National COSH releases ‘action agenda’ for protecting workers
San Diego – More needs to be done to protect workers, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health says.
More than 90 other organizations agree. Those groups have endorsed National COSH’s action agenda, Protecting Workers’ Lives and Limbs, released March 15.
National COSH and its supporting organizations say they will lobby members of Congress, as well as state and municipal representatives, to fight for enhanced safety and health protections for workers. National COSH delegations will visit congressional offices in advance of Workers Memorial Week, which is set to take place April 23-30.
The action agenda includes eight goals:
- Make worker health and safety a priority.
- Ensure health and safety protection for all workers.
- Increase worker participation.
- Eliminate disparities in workplace illnesses, injuries and fatalities, and ensure equal access to safe, healthy workplaces and protections.
- Reduce – and work to eliminate – the widespread use of toxic chemicals.
- Ensure injured workers have access to quality, timely medical treatment and just wage replacement benefits.
- Count all occupational injuries and illnesses.
- Implement measures to adapt to and prevent further climate change.
“We can’t wait for tragedy to strike before we take action,” Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of National COSH, said in a press release. “We have to improve our safety laws and insist on tough enforcement before workers are hurt or killed on the job.”
Groups endorsing the agenda include the American Public Health Association, National Nurses United, the Center for Progressive Reform, and the Partnership for Working Families, as well as state and regional occupational safety groups.
“Every day in this country, workers are dying from conditions we know how to prevent,” Joseph Zanoni, chair of the American Public Health Association’s Occupational Health and Safety Section, said in a press release. “There’s no reason for a worker to drown in a trench or get crushed to death by a machine without proper guarding. We can prevent these tragedies by engaging workers in training and applying proven safety practices – and if we do, we’ll save lives, increase productivity and reduce the high cost of caring for sick, injured and fallen workers.”