News & Events

Keeping nurses safe on the job: News from the Congress on Health and Safety

Annual report from the Congress on Health and Safety

Group members
Sandra LeBlanc, Chairperson; Elizabeth O’Connor, Vice Chairperson; Terri Arthur; Maryanne Dillon; Gail Lenehan; Mary Bellistri; Kathy Sperrazza; Lorraine McDonald; Evie Bain, MNA Staff Support Person; Thomas P. Fuller, PhD, CIH, Industrial Hygiene consultant to the Congress.

Activities and accomplishments

  • Supported and participated in the development of the educational program “OSHA Compliance with Hazardous Drugs” in cooperation with staff of the partners in the OSHA Alliance. Programs attracted 32 participants in Tewksbury, 42 participants in Canton and 26 participants in Providence, R.I.
  • Approved the safe patient handling position statement as presented by the Safe Patient Handling Task Force.
  • Approved and supported the activities of the Workplace Violence and Abuse Prevention Task Force in collaboration with District Attorney William R. Keating to develop a document addressing workplace violence prevention in health care settings.
  • Held a joint meeting with task force members from emergency preparedness, workplace violence and abuse prevention and safe patient handling in place of the December 2005 meeting.
  • Re-elected Sandy LeBlanc as chairperson and Liz O’Connor as co-chair for 2006.
  • Approved and participated in developing the questionnaire for the 2006 Congress on Health and Safety member survey. The survey was related to nurses’ knowledge of, exposure to and training in handling hazardous drugs.
  • Approved presenting a 12-hour rape defense training at MNA headquarters in March 2006.
  • Prepared a survey related to work hours for MNA members to complete at the 2005 convention to be utilized within the position statement related to on-call and extended work hours.
  • Developed a position statement on oncall and extended work hours and sent it to the MNA BOD for approval.
  • Hosted a joint meeting with the Workplace Violence and Abuse Prevention Task Force for a presentation by attorney Charles Donoghue on Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation law.
  • Several members attended the SEAK, Workers’ Compensation conference in Hyannis. Members attended the educational sessions at no charge in return for their assistance during registration and other administrative activities.
  • Updated MNA health and safety contract language models for local MNA units. Distributed this language to MNA staff and local unit chairs.
  • Agreed to nominate Gail Lenehan for the Kathryn McGinn Cutler, Advocate for Health and Safety Award for 2006.
  • Approved sending Rosemary O’Brien to the safe patient handling seminar in Tampa, Fla., along with staff member Chris Pontus and MNA President Beth Piknick.
  • Approved sending Terri Arthur to the “Hazards to Healthcare Workers Seminar” in Seattle along with MNA staff member Evie Bain.
Congress on Nursing Practice seeks members

There are currently several open seats on the Congress on Nursing Practice that the MNA hopes to fill in the near future.

The Congress works on practice issues impacting the nursing community that can be addressed through education, policy, legislation or position statements.

Examples of previous accomplishments are programs and position statements on Medication Errors and Accepting, Rejecting and Delegating a Work Assignment.

Congress members are now working to develop a nurse mentorship program.

People interested in participating must be MNA members. The Congress meets the fourth Monday of the month 10 times per year at MNA headquarters in Canton. Arrangments can be made for conference call atendance at meetings when personal attendance is not possible. Meetings are held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For information, contact Dorothy McCabe 781-830-5714 or via email at