204400 COSH perspectives on construction safety and health issues

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:30 PM

Peter Dooley, MS, CIH, CSP , LaborSafe, Dexter, MI
COSH groups are grassroots, worker centered activist groups advocating for improved health and safety conditions for workers. These groups are connected to each other by an affiliation with the National COSH Network. COSH groups have a broad range of outreach programs. These range from substantial work with organized labor to community based health and safety advocacy for health and safety rights of the unorganized workers.

COSH groups serve many roles in the health and safety community. One role is to view the health and safety world from the “bottom up”. Much of the bottom of health and safety happens in the construction industry. According to the 4th edition of CPWR's "The Construction Chart Book," the death rate of Hispanic construction workers tripled during the period 1992-2005, and they have consistently experienced higher death rates than other workers. Small contractors with 20 or less employees, representing 39% of construction employment, accounted for 55% of deaths, and 44% of the deaths with 10 or fewer employees.

COSH groups have gotten involved with projects related to the Twin Towers work, Katrina cleanup, residential construction and local fatality cases. COSH groups have brought many resources to these struggles including training, public advocacy, and information dissemination. An important aspect of COSH work is being able to support workers to become more organized to advocate for themselves and their own health and safety. Much of this is done through community organizations. This presentation will describe current activity in construction health and safety by COSH groups.

Learning Objectives:
Identify three programs that are carried out by COSH groups in construction health and safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My education and experience working in H&S for 30 years and experience with COSH groups.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.