June 2021

Defending Workers Rights in Crisis

Black Centered Equity Training

Worksafe is proud to have worked with our partners to present this important panel and discussion of Black Centered Equity in Community Engagement. Panelists and speakers including community leaders from Black Worker Hub Essential Stories, Black Cultural Zone, Sacramento Central Labor Council, SoCalCOSH, and Worksafe delivered a powerful presentation on medical racism that helped place vaccine hesitation in context. Close to 100 people attended our two-hour webinar.
The video recording for Black Centered Equity in Community Engagement is available for you to watch at your convenience. 

Supporting a Strong Federal Hazard Communication Standard

Worksafe helped pull together a coordinated national response as Federal OSHA proposed changes to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) that will reduce and harm workers’ right-to-know.
The proposed changes - developed during the prior administration - expand producers’ ability to conceal information, rather than improving our right-to-know. They go against the stated goal of the HCS to inform workers about the hazards of substances in their jobs, and violate the first principle of the international Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling (GHS): “the level of protection offered to workers, consumers, the general public and the environment should not be reduced.”
The right-to-know was a hard-won fight, led by unions, workers’ groups and occupational health and safety activists. It needs improvement, not further erosion.

Celebrating Worksafe's 39th Anniversary

Liliana Herrera
Jora Trang with Asm. Ash Kalra
On May 20, Worksafe held our first event in two years. Our 39th Anniversary Celebration was a real success, a focused one-hour presentation honoring Glenn Shor, UFCW Western States Council, and Assemblymember Ash Kalra for their outstanding efforts in support of worker health and safety.
The night saw a significant outpouring of support for Worksafe from workers, unions, worker centers, and the broader safety & health community. Thank you so much to all our sponsors and other donors who ensured that we met our goal. You can watch the event here.

Defending Pandemic Safety Rules

Staying safe at work during COVID-19
Worksafe was a lead petitioner in May 2020 for the creation of California’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID-19, which was passed in November and set a model for the nation in laying out clear enforceable direction for employers and protections for workers from this dangerous pandemic.
Aligning the standard with evolving pandemic conditions and positions from California’s Department of Public Health and the Governor’s Office has not been a simple process. Meetings of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board came in for an unusual amount of attention, including from members of the public opposed to vaccination as well as masking who gave little evidence of concern for worker safety. There was also significant business opposition, with a strong push to revoke the entire standard, and startling assertions from some mainstream employer representatives that the pandemic is not a workplace issue or that the time for COVID-specific rules has passed. A subcommittee of Board members is now working with Cal/OSHA to advance further revisions.
Worksafe will continue to engage with coalition partners from unions and other worker organizations to make sure that ongoing concerns about worker health are heard as loudly as the many powerful voices trying to undermine necessary COVID-19 workplace protections.
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