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National COSH awards activists, groups for their health and safety achievements

Friday, November 30, 2012
Press Contacts: 

Dorry Samuels

Tel: (508) 277-7997

dorry.samuels@gmail.com

                                                       

Labor Group Wins National Recognition for Efforts to Improve Workplace Health and Safety

 

United Steelworkers’ Health, Safety, Environment Department Will Receive Lifetime Achievement Award 

 

November 30, 2012 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The United Steelworkers’ (USW) Health, Safety and Environment Department has been awarded the Tony Mazzocchi Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health for its efforts to improve workplace health and safety. 

 

This award recognizes the accomplishments health and safety activists fighting and making a difference for the rights of workers. 

 

Although many unions have struggled to keep health and safety issues on the move within their structures and membership, the USW has been steadfast in expanding their program, reaching new workers and developing new programs that benefit its own members as well as workers in general,” said Tom O’Connor, executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. “The USW Health, Safety and Environment Department has been on the forefront of fighting company-dominated programs that blame workers while trying to shift away their own responsibility. While health and safety education programs have gotten harder for unions to sustain, USW Health, Safety and Environment Department has consistently expanded its educational outreach to include more members and have health and safety activists from outside the union involved in these programs.”

The USW has grown its peer trainer program to include more members to develop new skills to lead health and safety trainings among workers and union leadership and management, O’Connor added.

The USW will receive its award on Dec. 6 at the National Worker Safety and Health Conference in Baltimore.

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The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is a federation of local and statewide organizations; a private, non-profit coalition of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others interested in promoting and advocating for worker health and safety.

To learn more about the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, visit: http://www.coshnetwork.org.

 

 

New York Activist Wins National Recognition for Efforts to Improve Workplace Health and Safety

 

NYCOSH Training Specialist Will Receive the Trainer/Educator Award from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health 

 

November 30, 2012 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Luzdary Giraldo, a safety and health specialist at the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), has been awarded the Trainer/Educator Award by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health for her efforts to improve workplace health and safety.

 

This award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual or group of individuals who excel in reaching workers though training and education and therefore empowering workers to fight for improved health and safety.

 

Giraldo has been an immigrant workers right advocate and organizer for the last 10 years. She became passionate about the safety and health labor movement in 2005 when NYCOSH hired her. She has trained hundreds of immigrant workers while educating and advocating on their rights using popular education techniques as a model. Giraldo has also used ethnic media as a vehicle to educate workers and the public in general on safety and health issues.

 “I got involved because, as an immigrant, I lived through and witnessed many injustices with immigrant workers, and I committed myself to advocate for the most vulnerable and low-wage workers,” Giraldo said. “Being involved in the Safety and Health movement means fighting for my own rights as well as for those who depend on me: my children and younger immigrant generations.”

 

“Luzdary Giraldo has risen to every occasion for NYCOSH and the National COSH network with skill, enthusiasm, passion and dedication,” said Maureen LaMar, associate director of NYCOSH, who nominated Giraldo. “She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty. She is loved and respected by all she has taught and worked alongside, and this has opened many doors and created many networks for our movement. She is a talented teacher, organizer and spokesperson. Luzdary is a truly inspirational and hard-working activist.”

 

Giraldo will receive her award on Dec. 6 at the National Worker Safety and Health Conference in Baltimore.

 

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The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is a federation of local and statewide organizations; a private, non-profit coalition of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others interested in promoting and advocating for worker health and safety.

To learn more about the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, visit: http://www.coshnetwork.org.


 

New Jersey Activist, Group Win National Recognition for Efforts to Improve Workplace Health and Safety

 

New Labor Will Receive Trainer/Educator Award from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health

 

November 30, 2012 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Carmen Martino, director of education for New Brunswick, N.J.-based New Labor, and his team have been awarded the Trainer/Educator Award by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health for their efforts to improve workplace health and safety.

 

This award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual or group of individuals who excel in reaching workers though training and education and therefore empowering workers to fight for improved health and safety.

 

“Like all COSH activists, we see workplace health and safety as a basic human right and point of entry for assisting workers in their efforts to protect themselves on the job,” Martino said. “At the same time we see each training as an important opportunity for workers and worker trainers to collectively analyze and improve their understanding of who they are and what they are capable of doing when they work together to address and solve the problems that matter most to them.  It doesn’t always work, but when it does it warms the heart, recharges old batteries and reminds us of why we do what we do!

 

Martino has dedicated his last 20 years to fighting for safe and healthy working conditions for all working people through training and organizing. Through his research, curriculum development, Train the Trainer programs, and skills as a trainer, Martino has promoted and encouraged thousands of workers to take action to protect their safety and health on and off the job. The curriculum he has developed reaches across diverse workplaces, including high hazard chemical plants, healthcare, warehousing, food services, construction, landscaping, and others.

 

In 2000, Martino co-founded New Labor, an alternative model of worker organization that combines new and existing strategies to improve working conditions and provides a voice for immigrant workers in New Jersey. Today, New Labor has more than 2,000 dues-paying members. New Labor organizes to develop power and amplify their members’ voices in the community, the workplace, and the political realm. As Director of Education for New Labor, Martino develops participatory curriculum that has been used not only in New Jersey, but also across the United States.

Founded in 2000 as a membership-based worker center of low-wage Latino immigrants in New Jersey, New Labor educates, organizes, and fights for social justice in the workplace. New Labor’s members and staff use training, leadership development and direct action to collectively improve conditions of work.

“As an Executive Committee Member for the New Jersey Work Environment Council, Carmen stays connected to the National COSH movement,” said Tom O’Connor, executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. “We commend Carmen and entire New Labor team for their dedication to the cause of justice and safe working conditions for all low-wage workers.

 

Martino and New Labor will receive their award on Dec. 6 at the National Worker Safety and Health Conference in Baltimore.

 

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The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is a federation of local and statewide organizations; a private, non-profit coalition of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others interested in promoting and advocating for worker health and safety.

To learn more about the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, visit: http://www.coshnetwork.org.

 

 

Lincoln, Neb., Activist Wins National Recognition for Efforts to Improve Workplace Health and Safety

 

Workplace Safety Advocate Will Receive the New COSH Activist Award from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health

 

November 30, 2012 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Tonya Ford, a board member of the United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF), has been awarded the Family Activist Award by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health for her efforts to improve workplace health and safety. This award recognizes the work of an activist whose work in the community has made an impact to improve health and safety rights for all workers.

 

Ford became an active volunteer and advocate for workplace safety after the death of her Uncle Bobby (Robert Fitch) in 2009. Fitch fell 80 feet off of a belt-operated man-lift in a local Archer Daniel Midland Milling Co. (ADM) at which he had worked for more than 31 years. His brother in-law, Ford’s father, found him that day.  

 

“I truly am grateful for this award. This award represents so many things to me,” Ford said. “First and foremost, it represents someone so special to me, my Uncle Bobby. After his accident, I promised him I wouldn't let his death be in vain and I will make sure he is never forgotten. With the help of my family, United Support Memorial For Workplace Fatalities (USMWF) families, the Nebraska families, OSHA representatives, Nebraska AFL-CIO and many other safety advocates, I believe I have been able to honor my promise to my Uncle Bobby. This award also represents to me individuals that I have come to know and hold so dear to my heart and their families: Shawn Boone, Travis Wayne Koehler, Emilio DeLeon, Ryan Hitchler, Ray Gonzalez and sadly many others. They are why I don't stop and I will not stop until I hear that there were zero deaths and zero injuries in the workplaces. As USMWF says, ‘Going to Work Shouldn't Be A Grave Mistake.’”

 

Added Tammy Miser, founder and executive director of USMWF, who nominated Ford, I have watched as Tonya has grown in many ways; she is a true inspiration to all who know her. She stepped outside of her comfort zone more than once to further health and safety efforts, gain awareness and support others. Tonya has not only been successful as the USMWF Secretary, but she also has testified before U.S. House of Representatives, spoke at OSHA Listens, been quoted in numerous articles and created an annual Workers Memorial Way and Safety Expo in Lincoln, Neb. We couldn't be any prouder of the strength and endurance she has shown.”

 

“Family members of those who have died on the job play a critical role in educating the public about the importance of workplace safety,” said Tom O'Connor, executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. “Tonya’s efforts to raise public awareness about these issues have been an inspiration to all of us who work in this field. We are happy to be able to honor her and remember her ‘Uncle Bobby’ with this award.”

 

Ford will receive her award on Dec. 6 at the National Worker Safety and Health Conference in Baltimore.

 

 

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The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is a federation of local and statewide organizations; a private, non-profit coalition of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others interested in promoting and advocating for worker health and safety.

To learn more about the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, visit: http://www.coshnetwork.org.

 

 

 Los Angeles Activist Wins National Recognition for Efforts to Improve Workplace Health and Safety

 

AFL-CIO, SoCalCOSH Organizer Will Receive the New COSH Activist Award from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health

 

November 30, 2012 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Chloe Osmer, an organizer with the AFL-CIO and a board member of the Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (SoCalCOSH), has been awarded the New COSH Activist Award by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health for her efforts to improve workplace health and safety.

 

This award recognizes a recent activist into the COSH network for their sustained and outstanding efforts and dedication to fight for improved health and safety for all workers.

 

Before joining the AFL-CIO last year, Osmer was the Acting Director for the CLEAN Carwash Campaign. Through her health and safety work on the Carwash Campaign, Osmer helped develop a model of collaboration with community groups, partnership with state and federal enforcement agencies, and empowering and involving workers in improving safety conditions in the carwash industry. The Carwash Campaign developed worker health and safety committees, a countywide heat stress outreach campaign, and popular education materials for low-literacy workers. The CLEAN Carwash Campaign pushed OSH issues to the forefront of the campaign, providing a great model of how to effectively use occupational safety and health as an organizing tool with low-wage immigrant workers. She has remained active and engaged in activist work in addition to her hectic life as an organizer. She is currently working on organizing campaigns across the country and across borders.

Prior to working on the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, Chloe worked in communications for the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, producing communications for the Federation's 2.1 million union members, and helping lead the Federation’s media work for over five years of political and legislative campaigns.

Chloe has shown commitment to the OSH movement in Southern

California,” said Shirley Alvarado del-Aguila, the SoCalCOSH coordinator who nominated Osmer. “She became involved during her time at the CLEAN

Carwash Campaign by pushing occupational safety and health (OSH) issues to the forefront of the campaign and providing a great model of how to effectively use OSH as an organizing tool with low-wage immigrant workers. Sheʼs now in the organizing department at the AFL-CIO but has remained active and engaged.”

 

Osmer will receive her award on Dec. 6 at the National Worker Safety and Health Conference in Baltimore.

 

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The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is a federation of local and statewide organizations; a private, non-profit coalition of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others interested in promoting and advocating for worker health and safety.

To learn more about the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, visit: http://www.coshnetwork.org.