142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Grassroots Health and Safety Activism The COSH Experience in Retrospective

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Peter Dooley, MS, CIH, CSP , LaborSafe, Dexter, MI

 90 minute session with 2 COSH abstracts

The passage of the OSHA Act in 1970 along with a growing political around cause such as environmentalism, civil rights and peace led to powerful movement in workplace health and safety know as the COSH movement. Soon after Labor Unions successfully lobbied for the passage of new rights under the OSHA Act, groups of activists, labor leaders and workers started to organize around making workplace safety a reality for all workers.

            This young movement connected health and legal professionals along with labor and social justice groups to develop education and public awareness campaigns to bring some of the hidden dangers of workplaces out of the shadows and into the public light. Hazards such as Cotton Dust, Coal Dust and Asbestos along with the numbers of workplace fatalities drove new energy among workers and activists alike to demand more attention and resources to impact the growing recognition of this public health crisis. Organizers such as Tony Mazzocchi teamed up with medical and legal professionals to advance and encourage the development and proliferation of COSH groups.

              COSH groups have been the entry point for many of the health and safety activists and professionals. These groups combine a unique organization where professionals and shop-floor workers can have dialogue and activity to influence workplace conditions and policies.

            This presentation will describe aspects of the COSH “story” that has led up to a vibrant activist movement currently having an impact on the American worker health and safety experience.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the history of the COSH movement in the US health and safety experience

Keyword(s): Occupational Health and Safety, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Peter Dooley MS CIH CSP is a safety and health consultant and President of Laborsafe. Peter currently serves as a member of the NACOSH advisory board to federal OSHA as well as positions in National COSH, USMWF [United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities] and APHA [American Public Health Association]. He worked in many industries performing Industrial Hygiene and Safety services. Previously, he worked for Michigan State University in Occupational Health and Safety.
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.