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SBIR E-Learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response (R43/R44 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)


This SBIR FOA focuses on the development of e-Learning health and safety training products from a variety of delivery methods to assist both students and instructors in the training and education process. Note that all products must be directly related to the health and safety training of workers exposed to hazardous (HAZMAT) materials such as chemical, biological, or radiological substances, and other hazards associated with a workzone. Occupations that encompass workers exposed to these hazards include, but are not limited to, workers cleaning up Superfund sites; waste treatment personnel; skilled support personnel associated with an emergency/disaster; emergency responders in biosafety response and disasters; and environmental restoration, waste treatment, and emergency response activities at sites under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management Program. Products that can support distance learning while still ensuring proficiency and competency in place of face-to-face hands-on demonstration, and that support and allow training delivery that addresses literacy and cultural challenges are encouraged. NIEHS encourages applicants to this SBIR FOA to review the SBIR E-Learning for HAZMAT Program, to pursue partnerships and collaboration with awardees of the WTP program, and to design new technology-enhanced training methods or e-Learning products that can enhance the existing NIEHS supported curricula and training programs while adhering to the Minimum Health and Safety Training Criteria: Guidance for HAZWOPER and HAZWOPER-Supporting Training. Applications to assist NIEHS with its internal management and operations are not permitted, will be considered non-responsive, and are not appropriate for this FOA. To avoid being non-responsive to this SBIR FOA, applicants must review the descriptions of current and prior NIEHS WTP SBIR awards and avoid duplicating the curricula and subject matter content of these awards. An exemption is allowed for those applications that, while similar in content to existing curricula, propose highly innovative training and education approaches. Applicants should be aware of possible human subjects implications that may be associated with specific activities proposed (e.g., surveys, questionnaires), and must address human subjects concerns and exemptions appropriately in the application. The following three areas describe the type of products that will be supported under this SBIR FOA. A. Products to support e-Teaching in safety and health training: E-Teaching in safety and health training encompasses products that assist trainers/instructors in developing and delivering safety and health training in a number of environments ranging from classroom to remote learning situations. Potential products include, but are not limited to, products aimed at peer-trainers or worker-trainers; trainers needing assistance with language, literacy, or cultural differences in the classroom; trainers needing assistance in developing small group activities and other teaching methodologies; and technology applications for broadcasting safety and health classes and resources to remote learners. B. Products to support e-Learning in safety and health training: E-Learning in safety and health training involves technology deployment to provide individualized or small group-based training in learning centers, in a technology-enabled "smart classroom" or to a learner's desktop, cell phone, laptop, or tablet. This might also utilize social media applications. As a technology-enhanced training option, e-Learning is used to enable individualized learning, at the learners' convenience and own pace, prior to, as part of, after, or in place of classroom training. Potential products include, but are not limited to, the creation of topic-oriented products that address clearly identified health and safety issues involving hazardous materials and emergency and disaster response. C. Technology-enhanced training products to support the health and safety training of workers exposed to known, emerging, and new hazards from disasters; disaster preparedness and response resiliency training; supporting job training for underserved and vulnerable workers; and health and safety training products for emerging industries and technologies: E-Learning products for health and safety training of disaster preparedness and response workers and responders exposed to hazards from disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, oil spills, infectious disease, wildfires, terrorist attacks, etc. are needed. Additionally, this program will support e-Learning products for the training of individuals in the Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP) with the goal of preparing and training underserved and vulnerable workers for careers in environmental remediation, green, and construction jobs. WTP will also consider technology-enhanced safety and health training products that provide training for the opioids and substance use national disaster; technology products to support training in disaster preparedness and response resiliency training; and e-Learning technologies to support safety and health training in emerging industries and technologies such as climate change/resilience, environmental justice, and alternative energy. There is likely a need for short, incident specific awareness training that can be delivered during the disaster recovery period including training on issues such as confined spaces; blood borne pathogens; personal protective equipment; hazard assessment; fire watch; first aid/CPR; site safety; working around heavy equipment; physical threats such as heat stress, fatigue, and shift work; fall protection; and psychological stress. WTP will consider advanced training technology tools to provide training in these areas. WTP is a training program and is looking for ways to enhance health and safety training using advanced technologies. Research projects are not supported.
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