August 15, 2011
By Stephanie West
The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) with support from a group of labor unions, health-care facilities, environmental organizations and Manhattan Community Board 1 will sponsor an all day conference on September 16th entitled “Protecting Worker and Community Health: Are We Prepared for the Next 9/11?”
The conference will discuss how harm occurred, what steps have been taken to prevent such occupational and environmental health consequences in future catastrophes, and what still needs to be done to insure harm can be minimized in future disaster response efforts. The conference will undertake a frank assessment of public health regulation and policy in order to identify and advocate for the changes necessary to better protect the health of rescue, recovery, cleanup and area workers and local residents in future disasters.
“Tens of thousands of workers, residents and volunteers are sick today some have died as a result of their exposure to contaminants that blanketed Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn after 9/11. There is much to learn from this catastrophic experience. This conference is designed to ask, ‘If 9/11 were to happen today, how would our response be different?’ We think it is important to hear from those with responsibility what programs have been developed so that we don’t repeat this recent history,” said Joel Shufro, Executive Director of NYCOSH.
The conference will feature speakers from federal agencies who had responsibility at the World Trade Center-related sites, including:
• John Howard, M.D., WTC Health Program Director and Director of the National Institute for Occupational Health Sciences (NIOSH)
• David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA (OSHA)
• Richard Woychick, Deputy Director, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
• Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator, EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
The conference will be held at the United Federation of Teachers, 52 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. The cost of the conference is $25, which covers morning coffee, lunch and handouts. To register go to www.NYCOSH.org Space is limited. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Advanced registration is required.
For further information call 212-227-6440.