The Emergency Preparedness & First Responders edition: September 2021
This month in OSH history
This September marks the 20th anniversary of the largest emergency response effort conducted in New York State history. Hundreds of CSEA members were deployed to aid in rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts at the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Many responders suffered grave consequences to their health as a result of working at the site. PTSD cases are common among responders; many of them developed respiratory illnesses, liver disease, and cancer due to exposure to toxic dust. This in turn highlighted the need for strong Emergency Action Plans (EAP) to ensure worker safety & health.
DID YOU KNOW?
First responders face unique challenges beyond exposure to hazardous working conditions. Stress from traumatic events and life-threatening situations can take an enormous toll on mental health:
- 85% of first responders have experienced symptoms related to mental health conditions.
- Depression and PTSD are up to 5 times more common in first responders than other people.
Employers must address these issues through developing and implementing EAP that provide employees with mental health support.
HOW CSEA CAN HELP
CSEA OSH Specialists can provide support through training, technical assistance, and EAP program reviews. They can also help establish a safety & health committee in your workplace.
Contact your OSH Specialist here:
9/11 VICTIM COMPENSATION FUND
If you were an emergency responder in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, or were directly affected by them, you may be eligible for benefits under the Victim Compensation Fund. To learn more or register, visit: www.vcf.gov
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Know Your Rights + Resources
Check out our fact sheets on emergency preparedness:
For more information on flood and storm clean-up, visit https://cseany.org/safety-resources?page_id=559344#e and click on Disaster/Emergency Preparedness.
To protect your right to file for Worker’s Compensation, you must give written notice to your employer within 30 days. Fill out an accident report form and keep a copy for your records.
Safety Concern Form (Accident/Incident Report):
To help our union plan a better OSH Conference for members, please provide your feedback: