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2009 COSH Conference Workshop Descriptions

Concurrent Workshop Session I (Thurs. 11/5 10:45-12:00)

What Workers and Unions Need to Know About the H1N1 Flu. Sharon Simon, Presenter
In this workshop we will discuss what a flu pandemic is, the basics of H1N1 flu, how the flu spreads, the vaccine, protecting yourself against the flu, how employers should protect workers at the workplace, effective respiratory protection, and what actions unions should take.

Recordkeeping Requirements and OSHA’s New Enforcement Initiative. Tom O’Connor, Presenter
A number of academic studies and investigative news reports have confirmed what we’ve known for a long time—you can’t trust the accuracy of many employers’ injury and illness logs. The new OSHA leadership recognizes this problem and has launched an enforcement program aimed at identifying employers who cheat on their OSHA 300 logs. This workshop will discuss current recordkeeping requirements, recent changes relating to reporting of musculoskeletal disorders, and OSHA’s new enforcement initiative. We will also discuss what unions and worker advocates can do to attack the problem of inaccurate injury and illness reports.

Chemical Exposure and Inherently Safer Technology. Rick Engler, Presenter

This workshop will focus on New Jersey’s unique regulation requiring facilities that use high hazard substances to assess their options to adopt “inherently safer technology”, methods to design out dangers to both workers and the community. It will address the strengths and weaknesses of the rule and opportunities for union and community engagement.

Concurrent Workshop Session II (Thurs. 11/5 1:30-3:00)

Effective Joint Labor-Management Health and Safety Committees. Sharon Simon, Presenter
In this workshop, we will discuss how to establish a joint health and safety committee, structure and functions of joint committees, union preparation for participation in joint meetings, and pros and cons of joint committees.

Aggressive Health and Safety Tactics. Peter Dooley & Jim Savage, Presenters.
Health and Safety can be the most powerful issue in worker rights and labor relations. How can health and safety complaints be turned into success stories? How can legal rights be used to pressure companies to improve working conditions? This class will cover the strategic use of safety rights to empower workers to build and organize the union. Examples of effective tactics bill be provided by USW Local Union President Jim Savage and former Philaposh Director Jim Moran.

Healthcare Worker Hazards. Cecilia Leto & Roger Cook, Presenters
Healthcare workers face a wide range of workplace hazards, including ergonomic and violence in the workplace. This workshop will examine the facts about safe patient handling and violence prevention in healthcare. The workshop will allow participants to think about barriers to implementing workplace policies and state legislation, and about how to overcome these barriers. Workbooks and sample legislation will be provided.