can be found at http://www.epa.gov/swerosps/bf/pilotlst.htm. o Provide training for two to five Brownfields communities under one application. o Recruit minority program adult participants from all age groups. o Ensure that actual training activity occurs in a close proximity of the Brownfields Grant Community such that extensive travel funds are not incurred for the purposes of administering the program. Hazmat Disaster Preparedness Training Program (HDPTP) Goals and Objectives The goal of future NIEHS program support under HDPTP will be to enhance the safety and health training of current hazardous materials workers and chemical responders, to train skilled response personnel, to create materials and deliver training to weapons of mass destruction response workers and to augment prevention and preparedness efforts in a wide variety of high risk settings. Creation of materials and delivery of proposed training to potential WMD response workers must be closely coordinated with the activities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), related agencies in the DHHS and other involved local, state and federal entities. One of the key lessons of the World Trade Center cleanup is the importance that skilled construction support personnel and hazardous materials response workers will play in any future disaster of national significance. Only the HWWTP applicants may apply for the HDPTP; therefore, NIEHS funds may be used to alter and revamp the basic HAZWOPER courses to customize them to known disaster response issues and scenarios and the incorporation of relevant post 9/11 lessons learned. Additionally, existing remediation and cleanup worker training courses must deal with construction safety issues that arose at the Pentagon and the WTC recovery site and provide guidance on how to work safely and effectively under disaster site conditions. Areas of program response may include: o Enhanced training for current hazardous material workers and chemical responders who protect the nation's infrastructure from other potential terrorist attacks on chemical-intensive operations is a continuing high priority national need. o Training for skilled response personnel to assure appropriate response and remediation actions to the current bio-terrorist attacks using weaponized microbials is a high priority area for training program response. The OSHA designation of anthrax response coverage by 1910.120 regulations (http://www.osha.gov/dep/anthrax/hasp/index.html) identifies a clear target training population. o Training initiatives should support the development of a nation-wide cadre of well-trained environmental response workers and emergency responders to ensure that the nation is prepared to respond to future disasters of national significance. This training should be patterned after the successful Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program that provides worker certification to workers who work safely on existing or new hazardous waste sites. o A proposed disaster response-training program should focus on health and safety and environmental issues and should include at a minimum a review of emergency response protocols, hazard communication, personal protection equipment and respiratory protection, Incident Command System orientation, and first aid training. o NIEHS encourages the development of training modules on various different biological, radiological, and chemical agents that can be incorporated into Hazardous Waste Refresher courses or can stand alone as part of a larger WMD training program as an important step toward creating a cadre of WMD remediation and response workers. NIEHS resources can be used to support the development of trained and pre-certified skilled construction support personnel in relevant crafts for immediate response to national disasters or possible catastrophic attacks. o Specifically for workers in high hazard facilities like the oil, nuclear and petrochemical industry, which have been cited as a likely targets for terrorist attack, NIEHS will support development of awareness and operations level training programs that will prepare in-plant workers to react quickly to interface with the emergency response system, to prevent the release of hazardous materials during normal operations and to limit damage at the plant and to protect themselves, their fellow workers and the general public. o Workers both in the private health care sector and in the public health arena in state and local agencies have been given significant new responsibilities for preparedness and response to disasters of national significance. Health and safety training may be appropriate and necessary for potential private and public health response workers. o NIEHS will support the development of training course materials for transportation employers and transportation workers that addresses security, safety and emergency response issues related to the transportation of hazardous and radiological materials. o Preparation and delivery of training for workers with the capability of remediating buildings contaminated with biohazards such as anthrax, small pox, and bio-toxic agents continues to be a national priority. The training must prepare these workers for environments that will be extremely hazardous and teach them appropriate work practices, use of personal protection equipment, and effective decontamination procedures. o Many remediation workers and other workers in high-risk facilities do not speak English as their native language and some do not speak English at all. Health and Safety training materials and curricula must be understandable for workers at risk and need to be translated into the workers’ native languages. Trainers may need to be trained and courses may need to be conducted in other appropriate languages. MECHANISM OF SUPPORT This RFA will use NIH cooperative agreement (U45) award mechanism for a period of up to five-years from FY 2005 through 2009. In the cooperative agreement mechanism, the Principal Investigator retains the primary responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project, with NIEHS staff being substantially involved as a partner with the Principal Investigator, as described under the section "Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award." The type and degree of this substantial programmatic involvement is specified in the terms and conditions. The awardee will have lead responsibilities in all aspects of the program, including any technical modifications to the curriculum, conduct of the training, and quality control. Annual renewal will be based on availability of funds, sufficient progress toward achieving training objectives, and compliance with the terms and conditions of awards. The awards will include funding for targeted training to specific populations that have been identified in the respective authorizing statutes for this program. FUNDS AVAILABLE Projected funding of $32 million at the currently appropriated levels for FY 2005 will be awarded to support model programs for targeted training. During FY 2005, NIEHS plans to fund between 15 and 20 cooperative agreements in response to this RFA for a period of five years. An applicant must request a project period of five years. The anticipated starting date for the initial annual period will be September 1, 2005. Funds for these awards in FY 2005 are anticipated to be approximately $23 million for the hazardous waste operations and emergency response program, $3 million for the hazmat disaster preparedness training program, $3 million for minority worker training and $3 million for Brownfields training. Because the funding level of this Program may vary from year to year, actual award levels for approved and funded applications will be based on Program balance and the availability of funds, in addition to the scientific merit considerations of the review process. ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the following characteristics: o Non-profit organizations providing worker health and safety education and training. This includes universities, faith-based or community-based organizations and historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s). For-profit, public or private institutions, such as hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, agencies of the Federal government, foreign organizations and foreign institutions are not eligible to apply. INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed training is invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH programs. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Terms and Conditions of Award NIEHS will provide appropriate assistance, advice and guidance described below. The role of the NIEHS Program Coordinators will be to facilitate, not to direct, the development of a high quality national worker training resource. These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration Regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH Grant Administration policy statements. The administrative and funding instrument used for this program is a cooperative agreement U45, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism) in which substantial NIH scientific and/or programmatic involvement with the awardee is anticipated during performance of the activity. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and/or stimulate the recipient's activity by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipient in a partner role, but it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activity. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility for the activity resides with the awardee(s) for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities in carrying out training activities will be shared among the awardees and the NIEHS Program Coordinator. 1. Awardee Rights and Responsibilities Awardees have primary authorities and responsibilities to define objectives and approaches, and to plan, conduct, analyze, and publish results, interpretations, and conclusions of their studies and training activities. It is the responsibility of each awardee to develop the details of the training plan, which will be required to describe the technical approaches, target population access and recruitment, curricula modification, training methodology, and program evaluation procedures. o Each awardee is required to meet at least twice annually to review progress, share information, and to coordinate training activities. Principal Investigators and business officials are required to meet at least annually. o Before use, awardees must submit draft copies of training manuals, instructor guides, course curricula and other materials developed for use in training activities supported by NIEHS to the Program Coordinator at NIEHS, in order to receive technical comments and suggestions regarding the adequacy, technical accuracy and suitability of materials to be used for worker safety and health training. Final copies of all materials developed with support from NIEHS will be transmitted by the awardees to the National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response and made available to the general public, subject to any specific legal caveats on use or copyright protection. o Each awardee is required to submit an annual progress report to the NIEHS Program Administrator, which describes the number, location and nature of all training activities and the characteristics of the trainees reached during a particular fiscal year. Results and findings from training program evaluations will be summarized by each awardee and submitted to the NIEHS Program Administrator on an annual basis. Program evaluation reports shall quantitatively describe the current status of instructor effectiveness, trainee retention of knowledge and skills, and positive impacts of training activities on work practices, workplace safety and health conditions, and overall worker protection from on the job hazards. o Each awardee is required to participate annually in two technical workshops, which coincide with the two annual awardee meetings, to be sponsored and planned by the NIEHS Program Coordinator. The technical workshops will present relevant and topical information to assure the continued high quality of worker safety and health training activities carried out by the awardees and encourage the exchange of significant information regarding effective training techniques and approaches. o Each awardee is required to convene a Board of Advisors representing user populations, labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or professional associations with interest and expertise in worker health and safety training related to hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response. The Board of Advisors must meet annually to evaluate training activities and provide advice to the Principal Investigator. o Each awardee is required to have one individual assigned the responsibility for information technology transfer and dissemination as the point of contact for the NIEHS Program Coordinator. This person would ensure the effective communication and transfer of important training and administrative information to NIEHS and other appropriate audiences, including trainee tracking activities, computation and submittal of training data, coordination of special meetings/conferences, submission of curricula, and other training activities conducted by the program. o Each awardee will retain custody of and primary rights to the data and the curricula materials developed under these awards, subject to appropriate Government rights of access consistent with current HHS and NIH policies. 2. NIEHS Staff Responsibilities Specifically, the substantial programmatic involvement above and beyond normal program stewardship by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will include the following activities: o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate activities of mutual interest and benefit to awardees and the Institute. The primary objective of the Worker Education and Training Program will be to stimulate collaborative work between NIEHS and the awardees in the creation of model worker safety and health training programs. Substantial programmatic involvement by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assure that there is not duplication of efforts or overlap in worker safety and health training delivery and program development by the awardees. o In order to provide consistent use and delivery of existing curricula for high quality worker safety and health training, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will ensure that there will be close coordination among awardees, other state and federal governmental agencies, and other training providers. Such program coordination between NIEHS and the awardees will make maximum use of worker safety and health training materials and curricula that have already been developed, evaluated, and used. Training materials developed by the awardees will be submitted for review by the NIEHS Program Coordinator for consistency, appropriateness and technical accuracy before the initiation of worker safety and health training activities. o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will convene a working meeting at least twice annually to review progress, share information, and discuss technical issues and to coordinate training activities. o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will provide ongoing technical assistance to the awardees through arrangement of technical workshops related to the substantive technical issues that affect the program. Technical workshops will bring together Principal Investigators from each awardee with the relevant technical experts from a number of scientific fields involved in hazardous waste, occupational health, environmental health sciences, and adult education. Examination of training technologies and technical issues which are specific to the program will be developed and coordinated through technical workshops, which will be held at least twice per fiscal year. o To assure that training programs which, developed with assistance from NIEHS, will comply with all applicable federal safety and health regulations, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assist the awardees through continual involvement with other federal regulatory agencies. Operational monitoring by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assist the awardees in complying with general federal statutory requirements regulating worker safety and health training activities. o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate overall program evaluations to show the impact of the training on improving work practices, reducing work related injury and illness and to document the increased understanding of relevant environmental health sciences by workers involved in environmental cleanups, hazardous waste management and emergency response to chemical releases. While each awardee must have its own evaluation program, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will strive to assess the overall effectiveness of the training programs supported under the cooperative agreements in terms of the nation's needs and in relation to the target populations identified by Congress in SARA Section 126 and related statutes which are referenced above. o NIEHS maintains a National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response to assist awardees by providing information and technical support services to the Principal Investigators of NIEHS funded hazardous materials, waste operations, and emergency response worker training programs. The Clearinghouse will also function as a national resource for the dissemination to the general public of program related information and curricular materials that have been developed by the awardees. o An NIEHS Program Official will be responsible for normal program stewardship of the award. The NIEHS Program Official may also serve as the NIEHS Program Coordinator. 3. Arbitration o When mutually acceptable agreement regarding program activities cannot be reached between the awardee and the NIEHS Program Coordinator, an arbitration panel composed of one member nominated by the awardee recipient group, one NIEHS nominee, and a third member with appropriate expertise chosen by the other two members will be convened. The ad hoc panel will receive written explanations of the disagreement from all parties, review relevant documents, interview representatives of the parties and render an opinion regarding resolution of the dispute. These special arbitration procedures in no way effect the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action in accordance with PHS regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D, and HHS regulations at 45 CFR Part 16. WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into two areas: scientific/training and financial or grants management issues: o Direct your questions about scientific/training issues to: Joseph Hughes, Director Worker Education and Training Branch Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-25 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233 Telephone: 919-541-0217 Fax: 919-541-0462 Email: email@example.com Sharon Beard, Industrial Hygienist Worker Education and Training Branch Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-25 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233 Telephone: 919-541-1863 Fax: 301-451-5595 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ted Outwater, Public Health Educator Worker Education and Training Branch Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-25 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 Phone: 919-541-2972 Fax: 919-541-0462 E-mail: email@example.com o Direct your questions about peer review issues to: Sally Eckert-Tilotta, Ph.D. Scientific Review Branch Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233, EC-30 Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709 Telephone: 919-541-1446 Fax: 919-541-2503 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to: Carolyn Mason, Deputy Grants Management Officer Grants Management Branch Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-22 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233 Telephone: 919-541-1373 Fax: 919-541-2860 Email: email@example.com INFORMATIONAL MEETING A briefing for applicants will be held at NIEHS on Thursday, September 2, 2004 from 1-5 PM in Nottingham Hall Building, Conference Rooms 204A&B at 4505 Emperor Boulevard, Durham, NC USA 27703. NIEHS staff will use this "Applicant Information Meeting" (AIM) to explain the purpose of the Program, provide instructions about the application process, and answer questions. A summary of responses from the briefing, all relevant information for potential applicants and Supplementary Instructions will be available upon request from NIEHS (firstname.lastname@example.org) and will be posted on the NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) home page at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp. LETTER OF INTENT Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information: o Descriptive title of the proposed training o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator o Names of other key personnel o Participating institutions o Number and title of this RFA Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows NIEHS staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of this document. The letter of intent should be sent to: Sally E. Eckert-Tilotta, Ph.D. Scientific Review Administrator Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233, EC-30 Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709 Courier address: 79 T.W. Alexander Drive Building 4401, Room 3173 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 Telephone: 919-541-1446 Fax: 919-541-2503 E-mail: email@example.com SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). Applications must have a DUN and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/. The DUNS number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 398 document is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. For further assistance contact Grants Info, Telephone (301) 435- 0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS As the PHS 398 is used primarily for the traditional research project grant applications, several sections of the PHS 398 must be modified and expanded to provide the additional information needed for the Worker Education and Training Program applications. Detailed guidelines to supplement the PHS instructions are provided in the "Application Guidelines for the Hazardous Materials Worker Health and Safety Training" and can be found on: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/rfaguidelines.html. These guidelines also provide information on the limitations for Facilities and Administrative costs. USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application. Type the RFA number on the label. Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for review. In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA label is also available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/labels.pdf. SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the Checklist, and three signed, photocopies, in one package to: Center for Scientific Review National Institutes of Health 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710 Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service) No appendices should be submitted to the Center for Scientific Review. At the time of submission, two additional signed copies of the application and all copies of the appendix material must be sent to: Sally E. Eckert-Tilotta, Ph.D. Scientific Review Administrator Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences P.O. Box 12233, EC-30 Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709 Courier address: 79 T.W. Alexander Drive Building 4401, Room 3173 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 Telephone: 919-541-1446 Fax: 919-541-2503 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received on or before the application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA. If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within 8 weeks. The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to an RFA, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the RFA must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application. PEER REVIEW PROCESS Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the NIEHS. Incomplete and/or nonresponsive applications will not be reviewed. If the application is not responsive to the RFA, NIH staff may contact the applicant to determine whether to return the application to the applicant or submit it for review in competition with unsolicited applications at the next appropriate NIH review cycle. Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the NIEHS in accordance with the review criteria stated below. As part of the initial merit review, all applications will: o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score. o Receive a written critique. o Receive a second level review by the NIEHS National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences (NAEHS) Council. REVIEW CRITERIA The following factors shall be considered for review of all applications: 1) Evaluation of the methods and techniques to be used for identifying, describing, and accessing target specific worker populations for worker health and safety training and anticipated impact of the proposed program. o Applicants must identify, describe, and fully document access to specific target worker populations, whether organized or not, that are engaged in hazardous materials and waste operations and transportation and related emergency response. o This information must include size of the target population, worker profiles, trades and job categories to be trained, geographic locations of workers and degree of worker health and safety training already received. o Applicants must provide assurances of access to these workers for training and identify the target populations requiring training according to EPA, OSHA, and/or DOT statutory authority. 2) Evaluation of the organization's or consortia's performance and effectiveness in planning, implementing and operating appropriate worker health and safety training and education programs. o Evidence should include demonstrated past experience in development and implementation of worker health and safety training and education programs and application of appropriate adult education techniques. o Evidence should include documentation of the program's achievement of compliance with the requirements of the NIEHS Minimum Criteria for Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response found at http://www.wetp.org/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=569 . 3) Adequacy of the detailed program plan for worker health and safety training in adapting existing curricula, training of instructors, distributing course materials, direct worker training, and conducting program evaluations. o The plan must include information on the number of students to be trained, number of training classes to be held, and duration of training. o The plan must include the appropriate adult education techniques to be employed, identify the course content and clearly describe the curriculum to be used including hands on demonstration and instruction, and the strategy for monitoring student's progress and performance. o The plan must include involvement of appropriate health and safety disciplines. o The plan must describe a system for tracking trainee employment in hazmat- related jobs. o The plan must provide evidence of methods proposed for evaluating appropriateness, quality, impact and effectiveness of worker health and safety training. o The plan must include information on the training of instructors, including worker trainers, and on-going trainer development and support activities. 4) Evidence of appropriate combinations of classroom instruction and hands on demonstration and instruction that simulates site activities and conditions. o It is intended that offsite instruction funded by the NIEHS assistance program will be supplemented with onsite training under the direct supervision of trained, experienced personnel at the time of initial job assignment. o Appropriate adult education techniques must be applied and advanced training technologies, such as e-learning, if used, should be part of a blended learning approach that combines these new technologies with hands-on, small group and other learning activities. o Both initial and appropriate refresher training will be covered. 5) Ability to immediately initiate direct worker health and safety training, program evaluation, and related support activities. 6) Evidence of experienced and technically qualified key personnel. o The Principal Investigator must demonstrate the capacity for providing leadership and assuring productivity of appropriate worker health and safety training and education programs and for overall management of the training programs including quality assurance and program evaluation. o Evidence of the technical, managerial and professional expertise of present or proposed key personnel. Such expertise will be evaluated by resumes, minimum position qualifications and position descriptions. o Evidence that the administrative official has experience or knowledge in the management of federal programs and will participate in program decisions should be contained in the application. o Evidence of sufficient program staff with demonstrated training experience using appropriate adult education techniques to assure effective direct training, and quality assurance. o Continuing access to appropriate technical expertise must be maintained including but not limited to expertise in adult education for workers, toxicology, and industrial hygiene. 7) Evaluation of an applicant’s organizational structure or consortium, if applicable, that provides adequate knowledge and oversight of resources and administrative management of the program. The applicant must provide: o Details on how the proposed program fits into existing organizational and/or consortia structure of the non-profit, if applicable. o Organization chart of the proposed program. o Details of an external board of advisors that represents user populations, labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or professional associations with interest and expertise in worker health and safety training related to hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response. o Proposed and/or confirmed membership of the external board, detailed plans on when the board will meet, how the board will evaluate training activities, and what formal procedures the board will follow to provide advice to the Principal Investigator. The advice should include at a minimum incorporation of student feedback mechanisms; review of course critiques and Board of Advisors evaluations and other appropriate evaluations and quality assurance procedures. 8) Availability of appropriate facilities and equipment to support the described worker health and safety training and education activities including hands on instruction. o Operation of training facilities must assure the protection of prospective trainees during program delivery. o Appropriate policies and procedures for assuring fitness for training and medical clearance, assuring the provision of first aid and emergency medical services and the implementation of high quality site safety and health plans must be included. 9) Evidence of lines of responsibility and accountability must be clearly delineated when two or more organizations are collaborating on an activity in that: o Detailed plans of this collaboration and budgets must only be described in the lead organizations application. 10) Feasibility of plans for independently continuing the program. o Plans for generation of program income, if applicable. o Plans for institutionalization of the program. o Other applicable procedures for assuring the long-term viability of the program. 11) Evaluation of plans for reaching underserved worker populations especially those disadvantaged in education, culture, or language or limited in literacy and access to training. o Evidence of arrangements to assure the inclusion of institutions and organizations, which have historical involvement and expertise in responding to health disparities and environmental justice issues. o A community outreach and involvement component which can augment the delivery of high quality training in order to promote toxic use reduction, emergency preparedness in the community, and community awareness of chemical process safety and pollution prevention. 12) The reasonableness of all direct cost categories requested in the budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed program activities for worker health and safety training. 13) Prior awardees demonstration of: o Meeting established terms and conditions of prior awards; o Attainment of program goals and objectives of prior awards; and o Ability to manage and expend funds in a timely manner in prior budget periods. 14) Evidence of inclusion of worker training initiatives and innovations. o The plan must integrate an appropriate mix of On-Going Program Initiatives as listed in solicitation that meets the needs of each applicants target populations. The MWTP - In addition to the RFA review criteria 1-14 for all programs, the following review criteria are applicable to the MWT program: 1. Demonstration of applicants' ability to recruit workers from the target population for environmental clean-up jobs. 2. Experience in conducting effective jobs skills training and worker health and safety training programs for environmental clean up. 3. Demonstration of partnerships or sub-agreements with local community groups, labor unions with apprenticeship programs, academic and other institutions, with a particular focus on historically black colleges and universities, and public schools located in or nearby an environmentally- impacted urban area to provide pre-math, science or other related education to program participants prior to, or concurrent with, entry into the training program. 4. Evidence of formal arrangements with environmental clean-up contractors and hazardous materials employers for placing and keeping participants in environmental clean-up jobs. 5. Evaluation of the retention of participants in the training program, effectiveness of the training program and stability and longevity of post- training employment of graduating training program participants. 6. Evidence of the applicant’s ability to track program participants for up to one year after completion of the program. 7. Evidence of ability to conduct training in more than one geographically discrete location during the program year. BMWTP- In addition to the criteria 1-14 and the MWTP criteria, additional review criteria applicable to the BMWTP only are: 1. Demonstrate the sharing of resources with the MWTP, if applicable, in order to maximize worker group coverage, enhance the effectiveness of training, and bring together appropriate academic disciplines and talents. Such arrangements are strongly encouraged. 2. Evaluation of the specific plans and mechanisms to implement the cooperative arrangements necessary for program integration and to insure effectiveness such as identifying specific expertise, facilities or services to be provided by each participating member. 3. Evaluation of the plans to identify the training populations being targeted by specifying discrete training plan and program resources. 4. Evaluate the plan to develop partnerships with EPA Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Grants. 5. Evidence of connections with other Federal, state and local job training and economic development programs. 6. Evidence to specifically target cleanup contractors involved with Brownfields, state voluntary clean-up sites, and other contaminated urban sites. 7. Demonstrate that actual training activity occurs in close proximity of the Brownfields Grant Community such that extensive travel funds are not incurred for the purposes of administrating the program. HDPTP - In addition to the RFA review criteria 1-14 for all programs, additional review criteria applicable to the HDPTP only are: o Demonstration of applicants' past experience in development and delivery of training for populations in high-risk facilities and for potential responders to disasters of national significance. o Demonstration of partnerships or sub-agreements for training development and delivery with local responder groups at potentially impacted high risk facilities and local, state and federal entities with emergency response capacity. o Evidence of appropriate technical and professional expertise of present or proposed key personnel for the development and delivery of hazmat disaster preparedness training. RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 22, 2004 Application Receipt Date: November 22, 2004 Peer Review Date: February 2005 Council Review: May 2005 Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 2005 AWARD CRITERIA Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include: o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review) o Availability of funds o Programmatic priorities. Because the funding level of this program may vary from that appropriated, actual award levels for approved and funded applications will be based on program balance, coverage of target populations and the availability of funds, in addition to the technical merit considerations of the review process. REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award. STANDARDS FOR PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION: (if applicable) The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information”, the “Privacy Rule,” on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on “Am I a covered entity?” Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html. URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site. HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.healthypeople.gov/. AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and the (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, No. 93.142, Superfund Worker Training Grants) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (and Section 126(g) of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986). All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.
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