207368 Value of the Worker Health Protection Program

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:50 AM

James Frederick, MS , Health, Safety and Environment Department, USW, Pittsburgh, PA
Moriah Ferullo, RPA-C, MPH , Center for Biology and National Systems, Queens College of the City University of New York/Research Foundation of the City University of New York, Flushing, NY
Thomas H. McQuiston, DrPH , USW Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Education, Chapel Hill, NC
Sylvia Kieding, BA , USW Tony Mazzocchi Center, Denver, CO
Recent petro-chemical explosions focus attention toward traumatic fatalities; simultaneously, 60,000 workers die each year from occupational disease in the US. One strategy to address the toll of occupation disease is medical surveillance to identify illness and begin preventive therapies and secure compensation.

Former DOE workers struggled for years to have their work related illnesses recognized. Workers from these sites are at risk of disease from workplace exposures and are eligible for compensation. The United Steelworkers (USW) and Queens College, City University of New York conducts screenings of former nuclear weapons plant workers under a contract from DOE.

A panel of Sylvia Kieding, Moriah Ferullo, Tom McQuiston and Jim Frederick will describe the major program elements that result in a successful medical screening program and support from the target population. The panel will provide an overview of the Worker Health Protection program (WHPP) as part of the DOE's Former Worker Program, the largest occupational medicine screening program in North America highlighting the role that worker-coordinators have played in program oversight and outreach. The panel will also describe the outcome of the WHPP medical screening process. Of the 20,000 workers screened, 17.9% demonstrated findings consistent with occupational lung disease providing for earlier treatment.

Prior to the WHPP, at-risk workers from these DOE sites were limited by site secrecy. WHPP reflects the success that the constituents in this industry have achieved to document worker health and institute compensation. The framework provided can be used to integrate a medical screening program in other industries.

Learning Objectives:
Identity the eight major components of developing a model university/union medical screening program. List the eight major elements for success of the medical screening program to secure support from the target population and facilitate a needs assessment with the population.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: James Frederick is (I am) the Assistant Director of the USW Health, Safety and Environment and the Principal Investigator of the USW Tony Mazzocchi Center cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy and has oversight responsibility for this project for the union. I have a MS in Environmental Health and Safety Management and a BS in Environmental Health and have worked for the union on worker health and safety issues for more than 15 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
US Department of Energy Not Research: Medical Surveillance Prg Stock Ownership

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.