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The WNY Council On Occupational Safety & Health Joins Nationwide Campaign To Advance Workplace Safety Agenda Action

Published Friday, March 17, 2017
by WNYCOSH News

(BUFFALO, NEW YORK) - The Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH), a Buffalo-headquartered organization that advocates for Worker Safety across the Western New York Region, has joined a nationwide campaign to advance a Workplace Safety Agenda Action.

The campaign - Protecting Workers’ Lives And Limbs, was convened by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH) and has been endorsed by 92 groups across the United States, including WNYCOSH.  Their comprehensive platform for strong Worker Safety Protections, advocates say, can save Workers’ lives and reduce costs to employers.

Communication with elected officials is considered to be “urgent,” WNYCOSH Program Director Brian Brown-Cashdollar said, as recent Congressional actions have put Workers at risk by taking steps to eliminate sanctions against Federal Contractors who violate Safety Laws and reverse longstanding record-keeping rules.  “President Trump ‘promised to protect workers.’  Our platform is a ‘road map for him to follow through on his promise,” advocates say.

More than a dozen visits to Congressional offices will take place in nine states in the weeks leading up to Workers Memorial Day, a worldwide remembrance to honor workers who have died on the job.  WNYCOSH intends to commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day here in Western New York with a rally highlighting the importance of maintaining Worker Protections.

“WNYCOSH, our Member Unions and community allies are ‘prepared to stand and fight’ for Workers to ‘work safely and return home safely to their families.’ We will be mobilizing our membership and allies to ‘defend our hard-won gains in the workplace,” WNYCOSH Executive Director Germain Harnden said.

In addition to meeting with members of Congress, health and safety activists plan to push for better safety practices in U.S. workplaces and enhanced protections in state and municipal law.

The 92 organizations who have endorsed the Protecting Workers’ Lives And Limbs effort represent Workers, Labor Unions, Environmentalists and Civic Groups.

The platform’s key elements include: Ensuring health and safety protections for all Workers; Reducing and working to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals; Ensuring injured Workers access to quality medical care; Accurate counting of all occupational injuries and illnesses; and Measures to adapt to - and reduce - further climate change.

Statistics show that 236 Workers died on the job from preventable workplace trauma in New York in 2015, while nationwide, the death toll from preventable workplace trauma is estimated to be more than 4,500 workers every year.  In addition, an estimated 95,000 U.S. Workers die from long-term occupational illnesses on a yearly basis and millions more are injured after exposure to preventable safety hazards.

Meanwhile, the cost to U.S. employers for Workers’ Compensation alone was $91.8 billion in 2014, representing a fraction of the total cost of workplace deaths injuries and illnesses.

NCOSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the U.S. and advocates for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace.  For more information, visit coshnetwork.org.  In addition, more information on the Protecting Workers’ Lives And Limbs effort is available on the National COSH’s web site, here.

 

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