In light of tragedies that befell three human service workers in 2011, we had two meetings with OSHA, to discuss a growing epidemic, i.e. violence in the workplace. We have decided to work closely with OSHA on this, both to create safer working environments and to monitor and report incidents of violence in the workplace. To this end, we have formed a Private Sector Safety Committee. Those who met with OSHA are Jon Grossman, the Local 509 Private Sector Team Leader, who was on the 2011 Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Task Force on Staff and Client Safety, and has great insight regarding our increased need for safety on the job. Mike Capasso from Eliot Community Human Services attended the OSHA initial meeting and will chair the committee. I attended both OSHA meetings and brought Mary Hoye from OSHA to do a “violence in the workplace” training of over 20 members on October 28. We will have more workplace safety trainings, statewide, in 2012.
We will have our first Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, December 6, 7 p.m., at the Local 509 offices in Watertown, 100 Talcott Ave. We will have teleconference available; please dial in around 6:55 so that you are on the line when the meeting commences. If you have ever been physically assaulted at work or fear physical attacks, you should join this meeting.