Workers and Employers to Speak Out on Their Safety and Health
The University of Cincinnati Department of Environmental Health Education and Research Center (ERC) has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to host a town hall meeting aimed at identifying health and safety issues affecting manufacturing workers in the Midwest.
The meeting—one in a series taking place across the United States (US)—is slated for Monday, March 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Edison Community College, 1973 Edison Dr., in Piqua, Ohio. It is cohosted by the Great Lakes Center for Agricultural Safety and Health.
NIOSH will use information gathered at these meetings to create the next decade’s National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), a framework of priorities for state- and nationally funded research to improve the US working environment.
“We want to ensure the safety and health of the people who keep this country running every day,” said Scott Clark, PhD, director of UC’s ERC and division of environmental and occupational hygiene.
“This meeting gives frontline workers and employers a forum for their concerns,” he continues. “We need to know who is most at risk, what the issues are and what research areas should be key priorities to improve working conditions in the future.”
Representatives from all sectors and states surrounding Ohio—including construction, agriculture, mining, transportation and other industries—are invited to speak during the morning session from 9 a.m. to noon. A session focusing specifically on the needs of the national manufacturing sector will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
To speak at either session, all participants must register online at www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora. Comments can also be submitted to this Web address or e-mailed to email@example.com. Time limits will determine the number of speakers who can be heard.
“We want to reduce work-related injury and illness, and NORA has demonstrated the importance of strategic research partnerships in providing safe and healthy workplaces,” said John Howard, MD, national director of NIOSH. “Our goal is to build on these successes while preparing for new challenges in the 21st century workplace.”
The UC-hosted meeting is the only one focusing on manufacturing, which, according to the NIOSH, represents more than 14 million workers in the United States and 14 percent of the overall workforce. Those workers produce essential commodities such as food, textiles, chemicals, machinery, metals and electrical equipment. In 2004, there were more than 903,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses among this work group.