Occupational Health and Safety
Section Newsletter
Fall 2006

Chair's Message, Fall 2006

Rachel Rubin, MD, MPH
Division Chair, Occupational Medicine
Stroger Hospital of Cook County and Rush Medical College
Assistant Professor, University of Illinois School of Public Health
rrubin@uic.edu, (312) 864-5520

In the wake of the largest demonstrations possibly in U.S. history around a single issue that brought out millions of people to support immigrants’ rights, we have a tremendous opportunity for advancing advocacy on behalf of workers’ rights. Most workers in the United States are descendents of immigrants to this country. Historically, the foundation of our work force is based on the labor of immigrants. It was invigorating and energizing to be part of one of the largest immigrants’ rallies and marches in Chicago, and being able to look around and see neighbors, colleagues, friends, and a vast sea of strangers that were all brought together in face of the discriminatory policy towards immigrants and immigrant workers in this country. We had all come together to make our voices heard about various issues related to immigration in this country.

The exploitation of the current immigrant work force is quite profound and is demonstrated in our daily lives as health and safety experts and activists. We need to capitalize on the momentum of these mass demonstrations and diverse coalitions of various organizations, which have a variety of interests and agendas, but have a commonality of supporting the rights of immigrants to live, work and prosper in this country without the fear of deportations, imprisonments, or reprisals from employers and immigration officials.

In January, Abel Valenzuela and Nik Theodore, et al., released a report about the situation of day laborers in this country, where over 90 percent of these day laborers are immigrants (www.sscnet.ucla.edu/issr/csup/index.php). The day laborer population is especially vulnerable to unsafe workplaces, not receiving appropriate training for the tasks that they are hired to do, workplace harassment and wage and hour violations by not receiving full pay, overtime pay, and regularly not being paid at all after the work is completed. Many recent immigrants are put in the position of looking for any job they can find and taking whatever wage and working conditions come with the job without any recourse for improving the conditions of their work. However, this growing movement around immigrant rights is a wonderful opportunity for health and safety advocates including academics, unions, community-based organizations, and other non-governmental as well as public institutions to capitalize on the momentum, and fight not only for a living wage for all workers but to fight for safe working conditions and health care for all workers.

Now that I have let off steam, I would like to go on to some other issues related to our work within APHA. I am happy to announce that APHA has signed on to the INMEX (Informed Meeting Exchange Program) organized by UNITE/HERE!. Upon request of our section and in keeping with past resolutions passed by the Governing Council, Dr. Benjamin has agreed to sign on to this campaign on behalf of APHA. INMEX is a program designed to provide information to organizations that have large meetings in various venues throughout the United States about “labor friendly” hotel and convention centers. They are trying to have various professional, non-profit, trade and other organizations, including APHA, sign on to the program so that they can make informed decisions about where their conferences and conventions will be held. Hopefully, they will choose to hold their meetings in hotels and convention centers that provide a living wage, that are not involved in labor disputes, and that are concerned about the health and safety of their workers.

I want to give a big thanks to our Section Counselors, including Tobi Lippin, Kerry Souza, Walter Alarcon, Butch de Castro, Peter Dooley, and Luis Vasquez, for their tremendous collective effort in composing a letter on behalf of the Section to the Director of NIOSH, John Howard, MD, MPH, about the newly proposed NORA II program. The letter was sent to Dr. Howard and NIOSH staff as part of the series of town hall meetings and requests for comments on the new NORA II research agenda. In spite of a diversity of opinions about the proposed NORA II plan, the Section Counselors put together a set of recommendations and comments that reflect the Section’s common concerns and appropriateness of the proposed program. We also have awardees for our upcoming APHA Annual Meeting, and the awards will be presented at our Awards Luncheon. The Alice Hamilton Award will go to our very own Darryl Alexander from the American Federation of Teachers. The Lorin Kerr Award will go to Richard Miller from the Government Accountability Project. Our newest award, the Tony Mazzocchi Award, will go to Tony Carr, the health and safety chair of USW Local Union 998, and I am most pleased to announce that our International Award is going to Dr. Metoda Dodic-Fikfak, who is one of the leading occupational physicians in Slovenia. She is director of their national government’s research center on occupation and health, and hopefully will be able to join us in Boston to receive her award.

Kudos to Butch De Castro, our program chair. The program looks amazing. We are going to have a very exciting agenda, and look to our Web site(http://staff.washington.edu/oshalert/) and the APHA Web site(http://www.apha.org/meetings)  for the list and description of sessions and events. We are still developing a late breaker session on occupational history topics that Leslie Nickels is organizing. There will be several sessions at the conference related to war and human rights with respect to occupational health and safety. One is being sponsored by the Labor Caucus, and the other is being co-organized by Barry Levy and Vic Sidel. Our Section will be co-sponsoring and supporting these sessions as they will both address areas of occupational health and safety. A big thanks goes to Barry Levy, who has donated the royalties from the latest edition of his occupational health textbook to the Section for our scholarship funds. Lastly, the Annual Meeting plans for our Awards Luncheon and Tuesday evening party are well under way under the guidance of Elise Pechter, Kerry Souza and other Boston colleagues. I invite everyone to attend the APHA Annual Meeting. We are going to have a strong program and a lively set of events.

As my year as Section Chair comes to a close, I want to express my gratitude and pleasure in working with such a great group of active Section members and leaders. Celeste Monforton organized our conference calls and correspondence, Paul Landsbergis has put together a great set of membership recruitment materials, Mary Miller has continued as our Webmaster, Action Board representative and always keeps us on our toes. Butch deCastro has put together a great scientific program for the Annual Meeting, Peter Dooley is organizing a fantastic Awards Luncheon program, Karen Mulloy has organized the Jim Keogh Scholarship, and the Section Counselors and other leadership have all pitched in this year on a variety of initiatives. Thanks, as always, to Ingrid Denis for putting together the newsletters. See you in Boston!

APHA 2006 Annual Meeting Activities

For a complete listing of OHS Section Sessions and Activities, visit the OHS Section Web site at: http://depts.washington.edu/oshalert/annual_meeting.htm. The full agenda should be available in a few weeks. All Section members will be notified. In the meantime, mark your calendars for the following:

Come To the Health & Safety Activist Summit
Nov. 4, 2006, 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Reception to follow till 9:00 p.m.
MASSCOSH Office Vietnamese American Community Center, 42 Charles Street, Suite F, 2nd Flr. Dorchester, MA 02122 (617) 825-7233
Come discuss, decide and participate in the H&S Activist Agenda
• What Actions can we plan for the following year to raise the bar for Worker H&S improvements?
• What Groups can work together in concerted activity to make a change for workers?
• How can we Collectively raise our voices to make a difference to stop dangerous working conditions?

Come participate in this forum, which builds on the momentum of the National COSH Network meeting (Nov. 1-4, 2006) and the start of the APHA OHS Section Business meeting (Nov. 5-8, 2006).

Participate with allies in Labor, COSH, Family Support Groups, Injured Worker Groups, Academic, Worker Training Programs, and Environmental Groups to plan and agitate for change.

Program includes:
• Guest Panel Discussion
• Participatory Breakouts
• Collective decisions to plan future actions There will be a reception from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
The reception celebrates the early beginnings of the COSH movement. It is open to all.

Register today by sending an e-mail with your name, affiliation and contact phone number to: Laborsafe@aol.com.


Suggested donation is $20.

Trade & Health Activities at the 2006 APHA Annual Meeting

Garrett Brown
gdbrown@igc.org


HIGXYZ92HIGZYX The APHA Working Group on Trade and Health is sponsoring a wide variety of activities at the Boston conference in which members of our Section should plan to participate. Our Section was a founding member of the Working Group, which is slated to be one of the first of the new “Forums” under the APHA reorganization plan.

The most important meeting is the Working Group business meeting on Sunday, Nov. 5, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Convention Center (Session #247.1 – check program for room number). The meeting will include presentations on activities over the last year, both inside APHA and in the broader world, as well as a discussion of strategies for the coming year.

With the collapse of the World Trade Organization talks – always with the threat they will be resurrected – the fight to defend public health, and occupational health in particular, against the demands of globalizing corporate rule takes on new forms and new urgency. Understanding the winning strategies of the past year and how we must adapt to new circumstances will be the focus of the Working Group meeting. The OHS Section needs to be represented at the Nov. 5 gathering.

Anyone interested in representing the Section should contact Garrett at: gdbrown@igc.org.

The NYS Public Employees Federation's Stop Workplace Violence Campaign

Matthew London, MS
MLondon@pef.org
Jonathan Rosen, MS, CIH
JRosen@pef.org
New York State Public Employees Federation

Stop Work Place Violence 
In July 2005, the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) launched a statewide Stop Workplace Violence Campaign, joining with sister public sector unions and other organizations. This far-reaching campaign builds upon the extensive work that the union and others have done over the past 15 years and has two principle components; legislative and worksite-based.

The legislative package consists of three bills, each of which passed New York's two legislative chambers with bi-partisan support. The cornerstone is the Workplace Violence Prevention Bill, which requires all public employers to evaluate their workplaces to determine the presence of risk factors that may lead to violence in the workplace. Public employers with more than 20 employees are required to implement a written program to prevent violence in the workplace which must include an assessment of risk factors and implementation of feasible controls to reduce these risks. After a vigorous lobbying effort, that bill has been signed into law and will take effect in 2007.

The second bill, named after Judi Scanlon, a PEF nurse who was murdered in 1998 while conducting a home visit in her capacity as an intensive case manager for mentally ill clients living in the community, directs that a NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) employee who is required to enter the residence of a person with serious mental illness can request to be accompanied by another employee for safety reasons. It requires that OMH provide all intensive case managers a mobile telephone and annual training in safety and the prevention of violence. It also requires that OMH provide enough staff so that each intensive case manager will have a caseload of no more than 12 patients. This bill also passed the Assembly and Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Pataki.

The third bill, the Workplace Injury Disclosure and Accountability Bill, would require the State Department of Civil Service to prepare an annual report about workers' compensation cases, rates, and costs among state employees. The data would be used to assist in the identification of high-risk workplaces and in the evaluation of workplace health and safety programs. Currently most state agencies and labor/management and health and safety committees do not have access to such data. After being passed by the legislature, that bill has been submitted to Gov. Pataki.

In addition to the legislative initiatives, day-long mobilization trainings were conducted in ten locations around the state between January and early May 2006. Union resources provided funding for paid leave time for more than 300 PEF members to participate. These members work in 24 different state agencies from 126 separate workplaces. The participative program featured an overview of the basic facts on workplace violence, assessment of risk factors, and prevention and control measures, utilizing the OSHA guidelines and the practical experience of the PEF Health & Safety Department in implementing programs at state institutions. The program also stressed the need for the union to provide support to injured members.

A major portion of the program was an interactive small group action planning session using an action work sheet and a trained union facilitator. The goal of this activity was to provide participants with the tools to return to their worksite, meet with co-workers, and then evaluate the workplaces to identify risk factors and develop preventive measures. As part of the campaign, PEF developed a variety of materials, including a series of fact sheets, stickers, buttons, posters, a DVD, and a booklet titled, The Human Face of Workplace Violence. The color booklet featured photos of the battered faces of assaulted members and a brief summary of their own stories. The 7-minute DVD includes interviews with assaulted members, the daughter of Judi Scanlon, legislators who sponsored the bills, and a district attorney who supports the campaign. The DVD and Human Faces booklet were sent to every New York dtate legislator and fistrict attorney, as well as activists within PEF.

These materials can be accessed at the Campaign's Web site: http://www.pef.org/stopworkplaceviolence. As stated in the campaign, Regardless of where you work, getting punched, kicked, or otherwise abused is NOT part of the job!

Behavior-Based Systems: A Call for Papers

Charles Levenstein
chuck_lev@comcast.net
Beth Rosenberg
beth.rosenberg@tufts.edu

If you were an employer who wanted to do everything possible to protect the health of workers and the environment – that is, you wanted to establish an effective safety system – you would discover that it is nearly impossible to find out anything useful about the efficacy of various safety systems. Most of the “scientific” literature on safety systems is by management consultants who are trying to sell you their programs. We have not been able to find unbiased evaluations of safety systems, particularly of Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) systems, which are now being heavily marketed. In fact, it is difficult to find out the specific content of such programs without paying substantial amounts to safety consultants or paying exorbitant fees for courses.

Our nagging doubt about the studies we’ve read – most of which we don’t trust because they seem like info-mercials – is that not one of the evaluations asks if such a program discourages workers from reporting injuries or incidents. There is a presumption that BBS creates a “culture of safety” – at least, over time – and there is never a hint that it might create a culture of fear that discourages reporting – and a culture of guilt that makes people feel bad if they get injured and ruin the chances for group rewards. A number of questions deserve attention and do not seem to have been answered in the safety literature.

1. In reality, in practice, what do BBS programs look like? Do they really rely on “positive reinforcement”? What does a “culture of safety” look like on the ground? Has anyone looked at how BBS programs really operate, and not just the textbook version, or “success stories” as written by safety consultants?
2. What is the impact of BBS on reporting?
3. We’ve heard that in many situations workers seem to like BBS. Do they in fact like it? Why? (Are they grateful for any safety focus at all? Or do the worker involvement schemes offer something valuable, that workers want and appreciate?)

New Solutions is inviting papers that address these questions. We need to get answers in order to evaluate what exists and to develop bona fide criteria for safety systems that truly benefit worker health and safety.
 

For more information contact: Charles Levenstein, chuck_lev@comcast.net
Beth Rosenberg, beth.rosenberg@tufts.edu

Points of View

Points of View is a new section of the newsletter devoted to opinions, ideas and comments to encourage dialogue and debate. Contact Ingrid Denis, idenis@aoec.org for more information.

OHS Section Membership
Mitchell R. Zavon, MD APHA/Life Member

Many years ago, when I served for 10 years as secretary, vice chair and chair of the Section, the membership of the Section was dominated by industry types. When APHA became more of a consumer organization rather than a purely professional organization, many of the members of that time became inactive if they remained as members at all. The Section became much larger and dominated by people more involved in labor organizations or who were more recognizable as "labor" oriented than as physicians, industrial hygienists, health physicists, toxicologists, or safety people though they may well have had professional credentials.

My experience has been that those who are concerned with the health of the work force may differ in how best to protect the health of the worker, but they are all concerned with the problems of health protection. A dialogue on how best to protect worker health can have considerable impact. Attempting to recruit those health professionals who are industry oriented in order to have such dialogue within the Section should be considered.

With the broken health care system in the United States, having all of the health care team represented within the Section would strengthen our voice in the worker health community. The polarization of the occupational health and safety community has not enhanced our impact in the health community nor in the body-politic. It is time to look for improved ways of impacting in our society and in the rest of the world. The American Industrial Hygiene Association and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists evolved out of this Section of APHA. Have we contributed significantly to any other major developments in the past 50 or so years?

OSHA Training Lacking Safety During Disaster Site Clean-up

Jeffery C. Camplin, CSP, CPEA

What happened to using the hierarchy of controls for protecting workers from occupational hazards at the work place? Apparently, at disaster sites it takes a back seat.

I just recently completed the OSHA train the trainer course to become an OSHA approved instructor of their 7600 course “Disaster Site Worker Course.” This 16-hour course’s intended audience includes those who provide skilled support services (e.g., utility, demolition, debris removal, or heavy equipment operation) or site clean-up services in response to a disaster. Topic and recommended time allotments are as follows:

Course Topic Titles:
1. Introduction/Overview (1.5 hours)
2. Incident Command System/Unified Command Systems (1.0 hour)
3. Safety Hazards (2.5 hours)
4. Health Hazards (2.0 hours)
5. CBRNE Agents (1.0 hour)
6. Traumatic Incident Stress Awareness (1.0 hour)
7. Respiratory Protection (3.5 hours)
8. Other Personal Protective Equipment (1.25 hours)
9. Decontamination (1.5 hours)
10. Final Exercise (0.75 hour)

The training facilitators at the course I attended strongly emphasized the 3½ hours, or nearly 25 percent of the course, spent on respirators. The rationale for so much dedication to the use of respiratory protection was the fact that workers were going into disaster areas where hazards and risks were somewhat unknown. I found this theory disturbing for many reasons.

First, OSHA usually stresses and enforces the hierarchy of controls when employers address workplace hazards. It appears that too many employers have or will be handing out respirators to their employees without evaluating respiratory hazards and/or the appropriate engineering and administrative controls necessary to protect workers' safety and health. The burden of wearing respiratory protection is not supposed to be placed on the employee when jobsite respiratory hazards are undefined or administrative and engineering controls have not been fully implemented to reduce them.

Another problem I have with emphasizing respiratory protection in this course deals with the unknown, possible or probable hazards workers will encounter at a disaster site. Some of the more common airborne contaminants identified in the training that workers can anticipate during disaster site clean-ups includes asbestos, lead paint, silica, metal fumes, mold, and other biohazards. Most of these hazards trigger additional regulatory requirements including exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, additional training, special work practices (including mandatory and prohibited activities), regulated work areas, hygiene facilities, and record-keeping.

Too many companies are responding to disaster sites with ill-trained and ill-equipped work forces as they follow the money. Add no enforcement of workplace safety standards by government agencies to the mix and you have the makings for an occupational safety and health emergency. Yet excuses prevail as we throw up our collective hands and cry, “We are doing the best we can” or “At least this is better than nothing.” Public health professionals know better than this. We need to be the ones to step up and draw the line in the sand for worker safety and health.

You don’t put improperly trained and ill-equipped workers into harms way. I plan on teaching safety in my 7,600 classes. And that may mean teaching employees and employers they don’t qualify as a Disaster Site Worker.

NIOSH Resources

A must read for any SHE professional involved in disaster site safety is the NIOSH Publication No. 2004-144: Protecting Emergency Responders, Volume 3, entitled “Safety Management in Disaster and Terrorism Response”. Additional resources available from NIOSH include Disaster Sites (General), Eye Safety, Silica, Asbestos, Carbon Monoxide, Electrocution, Falls, Confined Spaces, Chemical Hazards, Structural Hazards, Mechanical Hazards, and Mining. For more information click http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/sitemgt.html.

OSHA Resources

OSHA safety and health experts have already developed 37 fact sheets and eight "quick cards"-two-sided, 4-by-9 inch cards with safety and health tips-on hazards such as molds and fungi, downed electrical wires and general decontamination, to name a few. OSHA Resources for Keeping Workers Safe During Clean Up and Recovery Operations (http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshDoc/hurricaneRecovery.html.)

NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) Resources

NIEHS produces an E-Newsbrief from their National Clearinghouse on new developments in the world of worker health and safety. The WEPT website can be accessed at http://www.wetp.org.

Centers for Disease Control Resources

The CDC offers resources on radiation exposure, anthrax, biological and chemical exposures, heat and cold issues, and keeping food safe. The CDC also provides resources on stress awareness and management, long shift work, and depression. These documents can be accessed at http://www.bt.cdc.gov.

EPA Resources

The EPA has several documents addressing natural disasters. Visit http://www.epa.gov/naturalevents for more information. Lessons learned from environmental issues related to the 911 attacks in 2001 can also provide useful information to SHE professionals. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/ebtpages/emernaturaldisasteseptember11response.html.

FEMA Resources on Hazard Recognition

The FEMA Web site contains resources about specific hazards including dam safety, earthquakes, extreme heat, fires, floods, hazardous materials, hurricanes, landslides, multi-hazards, nuclear, terrorism, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and wildfires. These resources can be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/hazards.

Resources from the Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security provides many resources for citizens, businesses, and emergency responders who will be affected by various disasters including biological, chemical, explosions, nuclear blasts, radiological events, and natural disasters. This information can be accessed at http://www.ready.gov/america/index.html.

American Red Cross Resources

This Web site provides valuable advice for preparing a business disaster recovery plan and worker emergency kits. They can be accessed at http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “Storm Ready” Resources

The NWS StormReady and TsunamiReady programs can help you be better prepared to save lives during threatening weather through better planning, education, and awareness. These resources can be accessed at http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/links.htm.

U.S. Geological Survey's Natural Hazards Support System(NHSS): Near Real Time Integrated Natural Hazards Monitoring.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Natural Hazards Support System (NHSS) helps monitor and analyze natural hazard events, including earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, severe weather, floods, wildfires, and tsunamis.. These resources can be accessed at http://nhss.cr.usgs.gov.

Book Review: Mogensen, Vernon (ed.). Worker Safety Under Siege: Labor, Capital, and the Politics of Workplace Safety in a Deregulated World

Reviewed by Linda Forst, MD, MPH
 
forst-l@uic.edu

This book is written for those who care about the effects of globalization on workplace health and safety. Strung together as a series of 11 essays by experts in organizational psychology, journalism, safety science, public health, policy, urban studies, history, political science, labor studies, and medicine, this 220-page paperback volume evaluates the effects of corporate deregulation and tax cuts on the lives of workers, worldwide.

The book is divided into three major sections. The first section, 'Free-Market Ideology and the Evisceration of Workers’ Safety Rights,' contains three essays that focus on who should bear the responsibility for fatal and non-fatal injury and illness in the workplace.

Chapter 1 gives a series of vignettes that demonstrate society’s double standard when it comes to assigning blame: when a space shuttle explodes (Challenger, 1986, killed seven astronauts), there was an extensive investigation into the root cause — an evaluation of the entire space program, as well as its systems and materials. All aspects of the program were called into question. In the case of workplace disasters, newspaper descriptions and opinion surveys more frequently assign responsibility to the workers, highlighting unpredictability of the work site and carelessness of the injured workers. Chapter 2 points out cases and policies that allow negligent employers to go unpunished for gross health and safety violations that result in severe workplace injury. Chapter 3 applies the recently developed perspective of “behavioral economics” to worker health and safety: rational decision making on the part of workers to protect themselves from risk is superseded by their immediate need for income; they may also lack information and awareness of workplace hazards, how to prevent them and the responsibility of employers to provide them with a “safe and healthful” environment. The author promotes empowering workers to organize and to participate in decision making to improve safety conditions.

The second section contains four essays regarding challenges to health and safety. Chapter 4 uses the silicosis story to describe the weakness of OSHA, NIOSH, and MSHA in controlling silica exposure, particularly for abrasive blasters of oil drilling equipment on the U.S.-Mexico border. The rise of serious and fatal injuries for Hispanic and foreign-born workers who take on the most hazardous work with inadequate safety protections is described in Chapter 5. Surveillance data show increased incidence rates in agriculture, textile products, construction, hotels, restaurants, and landscaping, the industrial sectors where Hispanics are employed. There is also a description of the most frequently cited OSHA violations by industry, showing “hazard communication” as the leading violation in five of the six economic sectors. OSHA’s efforts to reach this vulnerable work force are also described. The problems of indoor air pollution and ergonomic hazards are described in the next two chapters.

The third section has four chapters of case studies that bear on the impact of neoliberalism on workers rights in Canada, Brazil, Russia, and Hungary. These each describe the dismantling of safety protections and decreased participation by workers, the lack of consideration of health and safety as a cost of production (as demonstrated by cutbacks in skilled workers, poor maintenance, and an increased production mandate), and the reduction of workplace safety that is evolving with the rise of neoliberalism. The chapters are relatively brief and provide easy and pointed reading about the most critical aspects of workplace health and safety in neoliberalist world economies. Each chapter is well notated and referenced, providing a catalogue of the most recent and relevant policies and resources that bear on this topic. Chapter 5, “How Safe Are U.S. Workplaces for Spanish Speaking Workers?” has charts, tables, and references that bring the reader up to date on all the issues surrounding the immigrant and Hispanic work force.

The audience for this book is all occupational and environmental health and safety professionals, trade union leaders, political activists, and those who are interested in the effects of globalization on individuals, communities, and societies, worldwide. For students of globalization, the book supplies easily accessible information on the array of issues explaining the increased burden of occupational illness and injury in the changing world economy. For those who are well versed in this area, it not only is a reference book to keep on the shelf, but also suggests approaches to addressing these problems. It is essential reading for those interested in understanding and impacting worker health and safety today.

Seeking OHS Section Leaders

Several leadership positions in our Section are up for election. John Morawetz, as head of the Nominations Committee, is soliciting nominations for chair-elect, secretary-elect, two Section Counselors and two Governing Counselors.

The chair-elect and secretary-elect will take over their “elect” positions at the end of the 2007 meeting. They will then become the chair and secretary respectively at the end of the 2008 meeting, thus being the chair and secretary for 2009 (Philadelphia meeting). If this sounds confusing, it is. We just want folks who are willing to take over in two years as chair and secretary.

In addition, we have two Section Counselors and two Governing Counselors to elect, who will assume office at the end of the Washington, D.C. meeting (2007).

All nominations are welcome, and please forward them to John Morawetz (JMorawetz@ICWUC.org) before the end of February 2007 deadline (exact date TBA).

Books and Resources

Excess Baggage: Leveling the Load and Changing the Workplace
Ellen Rosskam
Critical Approaches in the Health Social Science Series
• Series Editor, Ray Elling. Baywood Publishing Company, Inc. (2006)

Based on groundbreaking research on the working conditions of airport check-in workers in two countries, a previously unstudied category of predominantly women workers, Ellen Rosskam describes a form of work characterized as modern-day Taylorism. An occupation greatly affected by new forms of work organization and management practices — caught in the throes of rapid change due to international competition, alliances, mergers, and the application of cost-efficiency strategies — check-in work has been undermined in recent years by the adverse effects of liberalization and technological change. Excess Baggage makes a convincing case for taking a holistic approach to viewing jobs, considering them as “entire work systems” and not merely as a series of individual factors. Rosskam makes an eloquent plea for involving workers in organizational decision-making and a convincing case for using the collective voice as a critical key for improving working conditions.

Quick Guide to Health Literacy
U.S. Department of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

The Quick Guide to Health Literacy is written for health professionals at the national, state, and local levels. It contains:
  • A basic overview of key health literacy concepts.
  • Techniques for improving health literacy through communication, navigation, knowledge-building, and advocacy.
  • Examples of health literacy best practices.
  • Suggestions for addressing health literacy in your organization.
    The guide is user-friendly and be easily referenced, reproduced, and shared with colleagues.
    The Quick Guide to Health Literacy and other tools for improving health literacy can be found at www.health.gov/communication/literacy. If you would like to request a hard copy of this resource, or if you have any questions, please contact Stacy Robison at (240) 453-8271 or at stacy.robison@hhs.gov.

    The National COSH Workplace Health and Safety Dirty Dozen Report
    The report details examples of the tragic consequences of workplace deaths, injuries and illnesses for both workers and their families. It calls for stronger enforcement actions, including criminal prosecution, to encourage stricter compliance with health and safety standards. The companies were selected because they had repeated egregious records in health and safety. They are case studies in failed Health and Safety programs. The report cites the following companies: British Petroleum, Cintas Corp, DuPont Corp, Hayes Lemmerz International, Honda Motor Company of America, International Coal Group (Sago Mine), McWane, Safety Bingo Inc, Sunesis, UNICCO, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and W. R. Grace. The full report is available at www.Philaposh.org or http://users.rcn.com/jbarab/Final%20Dirty%20Dozen%20Report.pdf [English] and http://users.rcn.com/jbarab/DIRTYDOZENSPANISH.pdf [Spanish].
  • Announcements

  • October 2006

    Oct. 10-12, 2006: Hazardous Materials Incidents: Improving Interagency Response, (Richland, Wash.). Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety. To confirm this date or for more information about this course, call (206) 543-1069 or visit http://depts.washington.edu/ehce.

    Oct. 16-19, 2006: COHN/Safety Management Certification Review Course, (Chapel Hill, N.C.). North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education & Research Center. For more information visit www.sph.unc.edu/osherc or call (888) 235-3320.

    Oct. 19-20, 2006: Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Children at Work and Play, (Cincinnati). For more information visit http://www.hearingconservation.org/conf_childrenconf.html.

    Oct. 25, 2006: Occupational Health Practitioners and a Global Flu Pandemic,(Wenatchee, Wash.) Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety. To confirm this date or for more information about this course, call (206) 543-1069 or visit http://depts.washington.edu/ehce.

  • November 2006

    Nov. 5-8, 2006: APHA 134th Annual Meeting and Exposition. APHA OHS Section Activities begin Nov. 4. Visit http://depts.washington.edu/oshalert/ for complete OHS session and activity listing.

    Nov.  7-9, 2006: Occupational Health Nursing: Introduction to Basic Principles. North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education & Research Center. For more information visit www.sph.unc.edu/osherc or call (888) 235-3320.

    Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2006: New England College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Annual Conference 2006 Looking Ahead: Emerging Challenges, (Bedford, MA). Visit www.necoem.org/ or call (978) 373-5597.

  • December 2006

    Dec. 5, 2006: A Small Dose of Toxicology: How Chemicals Affect Your Health, (Portland, Ore.) Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety. To confirm this date or for more information about this course, call (206) 543-1069 or visit http://depts.washington.edu/ehce.

    Dec. 6, 2006: A Larger Dose of Toxicology: How Chemicals Affect Your Health, (Portland, Ore.) Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety. To confirm this date or for more information about this course, call (206) 543-1069 or visit http://depts.washington.edu/ehce.
     
  • January 2007

    Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2007: 27th Annual Occupational Safety and Health Winter Institute, St. Pete Beach, FL. To review course descriptions, visit: www.sph.unc.edu/osherc/ or call the North Carolina Education and Research Center at (888) 235-3320.
  • For Up to Date OHS Section News...

    Make sure to visit the OHS Section Web site at http://depts.washington.edu/oshalert


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