WOSHTEP Community Outreach and Education
To fulfill our mission, LOSH relies on mutually beneficial collaborations with unions, worker centers, public health professionals, high-road employers and government agencies. We join others to gain better access to necessary resources for a healthy life, such as education, healthcare, good jobs and environmental justice; and we renew a shared commitment to these fundamental principles:
- Every human being has a right to both health and work and this is accomplished socially.
- A safe and healthy job is secure and free of abuse and discrimination.
- Every human being requires and deserves opportunities to develop their perspective and their voice, inside and out of work, to speak up for good jobs that guarantee families and communities free from exploitation and fear.
Heat Illness Prevention Training-of-Trainers 2018
On June 9th, 2018, representatives from worker centers and community-based organizations from throughout California came together in Los Angeles to participate in a Training-of-Trainers (TOT) on Heat Illness Prevention. Building upon our shared cultural resources, this TOT afforded participants the opportunity to learn strategies to motivate and mobilize workers to defend their health through critical community education and practical skills to prevent heat illnesses.
After completing the TOT, participants were supported by LOSH health promoters-mentors to provide a series of short trainings and presentations to alert those who suffer excessive heat in outdoor jobs, such as people working in construction, landscaping, agriculture, carwash, street vending, etc.; as well as indoor work spaces such as restaurants, warehouses, garment factories, manufacturing, janitorial, industrial laundries, etc. We are proud of our expanding Red of Community Educators!
WOSH Specialist Taking Action for Workplace Safety and Health
Workers’ Memorial Day – We Mourn the Dead and Fight for the Living
Young Workers Projects
Every year, UCLA-LOSH collaborates with UC Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) to host the annual Young Worker Leadership Academy (YWLA), which introduces participants to strategies useful in policy, education and media, and provides a forum to plan service learning projects for their schools and communities to promote positive, safe employment for youth. This year, 6 teams comprised of middle to high- school aged youth participated, including four teams from Southern California.
Additionally, on September 23rd, 2017, UCLA-LOSH helped organize the Young Worker Labor Rights Summit, “Our Work, Our Power!” in partnership with the Southern California Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health (SoCalCOSH), the UCLA Labor Center, and Children over Politics. Over 25 youth from Los Angeles and the Inland Empire came to hear from labor and community organizations about young workers’ rights, and share strategies on how to build youth power across the greater LA metropolitan area.
The focus, the Gig Economy, has been presented to young people as an opportunity to achieve personal financial well-being. Contract work and freelancing are touted as means to lead a creative, independent lifestyle. Unfortunately, this narrative masks an ugly truth of the Gig Economy: the casualization of work leads to the degradation of workers’ rights by blurring the formal employment relationship between employers and workers. Many employers rely on youth to supply cheap and temporary labor, often times in jobs that are rampant with precarious conditions.
Young workers are the future and “are the pulse of the social and economic well-being of every community today”.5
For more information about YWLA please visit our website.
5. Waheed, S., Shadduck-Hernandez, J., Alvarez, A., Amin, M.K., Campos-Valenzuela, D., Franco, M.A, Geraldo, E., Herrera, L., Marin, Y., Orellana, R.G., Orozco, P., Quiroz, J., Valenta, B. (2015). I am a #YOUNGWORKER: Restaurant and Retail Workers in Los Angeles. UCLA Labor Center.
POLICY & REGULATORY UPDATES!
More Protection for California Workers
California Supreme Court Ruling makes it Harder for Employers to Classify Workers as Independent Contractors
In April, the California Supreme Court ruled in Dynamex v. Superior Court of Los Angeles to adopt a new legal standard for determining how an employer can classify workers for purposes of California Wage Orders. The decision expands the definition of “employee” and also imposes significant fines on companies for misclassifying workers. California has now become one of a handful of states that have limited the employers’ ability to label workers as independent contractors. It is important to note that this ruling will not apply to workers’ compensation.
For more information, please visit: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-independent-contract- 20180430-story.html
Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention, CA Labor Code §3345
Cal/OSHA’s Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board approved new Section 3345, Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention, in January 2018. Under the new standard, hotels will be required to reduce injury risks for housekeepers and offer them proper tools, such as long-handled mops or devices to help make beds. Housekeepers will get training on injury risks and have the right to suggest solutions to those risks.
For more information, please visit: http://unitehere.org/press-releases/california-passes-new-housekeeper- injury-rules/.
Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment
In February 2018, Cal/OSHA held a third Advisory Committee meeting to discuss draft language for the Indoor Heat Standard mandated by SB 1167. Worker advocacy groups from throughout California attended the Oakland as well as industry representatives. There is still a way to go to ensure that labor concerns are incorporated in the final language of the regulation. WORKSAFE, a statewide legal advocacy organization, is currently coordinating a coalition of community organizations and leaders in a collective effort to ensure that workers’ concerns are duly addressed in the Indoor Heat Standard.
For more information, please visit: http://worksafe.org/news- events/newsroom.html/article/2018/02/01/action-alert-tell-cal-osha-we-need-strong-protections-from- indoor-heat.
Employee Access to Employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program
Cal/OSHA’s Standards Board is currently drafting language that seeks to clarify employee access to the plan their employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). In discussion is the form in which the IIPP may be provided, time limits for producing the document(s), and who can request the IIPP on the workers’ behalf.
For more information, please visit: https://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/Employee-Access-to-IIPP-AC.html If you have any questions about these and other regulations, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Southern California WOSH Specialists Network aims to extend the benefits of the Specialist class, and help WOSH Specialists remain a ‘community of practice.’ This means we learn together from lessons derived from our experiences, receive and provide technical assistance, receive electronic newsletters, attend refreshers and other educational events to remain up-to-date.
For more information in Southern California please contact:
Héctor Flores or Deogracia Cornelio at:
UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) Program
10945 Le Conte Avenue, Suite 2107
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Phone: (310) 794-5996 Fax: (310) 794-6403
Follow UCLA-LOSH on Facebook for worker safety and health policy updates and training/conference announcements (https://www.facebook.com/UCLALOSH/).
We have also created a Facebook page for Southern California WOSH Specialists to share experiences and learn from each other as we take action to improve safety and health at work and/or our communities. Follow SoCal WOSH Specialists at https://www.facebook.com/SoCalSafety/.
This newsletter was developed by Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program at UCLA. These materials are part of the WOSHTEP program which is administered by the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Industrial Relations.