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WETP Support of the National Response Plan

Learning from Ground Zero

The Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) has been a national leader in the effort to train workers to respond safely to terrorist incidents and natural disasters. WETP awardees developed the official safety and health training for site workers at the cleanup of the WorldTrade Center. Master instructors from awardee organizations delivered that training to the thousands of workers who toiled at Ground Zero. Technical experts from WETPs Clearinghouse wrote the first report about the safety and health issues at the site. Awardees also developed the first course to train remediation workers to safely clean up the anthrax contamination created by the mailing of spore-laden letters. During the response at Ground Zero, it was clear that safety and health training of the skilled trades was too little, too late and hundreds are still experiencing mental and physical health problems, years after the event.

Partnering on Disaster Site Worker Courses with OSHA

To fill the training void, WETP master instructors from academia and labor unions covering construction trades, fire fighting, and transportation worked with training experts from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Training Institute to develop the Disaster Site Worker course, a 16-hour course for workers, like heavy equipment operators, whose expertise may be needed during a disaster. The course teaches workers how to work safely, wear respirators, function within the Incident Management System, and recognize psychological stress. The OSHA Resource Centers and WETP awardees are now offering this course through the OSHA Training Institute (OTI).  OTI 7600 and the companion train-the-trainer course OTI 5600 is now offered across the country. Awardees have trained thousands through the OTI 5600 and hundreds of skilled trades through the OTI 7600.

Developing an Emergency Support Activation Plan for Worker Training

WETP has developed an Emergency Support Activation Plan that is integrated into OSHA’s Health and Safety Annex to the National Response Plan (NRP). To respond effectively, WETP has surveyed all eighteen awardees and catalogued the resources available, particularly master instructors, subject matter experts, training facilities, and sampling equipment. Now, when the NRP is activated, WETP can support the response fully. WETP worked with the American Red Cross during  the Top Officials III (TOPOFF III) training to test activation plans.

Useful Links and Documents.

  • The U.S. National Response Team (NRT) Website ( Exit NIEHS Website Provides technical assistance, resources and coordination on preparedness, planning, response and recovery activities for emergencies involving hazardous substances, pollutants and contaminants, hazmat, oil, and weapons of mass destruction in natural and technological disasters and other environmental incidents of national significance.
  • NIEHS Worker Safety and Health Training Support Annex ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1996)  Download Adobe Reader(116 KB)
    September 2005. 5 pages. Upon activation of the National Response Plan, this Worker Safety and Health Training Support Annex is activated in support of the Worker Safety and Health Annex and other Emergency Support Annexes as established by the National Response Plan (NRP) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

  • Worker Safety and Health Support Annex ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1676)  Download Adobe Reader(85 KB)
    January 2008. 8 pages. The Worker Safety and Health Support Annex provides guidelines for implementing worker safety and health support functions during potential or actual Incidents of National Significance. This annex describes the actions needed to ensure that threats to responder safety and health are anticipated, recognized, evaluated, and controlled consistently so that responders are properly protected during incident management operations.

  • National Response Plan ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1678)  Download Adobe Reader(4.2 MB)
    December 2004. 426 pages. In Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5, the President directed the development of a new National Response Plan (NRP) to align Federal coordination structures, capabilities, and resources into a unified, all-discipline, and all-hazards approach to domestic incident management.

  • WETP Brochure ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1655)  Download Adobe Reader(1.3 MB)
    WETP Program Summary brochure: Training for Emergency Response to Hazardous Materials Incidents, Terrorist Acts, and the Cleanup of Hazardous Waste Sites

  • OSHA brochure for Disaster Site Worker Course ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1656)  Download Adobe Reader(3.0 MB)
    Disaster job sites differ from normal construction or demolition sites. Therefore, Disaster Site Workers' roles and responsibilities on the job site are not the same either. Whether the disaster is natural or man-made, the on-site worker needs to develop an awareness of safety and health hazards that may be encountered. Enabling Disaster Site Workers to recognize that they have a responsibility to make decisions and choices that will positively affect their personal health/safety and that of others at the site is a primary theme of this 16-hour awareness course. Learners are given the opportunity to practice their new knowledge, skills and attitudes through discussion, planned exercises, demonstrations and presentations. The ability to immediately apply this new learning to their role as a disaster site worker is enhanced by participating in this interactive, instructor-led course.

  • NFPA 471 Recommended Practice for Responding to Hazardous Materials Incidents-1997 Edition ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1681)  Download Adobe Reader(791 KB)
    1997. 28 pages. The purpose of this document is to outline the minimum requirements that should be considered when dealing with responses to hazardous materials incidents and to specify operating guidelines for responding to hazardous materials incidents.

  • NFPA 472 Standard for Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents-1997 Edition ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1682)  Download Adobe Reader(1.9 MB)
    1997. 72 pages. The purpose of this standard is to specify minimum competencies for those who will respond to hazardous materials incidents. One purpose of the competencies contained herein is to reduce the numbers of accidents, injuries, and illnesses during response to hazardous materials incidents and to help prevent exposure to hazardous materials to reduce the possibility of fatalities, illness, and disabilities affecting emergency response personnel.

  • National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 473 Standard for Competencies for EMS Personnel Responding to Hazardous Materials Incidents-1997 Edition ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1683)  Download Adobe Reader(538 KB)
    1997.22 pages. The purpose of this standard is to specify minimum requirements of competence and to enhance the safety and protection of response personnel and all components of the emergency medical services system.

  • Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-5 ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1684)
    February 2003. The purpose of this document is to enhance the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents by establishing a single, comprehensive national incident management system.

  • December 17, 2003 Homeland Security Presidential Directive/Hspd-7 ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1685)
    This directive establishes a national policy for Federal departments and agencies to identify and prioritize United States critical infrastructure and key resources and to protect them from terrorist attacks.

  • December 17, 2003 Homeland Security Presidential Directive/Hspd-8 ( et_blob.cfm?ID=1686)
    2003. This directive establishes policies to strengthen the preparedness of the United States to prevent and respond to threatened or actual domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies by requiring a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal, establishing mechanisms for improved delivery of Federal preparedness assistance to State and local governments, and outlining actions to strengthen preparedness capabilities of Federal, State, and local entities.

  • NRT Worker Safety and Health Subcommittee: Disaster Resources on the Web ( et_blob.cfm?ID=2191)  Download Adobe Reader(416 KB)
    October 2005. 6 Pages. This document contains a list of websites that will be valuable to worker health and safety community in the case of a disaster

  • DHS National Incident Management System ( et_blob.cfm?ID=2299)  Download Adobe Reader(193 KB)
    October 2005. This DHS PowerPoint presents an overview briefing for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 implementation requirements.

  • Summary of NIMS ( et_blob.cfm?ID=2300)  Download Adobe Reader(20 KB)
    October 2005. 1 page. This document provides a summery of NIMS implementation schedule, requirements, and certification process.

  • State and Territorial NIMS Compliance ( et_blob.cfm?ID=2301)  Download Adobe Reader(158 KB)
    October 2005. 1 page. This document provides state and territorial compliance activities, under NIMS, for fiscal year 2006.

  • Tribal Government and Local Jurisdiction NIMS Comliance ( et_blob.cfm?ID=2302)  Download Adobe Reader(133 KB)
    October 2005. 13 pages. This document provides tribal government and local jurisdiction compliance activities, under NIMS, for fiscal year 2006.

  • National Standard Curriculum Training Development Guidance ( et_blob.cfm?ID=2303)  Download Adobe Reader(436 KB)
    October 2005. 31 pages. In federal Fiscal Year 2006, states, territories, tribes and local communities will be required to complete several activities to comply with the NIMS. A complete listing of these activities (or elements) is included for you in this document.

  • FY 2006 NIMS Training Requirements ( et_blob.cfm?ID=2304)  Download Adobe Reader(71 KB)
    October 2005. 9 pages. This document explains training requirements for NIMS in fiscal year 2006.

  • The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned ( et_blob.cfm?ID=2525)  Download Adobe Reader(2.9 MB)
    February 2006. 228 pages. This report is a comprehensive review of the Federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

  • 9/11 Workers and Volunteers! Register Now to Protect Your Right to Workers Compensation Benefits ( et_blob.cfm?ID=3389)  Download Adobe Reader(113 KB)
    October 2006. Flyer with registration information regarding worker compensation benefits for 9/11 workers and volunteers Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health
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Last Reviewed: 12 March 2008