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COSH Network in the News

July 2021

Safety + Health, New OSHA directive focuses on family members of workers killed on the job - July 28, 2021

In a press release from advocacy group the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, Holly Shaw-Hollis, whose husband Scott died in 2002 after falling from a barge in Philadelphia, calls the directive a “step in the right direction.”

Facility Executive, Workplace Death: Safety Groups Respond To OSHA Family Communication Plan - July 26, 2021

“This is an important step in the right direction,” said Holly Shaw-Hollis, who lost her husband, Scott Shaw, to a preventable fall from a barge in Philadelphia in 2002. “I know first hand that a sudden, shocking death in the workplace is a terrible experience for surviving family members. In the past, communication with OSHA has not always been consistent following these tragedies, at a time when families need answers and solid information.”

Shaw-Hollis serves on the board of directors for the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PhilaPOSH) and the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH).

Forbes, The Fight For Paid Leave Could Benefit Restaurant Workers More Than Most - July 23, 2021

“Restaurant workers have the highest rates of injury and illness compared to the private sector,” added Marcy Gelb, of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. “They labor in hot kitchens, work with sharp objects and lift and carry heavy objects for hours on end. They can’t afford to take time off or they risk losing their job.”

nj.com, More action needed to fix Chemical Safety Board crucial to N.J., advocates say - July 18, 2021

“The information that they put out is used by the entire universe from industry to advocates,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, one of the groups signing the letter. “That’s why it’s still critically important that they’re able to fulfill their mission.”

Huffington Post, These are your rights at work when it is dangerously hot July 1, 2021

“This is not a complicated hazard. It’s not something where you need expensive personal protective equipment or some complex procedural way to limit the exposure,” said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, a worker advocacy group. “It’s very basic. It’s rest, shade and water. We are in a position where we need that [heat standard] law in place, but it’s going to take some serious work.“

June 2021

Iowa Capital Dispatch, Grassley: SCOTUS ruling letting CA hog rules stand will hurt farmers, consumers - June 28, 2021

Opponents of the petition included the Humane Society of the U.S., Health Care Without Harm, The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, The Consumer Federation of America, and Food & Water Watch, AgriPulse reported.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Commentary: COVID-19 Has Exposed Underlying Injustices and Continues to Threaten the Health and Safety of Workers in Our Communities - June 19, 2021

Op-ed by Jessica Martinez, Co-director of National COSH

Business Insurance, Weekend inspections signal tougher OSHA approach - June 16, 2021

Worker safety advocates such as Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, Boston-based co-executive director of the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health, say there are situations in which so-called “day laborers,” or unskilled temporary workers often hired on the spot, may be working on weekends without the necessary training and protections.

People's World, OSHA orders COVID protections for health workers; other high-risk professions left out - June 14, 2021

“Health care workers who have saved lives during this pandemic deserve full protection—and so do all the other workers who provided us with food, shelter, sanitation, and everything else we needed,” said the council’s co-executive director, Marcy Goldstein-Gelb.

Construction Dive, OSHA: Employers may relax COVID-19 measures in fully vaccinated workplaces - June 14, 2021

Following the release of the agency's initial guidance on Jan. 29, an official at the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health said that "OSHA and our federal government has failed us," citing insufficient workplace inspections and data recording practices, Construction Dive reported.

Nextgov, OSHA Pandemic Safety Rules Only Cover Health Care Workers - June 14, 2021

“The Biden Administration has missed a crucial opportunity to protect all workers,” Jessica Martinez, a co-executive director of the worker advocacy group National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, said in a statement. “This is a new insult on top of the injuries, illnesses and deaths suffered by frontline workers and their families.”

Salon.com, Most workers excluded from Biden's new OSHA COVID-19 protections - June 13, 2021

"This is a new insult on top of the injuries, illnesses, and deaths suffered by frontline workers and their families," said Jessica Martinez, the group's co-director. "Vaccines have not reached all workers, and Covid-19 is not over."

Des Moines Business Register, OSHA issues emergency temporary standard guidance for health care workers - June 11, 2021

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health said in a statement that the new ETS, which follows a January executive order from President Joe Biden that OSHA by March 15 create a standard if it deemed one necessary, represents a “missed opportunity” to protect all workers.

Pew Stateline, OSHA Pandemic Safety Rules Only Cover Health Care Workers - June 11, 2021

“The Biden Administration has missed a crucial opportunity to protect all workers,” Jessica Martinez, a co-executive director of the worker advocacy group National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, said in a statement. “This is a new insult on top of the injuries, illnesses and deaths suffered by frontline workers and their families.”

EHS Today, OSHA Finally Issues Emergency Temporary Standard, but Only for Healthcare Workers - June 10, 2021

Not good enough, according to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH). “The Biden Administration has missed a crucial opportunity to protect all workers,” said Jessica E. Martinez, co-executive director of National COSH. “This is a new insult on top of the injuries, illnesses and deaths suffered by frontline workers and their families. Vaccines have not reached all workers and COVID-19 is not over.”

News Channel 5 Nashville, New COVID-19 workplace safety rules from OSHA focus on health care workers - June 10, 2021

“We feel strongly that all workers need protection," said Jessica Martinez, the group’s co-executive director. "We’re still not quite done with this pandemic.”

KNXV ABC-15, New COVID-19 workplace safety rules from OSHA focus on health care workers - June 10, 2021

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health praised the new rules while knocking the Labor Department for not issuing pandemic standards for all workplaces.

Common Dreams, Labor Advocates Rebuke Amazon for Latest 'Smoke and Mirrors' on Worker Safety - June 10, 2021

Amazon warehouses in recent years have repeatedly landed the company in the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health's annual "Dirty Dozen" reports of the worst corporate workplace safety violators.

Government Executive, OSHA Releases COVID Safety Standard for Healthcare Employees Only - June 10, 2021

“This is a new insult on top of the injuries, illnesses and deaths suffered by frontline workers and their families. Vaccines have not reached all workers and COVID-19 is not over,” said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, in a statement. “President Biden needs to have workers’ backs - by ensuring that the nation’s federal safety agency has the resources and teeth needed to hold employers accountable.”

Common Dreams, 'Shameful Failure': Biden's OSHA Excludes Most Workers From Covid Protections - June 10, 2021

"This is a new insult on top of the injuries, illnesses, and deaths suffered by frontline workers and their families," said Jessica Martinez, the group's co-director. "Vaccines have not reached all workers, and Covid-19 is not over."

Safety+Health, Secretary Walsh: OSHA’s forthcoming ETS to cover health care workers - June 9, 2021

The decision to have the ETS cover only health care workers drew criticism from some organizations, including the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Business Insurance, OSHA plans to tackle infectious disease standard in 2022 - June 9, 2021

While case counts are low, “those still working in closed quarters, those working with the public, still continue to get sick and die,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, Boston-based co-executive director for the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

May 2021

Yahoo!News, For the health and sanity of workers, the federal government needs to stop issuing head-scratching COVID work guidelines - May 29, 2021

Op-ed by National COSH co-executive Director Jessica Martinez and Gina Cummings Vice President of Alliances, Advocacy, and Policy for Oxfam America

People's World, Biden’s nominee for OSHA chief fights GOP for virus standards - May 28, 2021

“Doug Parker has first-hand experience as an advocate for workers and as a regulator with responsibility to protect workers and the public,” said NACOSH co-Executive Director Jessica Martinez. “He will have a huge task ahead of him to restore the credibility of an agency that failed to protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, with tragic results.”

WBUR, Mass. Health Boards Overwhelmed, Unready To Protect Workers - May 12, 2021

“It was a pass the buck. The state didn’t have the capacity, so they shifted that responsibility to the local boards of health,” said Jodi Sugerman-Brozan, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH).

Roll Call, Delayed COVID-19 worker protections attract crush of lobbyists - May 12, 2021

“We are optimistic, given the new leadership in the administration,” said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of the nonprofit National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

Bloomberg Law, Emergency OSHA Covid Rule Drawn Out by More White House Meetings - May 7, 2021

“As far as we’re concerned—the sooner, the better. We were behind the curve to begin with,” said Peter Dooley, senior health and safety project consultant in Phoenix for a worker advocacy group, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism, For some Virginia frontline workers, a struggle for Covid-19 compensation - May 6, 2021

“Workers are putting their lives on the line to provide us with food and other necessities,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of National Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health. “They deserve compensation. They deserve burial benefits if they die.”

April 2021

The International News, Covid-19 and US labor - May 1, 2021

Jessica Martinez is the co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH). She hosted the online commemoration.

“The health and safety movement has been fighting for mandatory Covid rules in the workplace since this pandemic started,” she said. “Getting the ETS to the White House is a huge victory; now we have to make sure this life-saving rule is rapidly approved and rigorously enforced.”

Counterpunch, Work to Die For: COVID-19 and U.S. Labor - April 30, 2021

During a virtual National Speak Out to observe Workers’ Memorial Week, labor safety activists called for a new COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to save workers’ lives. Jessica Martinez is the co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH). She hosted the online commemoration.

Boston Globe, In tally of 2020 worker fatalities a gaping hole: COVID deaths - April 28, 2021

"The nonprofit Institute for Work & Health in Toronto estimates that 20 percent of COVID infections among working-age adults in Ontario are attributed to workplace exposure, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health."

"Officially, 45 workers in Massachusetts lost their lives on the job last year, the majority as a result of injuries, according to a report released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. (The number is lower than the 72 in 2019 because so many workplaces were closed last year, the report states.)

Unofficially, however, hundreds, if not thousands, more likely died after contracting COVID at work."

People's World, Workers Memorial Day: Nobody knows how many workers COVID-19 has killed - April 28, 2021

The idea is to prevent more illnesses and deaths, which the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health documented in its new report, Deadly Risks, Costly Failures. It discussed the report and the issue at an April 27 Zoom press conference to mark Workers Memorial Day, April 28—now a memorial week.

The Progressive, Union Steps Up Pressure as Biden Administration Delays COVID-19 Safety Rule for Workers - April 26, 2021

Despite nationwide vaccination progress, “the vast majority of workers” are still not vaccinated yet must withstand dangerous conditions without protections, says Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-director of the National Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH).

The Stand, A needed remembrance, and rededication - April 26, 2021

Labor advocates and community groups around the country are connecting with the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health to share information, organize events, and bring attention to this year’s deepened vulnerabilities, especially “essential workers” who have endured so much to protect the public.

PewTrusts.org, New OSHA Leader Urged to Issue Pandemic Workplace Rules - April 15, 2021

“Doug played a key role in developing a statewide COVID-19 safety standard,” Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, a co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, a worker advocacy group, said in a statement. “Workers will be looking to him to take immediate action to enact a nationwide COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard.”

Construction Dive, Walsh hits pause on ETS as political will for new COVID-19 rules wanes - April 9, 2021

"Workers can't wait," said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, in a statement. "We know that workers still face the risk of COVID-19 infections in their workplaces, and we know that these infections can spread to neighborhoods, families and communities."

Politico, Biden administration weeks behind on Covid-19 workplace safety rules - April 7, 2021

"We are deeply concerned about when the standard is coming out. Basically workers have been going for a year facing untold numbers of illnesses and deaths without just a basic agreement that employers need to create a safety plan," said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

Bloomberg Law, Surging Covid Vaccine Rates Raise Legal Issues for OSHA Standard - April 5, 2021

“A premature declaration of victory will mean more people will die,” said attorney Michael Felsen, a legal fellow in Boston with the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health and retired regional solicitor for the Department of Labor.

Bloomberg Law, Employers Under Pressure as Covid Retaliation Court Claims Rise - April 2, 2021

“The need for workers to collectively organize and have a collective bargaining agreement is one tool available, another one of them is using the courts, though we prefer if employers develop a safety plan and engage workers in that process,” Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, told Bloomberg Law on a phone call.

March 2021

Hawaii Tribune Herald, Listen to workers on COVID-19 - March 27, 2021

Op-ed written by Alejandro Zuñiga of Fe y Justicia Worker Center and COSH Advisor Michael Felsen.

The Progressive, Listen to Workers on COVID-19 - March 25, 2021

Op-ed written by Alejandro Zuñiga of Fe y Justicia Worker Center and COSH Advisor Michael Felsen.

Bloomberg Law, Virus Worker Safety Rule Tests Biden After Trump DOL Nixed Draft - March 23, 2021

“Covid is still making people sick and causing deaths in unacceptable numbers,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, an advocacy group.

Kansas City Star, Pandemic and Trump-era neglect overwhelm federal agency tasked with worker safety - March 21, 2021

“Very early on near the beginning of the pandemic, we were fairly sure that we would not have OSHA having the backs of workers. We didn’t expect such an egregious lack of response,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, a worker advocacy group.

Cal Matters, Fresno health inspectors tipped off Foster Farms about state inspection amid outbreak - March 18, 2021

Alice Berliner, director of the Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health or SoCalCOSH, said while Cal/OSHA has powers beyond local health departments, the reverse is also true.

Boston Globe, A decision on tough new coronavirus workplace protections awaits Walsh as labor secretary - March 11, 2021

“This has just been an occupational health and safety disaster of epic proportions,” said Jodi Sugerman-Brozan, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, which includes workers, unions, and community groups. “We know that exposure at work is one of the key ways people are becoming sick and even dying.”

Harpers Bazaar, Unionizing Amazon Workers Aren't Endorsing the Viral Weeklong Amazon Boycott - March 11,2021

In 2019, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health found that Amazon is one of the highest-ranking companies to inflict unsafe practices upon its workers, leading to "high incidence of suicide attempts; workers urinating in bottles and workers left without resources or income after on-the-job injuries."

MEAWW, Amazon’s chronic woes with workers’ mental health, ruthless work conditions deepen after another employee suicide - March 11, 2021

Amazon's poor progress with workers' mental health and bad working conditions led to them being placed on the 'Dirty Dozen' list. In 2020, they had 'six fatalities, hundreds of injuries due to breakneck pace of next-day delivery; at least one dead from COVID-19'

Raleigh News & Observer, NC under-counting COVID deaths among workplace fatalities, worker advocates say - March 9, 2021

Hunter Ogletree, director of the Western North Carolina Workers Center, said the number appears especially low considering the labor department received 4,842 complaints from workers regarding COVID-19 in 2020.

Peter Dooley, safety and health senior project coordinator for the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, said under-reporting of workplace fatalities and injuries was common before the pandemic.

Amsterdam News, Amazon Workers Demand Historic Change - March 4, 2021

With at least 13 deaths at Amazon facilities––even before the pandemic––Amazon made the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health’s “Dirty Dozen” list of dangerous employers two years running.

Works in Progress, An energized movement steps up for essential workers - March 2021

Worker health projects are linked together in the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health (COSH). Composed of councils or committees on OSH, labor councils, health care providers and related organizations that focus on immigrant communities and social justice, the COSH movement is reinventing itself around the current crisis.

The Hill, What was Trader Joe's thinking? - March 3, 2021

As Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health put it, “If workers are going to be given the title ‘essential,’ then they deserve the essential measures that keep them safe.”

Tech Crunch, TC Sessions - March 3, 2021

At TC Sessions: Justice, I spoke with Gig Workers Collective co-founder and organizer Vanessa Bain, The Congress of Essential Workers founder and former Amazon warehouse worker Christian Smalls and National Council for Occupational Safety and Health Co-Executive Director Jessica E. Martinez about what’s next for gig workers and tech’s contractor workforce, and what battles lie ahead for these essential workers.

AIHA: 5 on the Frontline, Exploring the Health and Safety Challenges that Latinx Workers and Other Communities of Color Face During the Pandemic - March 1, 2021

In this episode, Mark Ames talks with Jessica Martinez, Co-executive Director of National Council for Occupational Safety and Health about the challenges Hispanic workers face during the pandemic.

February 2021

EHS Online, Will Employees Be Able to Sue Over OSHA Violations? - February 22, 2021

However, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH), in its recently published 2021 National Agenda for Worker Safety and Health, called on the Biden administration to back a version of the Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA) incorporating a private right of action into the OSH Act.

Seattle Times, Eastern Washington berry grower will pay $350,000 for manager’s assaults and alleged sexual harassment - February 22, 2021

Workers tend to be vulnerable, said Alyson Dimmitt Gnam, an attorney with the Northwest Justice Project’s farmworker unit who focuses on sexual harassment. “Oftentimes, the only thing they can do is farm work,” she said, and there is a limited number of employers, making them feel they must endure abuse.

News & Observer, NC violated obligations to protect workers from COVID, labor groups claim - February 16, 2021

“We do see workers that are still falling ill,” said Hunter Ogletree of the Western North Carolina Workers Center, one of the groups that filed the complaint. Without stricter workplace standards, “employers are going to continue to do the bare minimum,” he said, because they are currently subject only to recommendations. “This is going to continue until the pandemic is over and until workers can get vaccinated, which we don’t know when that’s going to happen.”

National Law Review, Push to Give Workers Right to Sue Employers for Occupational Safety and Health Act Violations - February 16, 2021

In its 2021 National Agenda for Worker Safety and Health, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) called on the Biden administration to back a version of the Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA) that also would incorporate a private right of action into the OSH Act.

Prism Reports, Threats of deportation prevent workers from speaking out against workplace conditions - February 11, 2021

“Raids by ICE have long had devastating consequences but the past four years were disastrous,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb co-executive director of National COSH. “Knowing that the prior administration was fomenting anti-immigrant sentiment, ICE was used by employers to silence workers. Even worse, ICE itself helped silence workers in cases like the Hard Rock Hotel, when a worker witness to the deadly collapse was deported.”

Raw Story, Trump administration's vaccine failure leaves workers unprotected - February 10, 2021

Worker advocacy groups, however, are not content to simply let the process play out. They are determined to keep applying pressure. On Feb. 3, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) issued its own eight-point National Agenda for Workplace Safety and Health. The same week, United For Respect (UFR), a national non-profit advocating for the rights of U.S. workers, called for a mass vaccination effort that prioritizes public-facing retail workers.

DC Report.org, Trump Administration’s Vaccine Failure Leaves Workers Unprotected - February 2021

On Feb. 3, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) issued its own eight-point National Agenda for Workplace Safety and Health. The same week, United For Respect (UFR), a national non-profit advocating for the rights of U.S. workers, called for a mass vaccination effort that prioritizes public-facing retail workers.

Safety + Health, Advocacy group offers OSHA 8-point agenda for emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 - February 6, 2021

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is calling on OSHA to enact an emergency temporary standard related to COVID-19 – an action the advocacy group says won’t require OSHA officials to reinvent the wheel.

Several OSHA State Plan states already have issued ETSs to help protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering federal OSHA a valuable framework, National COSH Co-Executive Director Jessica Martinez said during a Feb. 3 virtual conference call exploring the organization’s national agenda for worker safety and health.

“We want to make sure that we can model these. We don’t have to start from nothing,” Martinez said. “There’s already a model to be able to take from. But the goal, again, is to be able to ensure that every employer has a prevention plan to deal with infectious disease across the board.”

Boston Globe, COVID death rates in some occupations higher among workers of color - February 4, 2021

The report’s findings confirm what MassCOSH has been “screaming from the top of our lungs,” said executive director Jodi Sugerman-Brozan: “Workplace exposure is killing people, and workplace exposure is a key means through which the virus is spreading.”

People's World, NACOSH unveils comprehensive job safety/health strengthening plan - February 4, 2021

And Vasquez told a Zoom press call organized by the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH), that federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors are nowhere in sight.

Construction Dive, Workers' group calls out OSHA, demands tougher COVID-19 standards - February 4, 2021

“The sad truth is that during the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA and our federal government has failed us,” said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, on a Zoom call with reporters where she unveiled an eight-part agenda to keep workers safe. “It has failed to reduce risk, failed to protect workers and failed to stop the spread of a deadly disease.”

San Luis Obispo TribuneCalifornia is failing to fully track workplace COVID infections – SLO County is no exception - February 3, 2021

But those and other industries that are widely believed to be contributing to the crisis are likely operating under the radar, said Stephen Knight, executive director of Worksafe, an employee-rights advocacy group.

Government Technology, CA Has ‘Major’ Problem Tracking Workplace COVID Infections - February 2, 2021

"If you're not paying attention, and documenting where and why people are getting sick and dying, (the virus) doesn't just stay in the workplace," said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. "It goes back to families. It goes back to whole communities."

January 2021

LA Times, Despite Cal/OSHA’s emergency COVID-19 safety rule, workers say little has changed - January 28, 2021

“More should have happened much sooner,” said Stephen Knight, executive director of Worksafe, an advocacy group that petitioned Cal/OSHA in May to adopt pandemic workplace standards. “I would love to see the governor in front of a flagrantly violating employer and making clear there are penalties to be paid for not keeping a workplace safe.”

CTN News, Packages Over People? – Amazon Faces Multiple Allegations of Employee Mistreatment - January 27, 2021

News of Amazon’s unsafe working conditions first made national headlines in 2018. It was in this year that the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) added the e-commerce giant to its list of the twelve worst employers in the USA (better known as the “Dirty Dozen”).

USA Today, COVID-19 deaths go uninvestigated as OSHA takes a hands-off approach to meatpacking plants - January 11, 2021

"From the beginning, (OSHA) said they’re not going to investigate,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. “They basically reneged on their responsibility and mission throughout.”

The Pump Handle, The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety - Fall 2019 – Fall 2020

Numerous mentions of campaigns, activities and successes of the COSH Network throughout the year.

 

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