250201 Training to confront the risk: Philadelphia unions unite to prevent hydrofluoric acid (HF) catastrophe

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thomas H. McQuiston, DrPH , USW Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Education, Chapel Hill, NC
James Ridley , Haz-Mat / WMD Director, International Association of Fire Fighters, Washington, DC
James Savage , USW Local 10-1, Sunoco Philadelphia Refinery, Linwood, PA
Mark D. Catlin, BS BA , Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Washington, MD
During the stress and turmoil of emergency responses to major disasters, it is extremely difficult to coordinate between on-site responders and off-sight fire fighters rushing to the scene. To minimize these dangers, the USW and the Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Education are teaming with the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of Government Employees and other unions to address on-site and off-site issues for plant workers, emergency responders and first receivers (i.e., EMTs and hospital workers). During the past year, these partners have engaged collectively in the development of a worker training program on prevention, preparedness and response related to sites with very large volumes of highly hazardous chemicals -- initially two petroleum refineries using hydrofluoric acid (HF) in one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas. We will report on: participatory curricula integration, a discussion guide encouraging an in-depth analysis of the realities facing workers in their various roles, and a checklist for improving prevention and emergency response preparedness for at-risk sites. We will also report on a pilot program that will produce recommendations to management at the respective facilities and organizations.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe a multi-sector and multi-union campaign to raise awareness, and improve prevention, preparedness and response to a potential major hydrofluoric acid (HF) catastrophe. Discuss the experiences of refinery workers, emergency responders, first receivers who have collectively examined issues facing the communities and workforces potentially impacted.

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Labor

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am organizing this multi-sector, multi-union project in Philadelphia.
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.