4ever Champions

Read Biographies of 2011 "4ever Champion" award winners

OHA Week Making News

Workforce Development Institute's Unseenamerica Photo Display featured in Albany Times Union

NIOSH eNews Volume 9 Number 1 May 2011 features article  on Dr. John Howard's "Always and 4ever Champion" award.  

OHA- Week Video Links

Videos courtesy of Assemblymember Rory I. Lancman

Occupational Health Awareness Week 

April 27 - May 4, 2011

The mission of Occupational Health Awareness (OHA) Week is to expand awareness - through the promotion of educational and prevention initiatives - supporting the need for healthy workplaces and a reduction of work-related illness, injury and fatalities. Occupational Health Week serves as an annual opportunity to promote, support and acknowledge the importance of worker health and safety in EVERY workplace.

Employers, unions and other worker advocate organizations, workers themselves and policy makers can choose to take an active role in promoting a healthy and productive workplace. With a legal responsibility to protect their workforce, employers can also reduce workers' compensation and related costs and improve productivity by committing to providing safe and healthy work. But we can all honor workers by helping to assure the provision of safe and healthy worksites and practices during Occupational Health Awareness Week and every week of the year.

The founder of OHA Week, the New York State Occupational Health Clinic Network (OHCN), is the nation's only state-based occupational health clinic network and is comprised of 11 regionally based clinical centers, including one with a specific focus on agricultural medicine. The network was created in 1987 to offer specialized medical diagnoses, high-quality care and support services for workers with occupational (work-related) illnesses. The OHCN uses multidisciplinary teams of physicians, industrial hygienists, health educators and social workers working closely with workers, labor organizations, employers and others to help prevent, diagnose and treat work-related illness and injury. The Network offers prevention consultation and advice to employees and employee groups, employers, health care professionals and others, partnering with unions, employers and other entities to help identify unsafe conditions, evaluate the risks to workers, and methods to eliminate or reduce the risks. Offering support of the week and occupational health and safety initiatives and education for workers are a variety of other organizations and entities state and nationwide, including unions, COSH groups, professional organizations, immigrant advocate groups, and others.

OHA Week is being held this year in conjunction with Workers Memorial Day, April 28th, which serves as a nationwide day of remembrance to recognize the thousands of U.S. workers who die and millions more who become disabled each year just doing their job. In New York State alone nearly 280,000 workers each year are reported to become ill or injured as a result of their work, and over 220 lose their lives. The tragedy is that WORKPLACE ILLNESS AND INJURIES ARE GENERALLY PREVENTABLE!

The supporters of OHA WEEK therefore urge everyone to "TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE! " of OHA Week -- by planning or participating in at least one activity to start, marking your commitment to the health and safety of workers.  Let's honor the men and women who have died, become disabled or lost a loved one on the job. We must do all we can to make sure New York workers return safely home to their families each and every day.

What are some things that employers can do?

  • Review OSHA/PESH laws that apply to your worksites and assure they are in compliance
  •  Work with workforce representatives to develop health & safety (h & s) programming as needed 
  • Invite a site visit from an occupational health expert to make h & s recommendations 
  • Offer medical screenings to help rule out hazardous exposures 
  • Host in-house workshops/training sessions for workers, focused on preventing work-related illness and injury 
  • Form/Join/Support Health & Safety Committees 
  • Host a workplace Health & Safety Fair with h & s demonstrations, displays and more
  • Distribute h & s information regularly, along with appropriate protective equipment to employees

What  are some things that workers can do?

  • Know your rights under OSHA/PESH and state Workers Compensation (WC) laws 
  • Form/Join a Health and Safety Committee and communicate with its representatives about workplace concerns and issues 
  • Bring to the attention of H & S Committees/Employers/Coworkers potential worksite hazards needing elimination 
  • Participate in medical screenings, trainings, workshops and other activities offered by employers or labor unions
  • Exercise your right to appropriate protective equipment, procedures and training if not provided at your worksite, and follow the policies and procedures necessary to prevent injury or illness from these hazards
  • Distribute health and safety information to co-workers 
  • Write a letter - to the editor of a local newspaper/area legislator/policy maker - describing in your own words why workplace health and safety, and the programs supporting H & S, are so important

Where can I get help?

Resources are available across the New York State and the U.S. to help prevent, reduce and treat work-related injuries and illnesses.

The New York State OHCN, founder of OHA week, offers expert medical diagnoses, care and other support and educational services for workers with work-related illnesses, including but not limited to individual clinical services, group medical screenings, industrial hygiene and ergonomic evaluations and consultant services.

Help and support can also be obtained from other organizations, including unions, COSH groups, professional organizations, immigrant advocate groups, and others.

TELL US HOW you plan to support OHA Week!





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