Category Archives: Communication

Worker’s Memorial Day 2013

On Sunday, April 28, 2013 WisCOSH will join together with workers, advocates and employers to both “Mourn for the Dead” and “Fight Like Hell for the Living“. You are invited to join us in Milwaukee, WI at the events.

  1. Fight Like Hell for the Living

    WisCOSH is hosting a fundraiser Chili Dinner and a discussion on current and proposed actions at the State and Federal levels which are or may have an effect on worker and/or workplace safety and health. There have been a number of proposed laws and changes to laws which is, will or could impact workers lives and livelihood. There is no cost to attend and participate in this discussion. Rep. Gwen Moore, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Mayor Tom Barrett among others have been invited to speak.

    This year WisCOSH will host a lunchtime Chili Dinner which will include 2 kinds of chili [vegetarian, meat], fixings [cheese, peppers, crackers, hot sauces], homemade cornbread and desserts. A variety of beverages will also be available. Please notify WisCOSH in advance if possible if you need the vegetarian dinner so that we can ensure there will be enough.

    The cost for the meal is $10 paid in advance or $12.50 at the door. Children’s meal is $5. Checks or money orders can be sent to: WisCOSH Office & Worker Training center, 1535 W. Mitchell St., Milwaukee, WI 53204. If you want/need to pay in cash please call (414) 933-2338 before coming to the office to ensure someone is available to help you as the office is only open for limited hours during remodeling.

    After the meal and discussion WisCOSH will lead a procession over to Zeidler Union Square Park for the commemmoration event.

  2. Mourn for the Dead

    Workers are invited to gather at Zeidler Union Square Park and commemmorate those workers lost to workplace incident or exposures in 2012. Sheila Cochran of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council will be the Master of Ceremonies. A number of speakers have been invited to speak including Rep. Gwen Moore, Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm. WisCOSH will read the names of those workers known to have died due to workplace incident or from workplace exposure as well as the names of those military personnel from WI that were killed while deployed followed by a moment of silence and candlelight vigil.

Watch this space for updates or visit WisCOSH‘s Facebook Page Events for updates and further information. WisCOSH Worker’s Memorial Day flier

Workers Lose Life, Businesses Reap Prophits

It’s another day.
Just like any other day.
A worker dies on the job every 14 minutes of the day. All day.
Another family loses an income. A father or mother. A son or daughter. A neighbor. A friend.
Then there are the workers exposed to hazardous materials on the job and die slowly over the course of years and decades.

It’s February 14th. Valentines Day. For most folks it’s a day to celebrate love, friendship and togetherness. For many people it’s an anniversary. A time to spend some romantic or quiet time together.

For workers it’s an anniversary too. But it’s not a happy one. It’s not one that anyone will ‘celebrate’ or enjoy. Today marks 2 years that the proposed standard has been stuck in the depths of OMB waiting for the chance to be published so that public comment can be taken. Once it goes to OMB a proposed standard has 90 days for review and should then be published so that the general public can read it and weigh in on it. It’s allowed to extend the review period by 45 days. It’s been 2 years! 730 days.

Two more years that workers have been exposed to silica in the workplace making it much more likely workers will contract, and eventually die, from one or more of the many illnesses related to silica exposure. Two more years of talking heads telling that regulation is bad and costs jobs. Two more years where workers and their families wondering what good the jobs are when they kill the worker. Slowly, over the course of many years.

But don’t worry too much. In the 2 years that the silica rule has been sitting at the OIRA there have been plenty of meetings about it and lots of discussion. Business has met with Whitehouse many times to discuss the proposal and it’s economic impact. Closed door meetings. Public not welcome. Business has had two years to apply pressure on the Whitehouse [which chose not to make worker concerns or desires a leading plank in it’s reelection campaign] to weaken, delay or kill the proposal.

While corporate lobbyists have had their say in the matter no one else has been allowed to. Won’t you take 5 or 10 minutes of your day to make a couple phone calls and urge the process along. Call your Congressmen/women. Call your President. Call Now!

  •  

  • Congress [Toll Free]: (888) 245-3381
    1. Press 1 to speak to your Representative
      • Enter Zip Code and you’ll be transferred to your Representative
    2. Press 2 to speak to your Senator
      • Enter Zip Code and you’ll be transferred to your Senator
  • Whitehouse: 1 (202) 456-1414 or if you’d prefer to write it down you can visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/html/contact_the_whitehouse.html.

WisCOSH Website 3.0 Now Live

For nearly a year WisCOSH has been working on it’s web presence to better serve it’s membership and workers in general. WisCOSH has redesigned it’s website to better take advantage of HTML5 and it’s native support for audio, video and more. This is the third major design iteration WisCOSH has launched since first going online in 1999. At the same time WisCOSH has worked on integrating it’s weblog, website, Facebook page and other social media sites in order to provide OHS information where ever workers are.

WisCOSH has been able to do the research and redesign thanks to a grant from the Public Welfare Foundation through the National COSH. WisCOSH would like to thank those of you who participated in our Beta Testing of the new design. Your input has been invaluable in determining design usability under various browsers [IE (6, 7, 8, 9], Firefox [3.x, 4, 5, 6-17], Opera [8, 9, 10, 11, 12] Chrome, …], different Operating Systems [Windows, OSX, Linux, Unix, …] as well as versions [Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8; Ubuntu, Redhat, Mint; …] and numerous portable devices and phones. WisCOSH plans to continue to expand and refine it’s presence on the Internet in order to meet the needs of workers, their representatives and employers in making all of Wisconsin’s workplaces safer and healthier. Please feel free to contact us and let us know how we are doing and what you need, find valuable or frivolous.

WisCOSH Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner

Thursday, December 13, 2012
ATU Local 998 Hall – 734 N. 26th St, Milwaukee, WI

WisCOSH invites all workers, worker representatives and advocates to join us as we commemorate 34 years of helping make WI’s workplaces safer and healthier. Activities include:

  • Report on WisCOSH’s  actions over the past year
  • Information on 3rd year of the Dept. of Labor’s Susan Harwood Capacity Building Grant
  • Report on recent National COSH Conference
  • Report on recent National Workers Health & Safety Conference
  • Nomination and election of Board of Directors for 2013

Get involved in making WI a safer healthier place to work. Join or renew your membership today. For more information and download the form go to http://www.wiscosh.org/join.

The menu for the fundraiser dinner is being decided on now and will be posted, along with prices and sponsorship opportunities, soon.

Welcome To Toolbox Talks!

Welcome to the relaunching and repurposing of WisCOSH’s blog. It is our intention to facilitate communication between Wisconsin’s workers, employers, communities and State and Federal agencies about workplace safety & health issues affecting them. WisCOSH hopes to post information here on a timely basis so that you have the ability to have greater input and influence over the workplace health and safety issues you face.

To that end the WisCOSH Website has been undergoing some remodeling and updating. WisCOSH is working to ensure that it’s website is compatible with  modern methods of interacting with it. WisCOSH has always striven to make it’s information available regardless of the means of accessing it. There are many new technologies enabling just that. WisCOSH is asking your input on our success in doing so.

While the website has been undergoing  major recoding [from XHTML 1 to HTML5] to take advantage of the many new capabilities our current website has not been updated in a long time. Neither has this blog. Starting today WisCOSH plans to rectify that by posting short, relevant articles here that will inform and encourage participation. Lots has been happening in regards to workplace health and safety and much more is on the horizon. WisCOSH hopes to be able to include more audio and video where appropriate.

Please leave a comment on what you like or don’t like about this blog, what you’d like to see covered here and how WisCOSH can better help you come home from work at least as healthy as when you left. If you have a chance please visit our beta release of the website [available at http://www.wiscosh.org/beta] and come back and let us know how it works for you. Visit us from your desktop, laptop, tablet, Blackberry or smartphone and let us know how well it works for you.

WisCOSH 2012 Resource Directory

When workers need help with workplace safety or health issues they can rely on WisCOSH‘s Resource Directory to help them find out who and where to go to for that help. WisCOSH packs it full of contact information [phone numbers, e-mail and website addresses] on a wide variety of workplace safety and health issues. Every year WisCOSH releases it’s updated Resource Directory in conjunction with Worker’s Memorial Day on April 28. WisCOSH has begun sending out notices about our 2012 Resource Directory and how you can show your support for WisCOSH and safer and healthier work and workplaces. WisCOSH’s Resource Directory is provided with the training materials provided in all training as well as at all events WisCOSH participates in.

The Resource Directory contains useful information, list of workers killed on the job last year, phone numbers and links to OSH related websites for government agencies and private organizations. If you would like to place a message of support in the Resource Directory please download the order form and send it with payment to the WisCOSH Office and Worker Center..

Cecil Roberts [UMWA President] at National Worker Health and Safety Summit and Conference

“Don Blankenship Can Kiss My Ass!”

During the National Worker Safety & Health Conference and Summit lunch hour break UMWA President Cecil Roberts spoke to the workers, union leadership and OHS professionals and activists assembled about the recently released report, it’s findings concerning the Big Branch Mine explosion, and worker safety and health on the job. Mr. Roberts doesn’t mince words and laid the blame directly at Don Blankenship’s feet and the feet of the other Executive Officers and the members of the Board of Directors for Massey Energy.

I started to take video, but had not set my camera correctly and got a still shot instead. The National COSH had set up the event to be streamed live on Livestream.com. In theory this was a great idea. However in practice Mr. Robberts is not one to be standing still for very long. Once I realized this I switched to video. I was able to get 2 short clips [1, 2] which I hope you will enjoy while waiting the release of the footage captured by the National COSH.

Workers are lucky to have such leaders in these times. But it takes more than leaders to make the changes we need. The leaders need workers to join them. To do this we need to make sure workers understand what is going on, what’s at stake and what alternatives there are.

It’s high time workers banded together and go visit the Pharoh’s in their community and demand they do the right thing!
If there is an employer that is paying wages below the living standard and only employes part time work they need to change their ways.
If there is an employer that says it’s too expensive to keep the workers from getting injured, made ill or killed on the job they need to change their ways.
If there is an employer that requires workers who are ill to come to work to keep their job and thereby put other workers, customers and vendors at risk of becoming ill they need to change their ways.

It’s time to stand up, stand together and say “NO More!