141st APHA Annual Meeting

In This section

Can an online resource and discussion tool advance advocacy? the workers' COMP hub experience

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:34 AM - 11:50 AM

Tom O'Connor , National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, Raleigh, NC
Despite workers' compensation systems functioning poorly with devastating consequences on the health and well-being of workers, there are surprisingly low levels of advocacy infrastructure, organizing activity and national co-ordination focused on this issue. A disconnect between policy efforts and grassroots advocacy makes it difficult to achieve structural change.

National COSH and the National Economic & Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) aim to make the workers' compensation system more accessible to injured and ill workers on an immediate basis and to build a broad-based network that connects policy efforts in workers' compensation with advocacy and organizing on the ground.

Workers' Comp Hub was launched in October 2012 as a centralized resource website that provides basic information for injured and ill workers and resources to advance pro-worker advocacy and action. It also serves as a national platform for sharing rights-based strategies and solutions and generating discussion that can build agreement about a proactive reform agenda.

Although the project is still in its early stages we have achieved measurable progress in 1) raising visibility of the problems in workers' compensation 2) presenting an ongoing dialogue that engages with reform considerations 3) building an emerging network of alliances and 4) generating more thinking around how we might better align policy and organizing efforts.

This presentation will present lessons learned from the Workers' Comp Hub experience and provide an opportunity for discussing how the community can collectively build on these lessons to better meet the needs of workers with occupational injuries and illnesses.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe the successes and challenges of using The Workers' Comp Hub to assist injured workers and advance workers' compensation advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have managed the “Rethinking Workers’ Compensation” project for the past three years at the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. As part of that project we co-founded Workers’ Comp Hub. I have worked in the field of human rights and labor rights for the past eight years.
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.