COSH Two-Day Summit Begins Today

APHA President Dr. Linda Rae Murray is the featured speaker during tonight's national awards banquet, where honorees include Katherine Rodriguez, who became a workplace safety activist after her father died in the BP Texas City plant in 2004.

The two-day National Worker Health & Safety Conference and Summit begins today in Baltimore, Md. It is a meeting of COSH groups -– nonprofit coalitions of labor unions and health and safety professionals working on workplace safety – who are fighting on several fronts this fall.

For example, a referendum to repeal Ohio's legislative rollback of collective bargaining rights for public employees is on the Nov. 8 ballot, with groups on both sides of the issue spending millions of dollars to rally support. At the same time, COSH groups, unions, and their allies are concerned that promised OSHA, MSHA, and EPA rulemaking efforts have been delayed as Republicans in Congress attempt to block new safety and health regulations or reverse existing ones. The opening panel Oct. 28 is "Facing the Challenges: The Battleground -– Past, Present and Future."

APHA President Dr. Linda Rae Murray is the featured speaker during tonight's national awards banquet. Among the honorees is Katherine Rodriguez, who will receive the National COSH Community Service Award. She became a workplace safety activist after her father died in the BP Texas City plant in 2004.

The other featured speakers during the summit are United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts; Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary at OSHA; and Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. Workshop participants will discuss education and training techniques to promote workers' safety and health, health and safety campaigns, workers' rights under OSHA, ergonomic hazards, health hazards in the building trades, green chemistry, and other topics.

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