Occupational Health and Safety
Section Newsletter
Fall 2004


David Kotelchuck, PHD, CIH
Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Track
Hunter College
Business: (212) 481-4357
Fax: (212) 481-5260

In a disturbing and perplexing move this past summer, Julie Gerberding, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced a major reorganization of the CDC into four major divisions or Coordinating Centers, each under a different Director, who will report to her. NIOSH, the largest agency within CDC, would be placed in the Coordinating Center for Environmental Health, Injury Prevention and Occupational Health. NIOSH Director John Howard would then report to Coordinating Center Director Henry Falk, also Director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), rather than directly to Gerberding. The plan is slated to go into effect on Oct. 1.

This demotion of NIOSH within the CDC bureaucracy, further moving it away from the independent agency status prescribed for it under the OSH Act of 1970, has united virtually the entire occupational safety and health community in opposition -–labor, management, academia, Democrat and Republican. A recent letter by the four living former directors of NIOSH said, "To downgrade NIOSH and blur its mission by combining key functions with other CDC programs will erode its independence and visibility and weaken the scientific contribution that has long benefited American workers and employers." Letters and expressions of opposition to this reorganization have come from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Members of your OHS Section have also been active in opposition to this reorganization. First, leadership of our Section was asked their opinions about the move, and all respondents opposed it. Then a letter of opposition to the move was circulated quickly among our Section members (see below), and sent to Secretary Tommy Thompson signed by nearly 100 health and safety professionals. We noted that the NIOSH move "is particularly troublesome given the serious erosion of worker safety and health protection under the Bush Administration through repeal of the ergonomics standard and withdrawal of standards to prevent TB in the workplace." (Because APHA’s Executive Council and senior staff had previously met with Gerberding and tentatively had given their blessing to the larger reorganization effort, the petitioners signed the letter as individuals, and the dialogue with our own APHA leadership continues.)

Responding to the strong feelings among our OHS Section members, APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin assisted us by requesting a conference call by OHS Section leaders with CDC leadership, which CDC agreed to. On July 23, 2004, I and four other former and future OHS section chairpersons spoke at length to Donald Schreiber, Director of CDC’s Washington Office and a senior advisor to Gerberding. Schreiber expressed his and Gerberding’s strong support for the work of NIOSH and of its Director, and asked us to trust him and the CDC leadership that this reorganization to streamline CDC’s structure would not harm NIOSH or reduce its importance to and within CDC. However, at no time during the conversation did Schreiber suggest that CDC was willing to reconsider its basic decision with respect to NIOSH or any other CDC agency.

At a later August 10 meeting with leaders of other health and safety groups, the CDC decision was also discussed and debated. At that meeting, “Dr. Gerberding expressed real concern and passion for NIOSH,” said Frank Mirer, Director of Health and Safety for the United Auto Workers International Union. But in the end, he said, "the message to us was 'Get over it. This is a done deal.' " (Washington Post, August 31, 2004, p.A19 – <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47541-2004Aug30.html?referrer=email>).

The debate over the CDC reorganization is far from over. OHS Section members intend to submit a late-breaking resolution to the APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. this November putting APHA on record in opposition to the reorganization. Also, Congressional opponents of the move are mobilizing against it.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the CDC, rejected the notion that the deal was indeed done, according to the Aug. 31 Washington Post article (op.cit.). "I am not going to go along with the change," he said in the Washington Post interview, and stated his intention to hold a hearing on the matter before October.

OHS Section members can rest assured that the leadership of this section will continue strenuously to oppose the CDC reorganization as it affects NIOSH, as we continue to support our colleagues at NIOSH.

APHA and Section News

Letter to Tommy Thompson, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services

July 16, 2004

Re: NIOSH in the Reorganization of CDC

Dear Secretary Thompson,

We would like to add our voices to the many in the public health community who have expressed concern over the impact of the planned CDC reorganization on NIOSH.

When NIOSH was established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970, it was created as a separate institute, reporting directly to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. It was intended to have the visibility, status, funding and independence to conduct occupational safety and health research, evaluate workplace exposures, train a cadre of safety and health professionals, and make recommendations directly to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), both headed by Assistant Secretaries. These are very different functions from the rest of CDC and are best administered under a separate organizational structure.

Since President Ford placed NIOSH in CDC, worker health and safety seems to have played a minor role in CDC. CDC’s current vision focuses on providing health information to individuals to assist them in changing their own behavior, not on changing the environment in which individuals live and work. Yet NIOSH has the responsibility under the OSHA law for assuring “so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions.” (our emphasis).

We believe that this proposed reorganization would diminish the national focus on occupational safety and health. It would accelerate the recent trend to reduce the autonomy of NIOSH, shrink NIOSH visibility, and divert its funds to cover general CDC administrative expenses. This is particularly troublesome given the serious erosion of worker safety and health protection under the Bush Administration through repeal of the ergonomics standard, and withdrawal of standards to prevent TB in the workplace and exposure to glycol ethers.

Please listen to the many occupational safety and health professional associations, boards, unions and individuals who have spoken out in support of NIOSH retaining its identity as a separate agency within CDC.

(Signed by 98 members of the Occupational Public Health Community)

cc: Julie L. Gerberding, MD
John Howard, MD
House Appropriations Subcommittee
Ralph Regula
C. W. Bill Young
David R. Obey

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
Arlen Specter
Larry Craig
Ted Stevens
Tom Harkin
Patty Murray

Address Correspondence to:
Mary E. Miller, MN, RN
Department of Labor and Industries
P.O. Box 44510
Olympia, WA 98504-4510
(360) 902-6041 or e-mail: <mmar235@Lni.wa.gov>

Annual Meeting Update (Nov 6-10) in Washington, D.C.

Celeste Monforton

  • OHS Section events at the APHA Annual Meeting will kick off with a Section Meeting on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 9:15 a.m. All OHS Section meetings, scientific sessions, poster presentations and the social hour are scheduled for the Washington Convention Center. An OHS Section meeting will be held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings beginning at 7:00 a.m., and EVERYONE interested in occupational health and safety is welcome to attend. Tuesday, Nov. 9 promises to be the busiest day of the Annual Meeting, with Capitol Hill visits, the Section's traditional awards luncheon and evening dance party, PLUS sessions featuring students from the National Labor College and interns from the Occupational Health Internship Program.

  • The OHS Section's scientific sessions and section meetings will take place in the D.C. Convention Center, not in one of the nearby hotels. All speakers and attendees will need a badge (that is, they must be registered) to enter the Convention Center. The OHS Section has 10 free "one-day passes" to offer to speakers, such as the presenters for the "Research by the Rank-and-File" session or a session featuring high school students. If you know someone who'll need a one-day pass, please contact Celeste Monforton at <eohcnm@gwumc.edu>.

  • This will be the first year that LCD projectors will be stationed in the session rooms!! (No more overhead or slide projectors.)

  • OHS Section Popular Education Group to meet at Annual Meeting

    Dorothy Wigmore
    Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Want a chance to demonstrate a new popular education activity? To talk about how to use popular education in health and safety work? To (re-)connect with other popular educators doing health and safety work?

    The OHS Section popular education group will meet on the Sunday afternoon of the APHA Meeting in Washington (Nov. 7). The exact time (likely 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.) and place will be announced closer to the event.

    The proposed "agenda" is to be practical and avoid grand plans. Instead, we could spend most of our time trying out and giving feedback about new activities that you bring to the session. For example, I'm doing four half-hour sessions about occupational stress and would like to "play" with one of them. So bring your new tools and activities for practice runs and feedback.

    We'll also do the usual catching up and networking to find out who's doing what these days, and where. We always have fun and the range of participants provides useful connections and insights.

    Please let me know if you're interested in having the popular education group work with you at this meeting, or if you plan to be there at all. Invite others to attend.

    Dorothy Wigmore
    Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Nov. 7 meeting of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Health

    The Association of Occupational and Environmental Health will be hosting an informational coffee on Sunday morning, Nov. 7 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the convention center. We are currently scheduled to be in Room 304 (as with all things APHA the room is subject to change). We cordially invite anyone in the OHS Section who would like to learn more about AOEC and those who just want a bit of Sunday morning conversation to stop by and say hello. AOEC will also have a booth in the exhibit hall. Stop by to see our latest educational materials. We are booth 920. Contact Ingrid Denis at the AOEC office if you need more information at (202) 347-4976 or <idenis@aoec.org.>

    APHA Legislative Staff Is Collecting Public Health Infrastructure Weakness Stories to Present to Congress on Hill Day
    Craig Slatin, APHA Action Board Representative
    Department of Health and Clinical Sciences
    University of Massachusetts Lowell
    tel: (978) 934-3291
    fax: (978) 934-3025 or (978) 934-2012
    e-mail: <Craig_Slatin@uml.edu>

    APHA’s Legislative staff, along with the Public Health Infrastructure Committee of the Action Board, is collecting anecdotes from their practice at the state and local levels that will show how reductions in public health spending are affecting the state and local public health workforce and public health infrastructure.

    While APHA Legislative staff is able to prepare statistical information describing the state of public health infrastructure nationally, they are less able to gather anecdotes that can paint a picture of the affect budget cuts are having on the public health infrastructure, particularly at the state and local levels.

    The collected information will be used during the Nov. 9 “Hill Day” activities being planned by APHA, and will be entered into a database making it readily available for APHA staff and members to access when elected officials ask for information about public health infrastructure.

    This is a wonderful opportunity for the OHS Section to bring attention to the weaknesses and failings of the occupational health and safety infrastructure.
    Anecdotes should be sent by e-mail to Diane Downing at <ddowni@arlingtonva.us>, preferably by September 1, 2004, but can be sent up until Sept. 30.
    Please provide your contact information: Name, telephone number, and e-mail address with submitted anecdotes. Some examples of the types of anecdotes sought are listed below. Of course, OHS Section members would adapt these for workers’ health and safety issues –- you can be creative.

    • In the state of XX more than 15 nurses had to be removed from their immunization duties in order to cover for a shortage of nurses in XX program. Immunizations for students are now backlogged, and the deadline for pre-school immunizations is quickly approaching.

    • In state of XX due to cuts in benefits to the Medicaid program, XX Medicaid recipients will no longer receive preventive dental benefits as a part of their Medicaid coverage.

    • In XX county in Iowa, cuts to the state’s injury prevention program have led to the suspension of after school programs aimed at giving kids a safe place to play before their parents get home from work.

    APHA will notify the membership as soon as the database is available.
    Questions may be directed to Diane Downing at <ddowni@arlingtonva.us>.

    PROTECT PEOPLE. SAVE LIVES. FUND PUBLIC HEALTH! Walk the Hill for Public Health!
    Nov. 9, 2004

    On Nov. 9, thousands of public health professionals attending APHA’s 132nd Annual Meeting will be walking the halls of Capitol Hill to tell Congress, it’s time to make public health funding a national priority!

    Increasingly, the health of all Americans is at risk. Without additional resources for a continuum of medical research, prevention, treatment and training programs, our nation’s public health system will not be able to respond adequately to existing and emerging threats. Unfortunately, some of our nation’s leaders continue to not recognize the importance of fully funding the nation's public health system that protects Americans and saves lives every day.

    Novem. 9 carries enormous promise for making the priorities of APHA and the OHS Section known to Congress, while displaying the solidarity and commitment of the public health community.

    APHA’s Public Health Hill Day will start with a rally at Upper Senate Park on Capitol Hill at 8:30 a.m. After the rally, public health professionals, activists, and advocates will walk the halls of Capitol Hill with their state delegations distributing APHA’s message to legislators and their staff.

    To make this Hill Day a success for occupational health specifically, and public health generally, strong OHS Section participation is needed! Please register to participate in the rally and Hill day at <http://www.apha.org/legislative/walkhill/signup/>. The OHS Section has been asked to recruit at least 100 section members to attend, so register today! A solid representation is absolutely necessary to help convince Congress of the importance of public health.

    Walking the halls of Capitol Hill on Nov. 9 provides an excellent opportunity for us to inform representatives in both chambers of Congress of the key occupational and public health issues facing U.S. workers and the communities in which they live. Because many senators and representatives are not fully aware of the implications of insufficient public health spending and inappropriate program directions, much can be gained from using our experience and expertise to directly educate them and their staff. Our actions have the potential to both influence this year’s legislation, and send a clear, strong public health message to the incumbent and newly elected members of the 109th Congress.

    Your voice and presence on Nov. 9 are crucial to the visibility and effectiveness of this campaign.

    For more information on the march, visit the Walk the Hill for Public Health Web page at <http://www.apha.org/legislative/walkhill/index.htm>, or contact Lakitia Mayo, Director of Grassroots Advocacy, by e-mail at <lakitia.mayo@apha.org> or by telephone at (202) 777-2515.

    Together, we can ensure a powerful public health presence in our nation’s capital on Nov. 9!

    2004 Occupational Health & Safety Section Awards

    Megan Roberts

    Date & Location: OHS Award Ceremony, Nov. 9, 2004 from 12:15-1:45

    Award Name: The Alice Hamilton Award
    Award Recipients: Chuck Levenstein, PhD
    David Wegman MD, MSc

    Award Name: The Lorin Kerr Award
    Award Recipient: Jordan Barab, MA

    Award Name: International Award
    Award Recipients: Rashida Bee
    Champa Devi Shukla

    Update: Letter from Fernanda Giannasi from Brazil

    Below is a letter from our friend Fernanda Giannassi in Brazil, recipient of our Section's International award in 1999 (and herself threatened with loss of her job as an asbestos inspector and a court suit for defamation brought by a former government official):

    The World Ban Asbestos Movement is in glory! Unprecedented victory at the Brazilian Justice: Eternit [a Brazilian asbestos company-ed.] is condemned in a legal action taken by the Public Ministry in São Paulo to compensate 2,500 asbestos worker victims. The values can reach US $160 million. More details of the sentence are below (also a summary in English). For the first time the Brazilian Asbestos Victims Association (ABREA), created in 1995, has a real reason to celebrate. We drink a toast to them !

    Fernanda Giannasi

    Summary of the decision of the Civil Court in São Paulo:

    The judge has made five basic decisions:

    1) Damages for exposing its workers to asbestos. The people damaged by asbestos are to receive a lifetime pension depending on the
    level of damage to their income, ranging from Class I (half of minimum salary to 4.0 times minimum salary) [a minimum salary in Brazil is about US$90/month].
    2) "Moral damages" of from 50-300 minimum salaries.
    3)-5) Guarantees that the payments will be made, during what period, and what kind of medical care the people exposed to asbestos will receive under the judgment.

    The date to be considered regarding the payments are those when the victims learned about their illnesses.
    (Translated graciously by Dan Berman)


    Fernanda Giannasi has been a labor inspector in Brazil for over two decades. During this time her work has brought her into contact with workers who mine and manufacture asbestos-containing products, still in widespread use in Brazil. She is a founder of ABREA, the Association of Asbestos-Exposed Workers in Brazil, and the Coordinator in Latin America of the Citizen’s Virtual Network Against Asbestos.

    In 1999 she received the annual international award for her occupational health and safety work from the Occupational Health and Safety section of APHA. In 2001 she was made a Fellow of Collegium Ramazzini, a respected international organization of scholars and researchers in the field of occupational health and safety.

    She is widely known in Brazil through her work in ABREA and through her public speeches and many TV and newspaper interviews. In 2001 she was a finalist for the prestigious Claudia award for Brazil’s Woman of the Year.

    In 1998 she was sued by Eternit S.A., a major Brazilian asbestos company, for comments she made about the company’s treatment of ailing workers. After world-wide protests, including a letter of support from APHA, the case was dismissed and the company decided not to appeal the court’s decision. Now she is being sued for a second time: This time by former Labor Minister Almir Pazzianotto Pinto for insulting his honor, a crime under Brazilian law. Pinto supported a company union founded by Saint Gobain, a French-based multinational with major asbestos holdings in Brazil, and was publicly criticized by Giannasi after the breakdown of negotiations. She accused him of falsely listing the names of current and past asbestos workers as supporters of his union, and of other “maneuvers.”

    Since the suit was initiated, her activities as a labor inspector have successively been restricted. In December 2003 she was forbidden by the Labor Ministry to inspect an asbestos cement factory in northern Brazil. Later she was told that for her own protection, she could no longer travel outside Sao Paulo to carry out inspections. In February 2004 she was officially informed by the Ministry that she could no longer participate in any labor inspections and has been restricted to her office in Sao Paulo.

    Her criminal trial for offending the honor of the former Labor Minister was to have begun on Feb. 17, 2004. However, when she arrived in court, she was told that the original magistrate assigned to the case had been arrested on corruption charges (for alleged ties to organized crime in Brazil). The new presiding judge has now postponed further hearings until September 2004.

    The stakes for Giannasi are high. She remains confined to her office, unable to carry out her ordinary work duties, and has recently received death threats from unknown parties. These threats take on new meaning in light of the unsolved slaying of three other labor inspectors on a public road on Jan. 28, 2004, as they were going to investigate a soybean plantation allegedly using slave labor. (In the interior of Brazil, these inspectors are routinely accompanied by armed federal guards, but in a cost-cutting measure such protections have been withdrawn recently). Also Giannasi has had to bear the legal costs of both trials herself; she has had no financial support from the Ministry in which she works.

    Members of the OHS Section of APHA, who know and remember Giannasi from her visit to the United States in 1999 to receive our Section award, have as individuals been sending letters and e-mail to Brazil in her support. She has also received letters of support from Collegium Ramazzini, many major British labor leaders, and seven members of the British Parliament, who have introduced a so-called early morning motion to bring attention to her case. There has been relatively little public discussion of her case in the United States, and the leaders and members of our Section believe a letter of support from APHA would be timely and most helpful.

    NOTE 4/26/04: APHA is currently drafting a letter of support for Fernanda.


    Hispanic Immigrant Safety Advocates Denounce Bogus OSHA “Summit”

    For More Information:
    Tom O’Connor
    (919) 933-6322 or (919) 260-1004
    e-mail: taoc123@bellsouth.net

    For list of endorsing organizations, see end of release

    July 22, 2004

    Twenty-five organizations around the country delivered a letter today to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicating that they would not attend the “Hispanic Safety and Health Summit,” taking place today in Orlando, Fla. Representatives from worker safety advocacy organizations, labor groups, and Hispanic organizations denounced the meeting organized by the Bush administration as a blatant election year play for Hispanic votes.

    In their letter to OSHA, members of the Coalition for Hispanic Worker Safety noted that the conference was organized with virtually no input from major Hispanic advocacy organizations or grassroots worker groups.

    “This is clearly not a serious effort to address the epidemic of workplace injuries and illnesses suffered by our community,” said Jayesh Rathod, Staff Attorney of CASA of Maryland. "Planners chose not to invite groups like ours because they knew we would raise serious concerns about the administration’s dismantling of workplace safety rules.”

    Immigrant workers from Mexico and Central America were 64 percent more likely than all workers to be killed on the job over a five-year period analyzed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Monthly Labor Review, June, 2004.)

    Immigrant advocates noted that the only Hispanic organizations listed as conference sponsors or participants are the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a group that calls itself the “Hispanic Alliance for Progress.” The latter organization’s only known activities have been promoting the Bush administration’s immigration plan. The group is led by former Republican Congressman Manny Lujan, Interior Secretary in the first Bush administration.

    Other advocates criticized OSHA’s record of protecting Latino workers. "If OSHA were serious about protecting Latino workers, it would restore the drastic funding cuts to community based health and safety programs; programs proven to be immensely successful in reaching out and educating the Latino community to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses," said Eliseo Medina, Vice President of SEIU, the largest union in the AFL-CIO and the largest union of immigrant workers.

    “OSHA has failed to take even the small step of clarifying that employers must pay for required personal protective equipment,” noted Jackie Nowell, Director of Occupational Safety and Health for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. “For the low-wage workers that we represent, many of whom are immigrants, the extra money taken out of their paychecks for necessary safety equipment is very significant.”

    Immigrant advocates also pointed out that the “Summit” lacked the participation of key leaders in the field of Hispanic health and safety. “NIOSH —- the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health -— was initially involved in the planning, but it seems that OSHA did not want their participation,” noted Tom O’Connor of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. “NIOSH has a wealth of expertise on Hispanic worker safety and should have been a key participant.”

    Safety professionals noted that the high level of job injuries among Hispanic workers presents serious and complex challenges. “We desperately need a serious discussion of the problem of Hispanic worker safety and an open exchange of views on how to prevent more injuries among this vulnerable group,” said Jean Carmel Sainte-Juste of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health. “Unfortunately, this event gives no indication that it will provide a serious forum for such discussion.”

    Endorsing Organizations:

    Arkansas Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
    Casa de Maryland
    Chicago Area Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
    Commonwealth Coalition (Boston, MA)
    Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety and Health
    International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
    Maine Labor Group on Health
    Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
    Mid-State (NY) Education and Service Foundation
    National Council for Occupational Safety and Health
    National Council of la Raza
    National Employment Law Project
    New Hampshire Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
    New Jersey Work Environment Council
    New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
    Philadelphia Project on Occupational Safety and Health
    Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
    Service Employees International Union
    Sheet Metal Workers International Association
    Transport Workers Union of America
    United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
    Western Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
    Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health
    Wisconsin Committee on Occupational Safety and Health



    Joel Shufro, Treasurer
    < joel.shufro@verizon.net>

    A political action committee formed to support candidates on the federal level whose election will be important in defending and expanding the rights of working people to safe and healthful workplaces has been formed.

    The Political Action Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (PACOSH) is accepting contributions so that funds can be directed to races where we can make a difference and so that occupational safety and health advocates can get credit for their contributions and make their interests known.

    According to Joel Shufro, the PAC’s treasurer, “Many of us have been active in the Occupational Health and Safety Section of APHA or in other progressive organizations that have been involved in important public health policy struggles. In these struggles, we have learned all too often, to our disappointment, that public health policy often takes a back seat to moneyed interests. While, we can’t and never will be able to match corporate contributions, it is important that we provide financial support to those who will stand for our interests and articulate our needs."

    “In the past, many of us have given money individually to progressive candidates. However, in so doing we get no credit as safety and health advocates. This is a way in which we can bundle our contributions so that politicians will pay greater attention to our concerns,” said Mary Miller, a member of PACOSH’s advisory Board.

    Decisions concerning which candidates to fund will be made by PACOSH’s advisory Board (which is still in formation). The Board is composed of members of the APHA OHS Section.

    Donations can be sent to PACOSH, 101 W. 23rd Street, #2258, New York, New York 10011
    or electronically by credit card at <www.pacosh.org>.

    Call for Occupational Health and Safety Articles!!!!!

    The interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal Family and Community Health is producing an entire issue on promoting workplace health and safety. Articles are due by Oct. 1, 2004, to: Issue Editor Marianne Brown, UCLA LOSH-Program, at <mpbrown@ucla.edu>.

    We are soliciting articles on:

    Adolescents & Workplace Health & Safety

    • Extent of the Problem (1 article)

    • Interventions to reduce workplace injuries/illnesses in adolescents (2 articles)

    Immigrant Workers & Workplace Health & Safety

    • Extent of the Problem (1 article)

    • Interventions to reduce workplace injuries/illnesses in immigrant workers (2 articles)

    The impact of work-related injuries and illnesses on the family

    • Extent of the Problem (1 article)

    • Interventions to reduce impact (2 articles)

    Impact of workplace health and safety risks on the nearby community

    • Extent of the Problem (1 article)

    • Interventions to reduce impact (2 articles)

    The purpose of Family and Community Health (FCH) is to focus health care practitioners, regardless of area of practice, on a common goal: to provide a forum to discuss a holistic approach to family and community health care and primary health care, including health promotion and disease prevention. Each issue of FCH focuses on a specific topic that can be used by faculty, practitioners, and students in a range of healthcare disciplines.

    FCH is indexed in the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL); Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences; Research Alert; Social SciSearch; Family Studies Database; Health Promotion and Education Database; Cancer Prevention and Control Database; Nursing Abstracts; Psychological Abstracts; PsychINFO; PsysLIT; Journals@ovid; Sociological Abstracts; Social Planning/Policy & Development Abstracts; MEDLINE; MEDLARS; and Index Medicus.

    Call for Presentations

    Workplace Health and Safety in the Global Economy
    April 28-29, 2005 (Worker Memorial Day)
    University of Oregon, Eugene

    Sponsored by
    Labor Education and Research Center, University of Oregon
    Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, University of Oregon
    International Labour Office Programme on Socio-Economic Security

    Maquiladora Health and Safety Support Network
    National Council for Occupational Safety and Health

    Global economic integration is having profound effects on working conditions in developing and industrialized countries. Only a decade ago the concerns of North American workers, unions, and public interest groups were primarily for the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on labor and environmental conditions. While the limited procedures put in place to address these concerns under NAFTA have had little effect, the whole debate has been superseded by events on the ground, particularly the emergence of China as an enormous center of manufacturing. Debate continues as to whether globalization constitutes a “race to the bottom” for wages and working conditions or an inevitable and ultimately positive development for citizens of all countries. The recent report published by the International Labour Office, "A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities for All," highlights the discrepancies between the promise and reality of globalization.

    This conference is planned to coincide with Worker Memorial Day 2005. Its primary objectives are to focus on public policy, NGO, labor, and corporate responses to improve working conditions in both the developing and industrial nations experiencing these economic shifts, and to further an international network of researchers, practitioners, and activists addressing these issues. The conference will use the lens of workplace health and safety conditions and standards to examine the impacts of rapid globalization and the public policy issues it raises.

    Conference Topics

    Contributions are sought in the following areas:

    • How do mechanisms in existing trade agreements dealing with labor and environmental standards and practices function in reality, and what measures are needed to improve their effectiveness? Are there viable models of global governance, particularly in the area of OHS?

    • Presentations by multinational corporate representatives who are actually engaged in programs to improve health and safety conditions and standards in developing country manufacturing and/or service operations, whether their own or contract suppliers.

    • Barriers to effective regulation and enforcement of workplace safety and health standards. Analysis of the gap between laws and regulations and effective enforcement, particularly in developing countries.

    • Case studies of cross-border labor and NGO collaboration in worker rights campaigns, OHS training/technical assistance, tracking the export of hazards, and related efforts. Cases involving Central America, China/SE Asia, and Africa are of particular interest.

    • Capacity building of occupational health and safety infrastructure in developing countries.

    • Documentation of workplace health and safety status of immigrant workers and government, labor, and community strategies to assist immigrants on labor rights and working conditions, particularly in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.

    We strongly encourage contributions from practitioners and activists as well as researchers. Contributions may be in the form of standard research papers, case studies, policy papers, and curricula. The program will be organized to maximize opportunities for interaction and dialogue.

    Submission Guidelines
    Proposals for papers and presentations must include:

    • Name(s), position, affiliation

    • Address, telephone, and e-mail contact information

    • Title of paper/presentation

    • An abstract of no more than 500 words. The abstract should clearly describe the research question, policy issue, case study, or other topic the presentation addresses and how the proposed submission relates to one or more of the themes outlined above.

    Deadline for submission of proposals is Oct. 15, 2004

    Proposals may be submitted electronically (preferably in MS Word) to:
    <shecker@uoregon.edu> or via mail to:

    Steven Hecker, Associate Professor
    Labor Education and Research Center
    1289 University of Oregon
    Eugene, OR 97403

    Conference Information

    Location: University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA

    Fees and Travel: Conference registration fee is $150 ($75 students). The registration fee will be waived for presenters. Conference is free to University of Oregon faculty and students. Some funds for travel expenses may be available for presenters, with priority given to presenters from developing countries and NGOs. Further information will be available with notification of acceptance.

    Important Dates:

    Oct. 15, 2004 Deadline for proposal submission
    Dec. 1, 2004 Notification of acceptance
    April 8, 2005 Deadline for submission of draft papers/presentations
    April 28-29, 2005 Conference

    Continuing education at the University of Washington


    To confirm this schedule or find more information about these courses, call (206) 543-1069 ,or visit the Continuing Education Web site at <http://depts.washington.edu/ehce>. Courses are in Seattle unless noted.

    Sept. 12-14: Cultivating a Sustainable Agriculture Workplace (Troutdale, OR)
    Sept. 16: Mold: Defining the Standard of Care
    Sept. 21-23: Hazardous Materials Incidents: Improving Interagency Response
    Sept. 28: Effective Return-to-Work Programs (new offering)
    Oct. 11: Emerging Issues in Toxicology
    Dec. 1: A Small Dose of Toxicology: How Chemicals Affect Your Health
    Dec. 2: A Larger Dose of Toxicology:How Chemicals Affect Your Health


    Conference to be held Sept. 12-14 in Troutdale, Oregon

    This regional conference is sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (PNASH) at the University of Washington and the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at the University of California, Davis.

    Topics include workplace practices and challenges, organic vs. conventional farming, worker safety and health, and international standards and certification. In addition, conferees will establish a research and outreach agenda for integrating safety and health into the sustainable agriculture workplace. Participants are eligible for continuing education credits through professional associations for physicians, industrial hygienists, nurses, sanitarians, and safety professionals. Details and other conference information are available at: <http://depts.washington.edu/pnash/conf04/index.html>.

    Harvard School of Public Health Courses

    Sept. 21-24, 2004
    Harvard School of Public Health - Center for Continuing Professional Education's Analyzing Risk: Science, Assessment, and Management
    Harvard School of Public Health, Kresge Building 3, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
    phone: (617) 384-8692
    fax: (617) 384-8690
    e-mail: <contedu@hsph.harvard.edu>
    Internet: <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/GLD.shtml>

    Sept. 28 - Oct. 1, 2004
    Harvard School of Public Health - Center for Continuing Professional Education's Ergonomics and Human Factors: Applications in Occupational Safety and Health
    Harvard School of Public Health, Kresge Building 3, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
    phone: (617) 384-8692
    fax: (617) 384-8690
    e-mail: <contedu@hsph.harvard.edu>
    Internet: <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/GLD.shtml>

    March 21-23, 2005
    Harvard School of Public Health - Center for Continuing Professional Education's Hands-On CAMEO fm Training
    Harvard School of Public Health, Kresge Building 3, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
    phone: (617) 384-8692
    fax: (617) 384-8690
    e-mail: <contedu@hsph.harvard.edu>
    Internet: <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/GLD.shtml>

    April 11 - 14, 2005
    Harvard School of Public Health - Center for Continuing Professional Education's Occupational and Environmental Radiation Protection
    Harvard School of Public Health, Kresge Building 3, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
    phone: (617) 384-8692
    fax: (617) 384-8690
    e-mail: <contedu@hsph.harvard.edu>
    Internet: <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/GLD.shtml>

    April 14 - 15, 2005
    Harvard School of Public Health - Center for Continuing Professional Education's Analyzing Regulations: Health, Safety, and the Environment
    Marriott DC at Metro Center, 775 12th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005
    phone: (617) 384-8692
    fax: (617) 384-8690
    e-mail: <contedu@hsph.harvard.edu>
    Internet: <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/BCA.shtml>

    May 2 - 6, 2005
    Harvard School of Public Health - Center for Continuing Professional Education's Guidelines for Laboratory Design: Health and Safety Considerations
    Harvard School of Public Health, Kresge Building 3, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
    phone: (617) 384-8692
    fax: (617) 384-8690
    e-mail: <contedu@hsph.harvard.edu>
    Internet: <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/GLD.shtml>

    May 11 - 13, 2005
    Harvard School of Public Health - Center for Continuing Professional Education's The Risk Communication Challenge: Manage Perceptions by Effectively Communicating Risk
    Harvard School of Public Health, Kresge Building 3, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
    phone: (617) 384-8692
    fax: (617) 384-8690
    e-mail: <contedu@hsph.harvard.edu>
    Internet: <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/RCC.shtml>

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