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Jessica Martinez to Serve as Acting Executive Director of National Council for Occupational Safety and Health

Monday, October 12, 2015
Press Contacts: 

Roger Kerson, 734.645.0535, roger@rkcommunications.net

SAN DIEGO -- The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) announced today that Jessica Martinez, MPH, will serve as Acting Executive Director of the organization on an interim basis.

Martinez is a veteran health and safety activist who has worked on economic and social justice campaigns to empower workers in the United States, Venezuela and Brazil. She has served as deputy director of National COSH since March 2014 and was previously the organization’s assistant director.

Outgoing Executive Director Mary Vogel will leave National COSH, effective October 16th, to take a new position as executive director for Building Pathways, a Boston-based nonprofit that sponsors a building trades pre-apprenticeship training program. Her work will include outreach efforts to bring apprenticeship opportunities in the construction industry to women and people of color.

“Mary Vogel is a forceful advocate for safer workplaces, and we deeply appreciate her efforts to forge partnerships with unions, community organizations, worker centers and others who share our concerns,” said Barbara Rahke, chair of the National COSH board of directors and executive director of the Philadelphia Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PhilaPOSH).

“Jessica Martinez has a solid track record of working with local COSH groups and other worker advocacy organizations to strengthen advocacy, training and public education programs,” said Rahke. “Her willingness to step into an enhanced role at National COSH is especially important at this critical time. With workplace deaths on the rise, we’re fighting to prevent devastating budget cuts at OSHA, to win a new rule limiting exposure to deadly silica dust, and to put effective, enforceable safety regulations in place in cities and states across the country.”

The National COSH Board of Directors, made up of representatives of local COSH groups, will lead the process of selecting a new permanent executive director for the organization.

Prior to joining National COSH, Martinez served as a health and safety program coordinator at the Labor Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) at the University of California at Los Angeles and also at the Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (SoCalCOSH). In 2014, Martinez was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, representing safety professionals. She has also been awarded the Peace and Social Justice Award by the Southern California Institute for Popular Education (IDEPSCA) and the Lorin Kerr Activist Award by the OHS Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA).

National COSH brings together the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States. The organization advocates for comprehensive regulation of workplace hazards; legislation to create safer workplaces; prompt and effective investigations of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities; and the right of workers to participate in creating safe and healthy working environments.

For more information, please visit coshnetwork.org. Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook, and @NationalCOSH on Twitter.