WNYCOSH was founded in 1979 by WNY union locals, labor activists, labor educators, health and legal professionals to advocate for safe & healthy workplaces for all workers.
Worker Comp Reform Coalition – WNYCOSH forms coalition with labor and comp attorneys to push for seven areas of reform to the NYS workers’ compensation system
NYS Right to Know Law – WNYCOSH organized statewide campaign with other COSHes and unions to push for passage of legislation giving workers the “right to know” what toxic chemicals they are working with.
NYS Hazard Abatement Board OSH Training & Education Program – WNYCOSH helped establish a dedicated safety and health funding source for New York State to provide grants to COSHes, unions, businesses and educational institutions to train on occupational safety & health issues
Combatting the Twenty-Year Killer: A Conference on Asbestos Exposure- WNYCOSH held major conference on worker exposure to asbestos, legal avenues of compensation, toxic torts and other strategies to safeguard against exposures
WNYCOSH and allies across the state successfully lobbied for NYS Toxic Torts Legislation, that allowed claimants to pursue expired claims for hazardous materials like asbestos.
Workers’ Occupational Health Consortium (WOHC) – WNYCOSH organizes a consortium of scientific, health, labor and educational institutions (Union Health Care Coop, SUNYAB Toxicology Research Ctr., Chemical Hazard Information Program-NYSSILR Cornell and UAW Region 9) to provide training and technical assistance to employees and employers in WNY
Union Health Care Coop – WNYCOSH and local labor unions organize and open Western New York’s first occupational health clinic to diagnose and treat worker injuries and illnesses
WNYCOSH and Roswell Park held conference to examine how occupational clinics will contribute to safer workplaces, and what the emerging role of labor, public institutions and the medical community play in recognizing and controlling occupational disease
WNY Grape Boycott – WNYCOSH endorses UFW grape boycott and organizes a local boycott coalition with labor, environmental, religious, university and community partners to ban the use of pesticides and to address hazardous exposures to workers, communities and consumers
WNYCOSH held major conference with Roswell Park, March of Dimes, NYSSILR Cornell and SUNYAB Toxicology Research Ctr. on reproductive hazards in the workplace
Anti-NAFTA Coalition. WNYCOSH was a leading voice locally in opposing NAFTA. Unions, COSH groups and worker advocates across the county fought NAFTA with its many anti worker provisions
OSHA Reform Campaign – WNYCOSH played a major role in national campaign to support OSHA reform legislation—the Comprehensive Occupational Safety & Health Act that would increase criminal penalties for OSHA violations and give workers the right to refuse hazardous work
1992 – 1994 – WNY Health Care Campaign WNYCOSH formed a coalition with Citizen Action and CWA health care unions, and Physicians for a National Health Program’s Dr. Deborah Richter to push for a single payer plan
Integrated Pest Management in Schools – WNYCOSH held conference on pesticide use and IPM in schools with NYS Attorney General Robert Abrams as a keynote speaker
Dedicated the Norm Harper Occupational Health Training Center at WNYCOSH.
NYS Labor & Environment Network – As an active member in the NYS Labor & Environment Network WNYCOSH organized major conference in Niagara Falls on Holding Corporations Accountable and corporate welfare recipients
300 activists rally at the Cheektowaga Police Station during WNYCOSH’s 20th anniversary celebration following the arrest of keynote speaker UFW President Arturo Rodriguez and 4 others at a local supermarket prior raising awareness about Driscoll’s labor practices
WNYCOSH/EPA Tools for Schools – WNYCOSH established a comprehensive “Tools for Schools” program to assist school districts in preventing and resolving indoor air quality problems in schools
Founded the WNY Sweatshop Awareness Project (WNYSAP) in collaboration with CEJ – the WNYSAP project trained youth organizers to stop the proliferation of sweatshop labor through the advancement of the Sweatfree Schools Initiative.
WNY Fair Trade Coalition – WNYCOSH joins a national coalition of unions, environmentalists, farm and religious organizations and launched a local Fair-Trade Campaign to speak out in opposition of CAFTA and to push for Senate hearings
Launched NYS Safe Patient Handling
Zero Lift Task Force – WNYCOSH formed the NYS Zero Lift Task Force with health care unions, NYS COSHes, NYS DOL and Kaleida Health to address ergonomic injuries in health care, develop SPH resources for workers and to push for the passage of a NYS Safe Patient Handling Law
WNYCOSH, union officials, hospital admin, elected officials, UB faculty, students, and SPHHP staff gathered at UB to open the school’s Safe Patient Handling Lab and Training Center
WNYCOSH Worker Center opened in 2011 to assist workers better understand their rights and strategies to improve their working conditions
WNYCOSH helped lead the fight along with sister COSH groups and union advocates to pass the Safe Patient Handling Law to reduce worker injuries and improve patient care
Following a series of assaults on local workers at local 7-Eleven stores, the Worker Center along with workers launched the Safety Over Slurpees Campaign to advocate for changes to improve the working conditions for 7-Eleven workers
WNYCOSH was the leader in developing the Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine (COEM) to provide high quality occupational medicine services, specializing in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of occupational diseases
PHOTO Courtesy WNY Labor Today