September 30, 2016

TMC partnership members take course on infectious diseases

Representatives from the Tony Mazzocchi Center partnership participated in Infectious Disease Awareness training facilitated by Industrial Hygienist Bernie Mizula in Queens, N.Y., Sept. 7-9, 2016. Communications Workers of America (CWA) health care and airline workers; Make the Road New York (MRNY) and Wind of the Spirit members; and TMC staff and worker-trainers experienced classroom and full dress out activities during the course.

“New infectious diseases emerge every year or two,” TMC Curricula Developer Diane Stein said. “Readiness is a key to protecting workers in these situations.”
Stein attended the training in early September and is also aiding in the development of further infectious disease curriculum covering Ebola, Zika and other illnesses.
“In coordination with the USW, MRNY and NDLON, CWA is pleased to be participating in our joint infectious disease training program,” Occupational Safety and Health Director Dave LeGrande said. “Thousands of CWA members employed in health care, airline, social service and corrections jobs are routinely exposed to infectious diseases. The training efforts will allow us to develop an aggressive union approach to preventing infectious disease among CWA members.”
The prerequisite to this class is a 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response course. Along with the previous HAZWOPER course and infectious disease awareness, participants also learned how to respond as worker-trainers in the case of an incident.
“The training on infectious disease was an invaluable tool to have in our toolbox,” TMC Worker-Trainer Frank Condell said. “It prepared me along with the others in the training to be more aware of the potential for outbreaks and how to manage those incidents through tried and tested control measures.”
Condell is also a certified Specialized Emergency Response Trainer or SERT.
“I feel better prepared to go out and keep our members, and the communities, safer during their time of need,” Condell said.

Photos by Diane Stein.

The Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Education is a project of the United Steelworkers (USW), Communications Workers of America (CWA), Labor Institute, Make the Road New York (MRNY) and National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). TMC training programs reach more than 20,000 workers from more than 20 industry sectors across the nation annually. Funding is in support by awards through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIEHS, NIH). Training reported in this publication is supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number U45ES006175. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIEHS, NIH.

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