News & Events

2003/2004 annual report from the Congress on Health and Safety

Group members: Terri Arthur, chairperson thru 2/04; Sandra LeBlanc, chairperson beginning 02/04; Rosemary O’Brien, vice chairperson; Janet Butler; David Denneno; Janice Homer; Elizabeth O’Connor; Janet Reeves; Maryanne Dillon; Mike D’Intinosanto; Gail Lenehan; Mary Bellistri; Evie Bain, MNA staff support person. Accomplishments 2003 – 2004:

  • Restructured to eliminate the position of secretary/treasurer from the Congress.
  • Were addressed in monthly meetings by MNA member Sandra Hottin who shared an incident of bullying/harassment in the workplace, and Karen Dempsey, Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance, who described the rights and benefits afforded victims and witnesses of crimes.
  • Participated in four focus groups held by the PHASE research project at UMass Lowell which addressed issues of workplace violence; workers compensation; return to work following injuries; and overall issues of workplace health and safety.
  • Approved the 2004 research project related to Workplace Violence and Abuse to be coordinated by UMass Amherst research professor Stephanie Luce. Surveys to be developed by Workplace Violence and Abuse Prevention Task Force members and distributed to MNA members at Boston Medical Center, Brockton Hospital and Beverly Hospital.
  • Submitted nominations to the 2004 MNA Awards Committee for Kathryn McGinn Cutler, Advocate for Health and Safety Award.
  • Agreed to provide financial and/or operational support to the Annual Toxics Actions Conference, Boston, MassCOSH Annual meeting, MassCOSH and Western MassCOSH, UMass Lowell, PHASE research project, SEAK: Workers’ Compensation Conference.
  • Participated in Massachusetts Department of Health Needlestick Advisory Board (Elizabeth O’Connor) and Asthma Network (Janice Homer).
  • Participated in OSHA 10-hour General Industry Outreach Training, with a focus on the healthcare industry (classes in Dec. 03, Jan. and Feb. 04). Participants included Rosemary O’Brien, Terry Arthur, Mary Bellistri, Kathy Sperrazza, Janice Homer, Liz O’Connor, David Denneno, Mike D’Intinosanto. Also attending were Kate Opanasets and Marcia Robertson from the Workplace Violence and Abuse Prevention Task Force.
  • Filled vacant positions on the Congress by recommending to the MNA Board of Directors the appointments of MaryAnne Dillon, Rosemary O’Brien and Janice Homer.
  • Promoted the concept of CE sessions online for worker Health and Safety education. Terri Arthur presented to the MNA Board of Directors and the MNA Finance Committee and won approval for this process to proceed.
  • Recommended to the Board of Directors that MNA form an alliance with OSHA Region I. This was approved and was announced at MNA Convention.
  • Supported H.1282, MNA’s safe staffing legislation through attendance at MNA Lobby Day, repeatedly sending postcards and making phone calls to legislators.
  • Participated in Suffolk University Law School "Bullying in the Healthcare Industry" focus groups.
  • Provided letters of support for the UMass Lowell research project related to needlestick injuries in the home care industry, and to the Mass. Dept. of Public Health research proposal for funds to continue needlestick injury and asthma surveillance.
  • Provided testimony for the "Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow" to reduce childhood exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals (Janice Homer), and reduction of methyl-mercury (Kathy Sperrazza).
  • Supported application to MA Dept. of Industrial Accidents for a grant to promote the use of engineering controls for patient handling; grant not funded. Proposal forthcoming to develop this program within the Health and Safety Program and present it within the MNA Regional Council structure.
  • Supported the activities of the Health and Safety related task forces, emergency preparedness, workplace violence and abuse prevention and safe patient handling, including the educational programs "Workplace Violence and Abuse: Changing the Culture that Allows it to Continue" and "Bombs, Clean and Dirty." Goals for 2004 – 2005:
  • Support activities to enact legislation proposed by the Safe Patient Handling Task force to reduce the frequency and severity of musculo-skeletal injuries to nurses and other healthcare workers.
  • Develop a position statement related to health and safety issues for on-call nurses and on-call requirements for OR nurses and others.
  • Provide input and oversight in the continued development of the MNA Health and Safety Program within the department of nursing.
  • Assist in the promotion of health and safety programs in individual bargaining units. Create opportunities to present four programs during the 2004/2005 program year.
  • Assure the continuation of CE online programs related to worker health and safety in the healthcare industry.
  • Support other educational programs developed within the health and safety program.
  • Continue to support the MNA’s efforts to pass safe staffing legislation.
  • Continue to promote health and safety language in MNA contracts.
  • Implement the activities agreed to in the OSHA/MNA alliance.