Assemblyman Rory I. Lancman
Rory Lancman
Committee Chair
NYS Seal Contact Information: Allison Weingarten
Legislative Director
New York State Assembly
Subcommittee on
Workplace Safety
Monthly Update
October 2009

H1N1 In The Workplace


The Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety released a preliminary report analyzing the risks of H1N1 in the workplace, and followed it up with a joint hearing on H1N1 in New York City with the Assembly Committees on Labor, Health, Education and Higher Education.

"For most adults, their highest risk of contracting H1N1 will be in their workplace, so government, employers and employees themselves must do everything they can to defeat H1N1 on the job, particularly in higher-risk occupations," said Assemblyman Lancman. "Government needs to do a better job of coordinating and disseminating clear, consistent guidance, with worker safety being the highest consideration. Employers need to analyze their workplaces to match appropriate H1N1 prevention strategies to their particular workplace setting. And employees need to educate themselves about how to limit H1N1 exposure while on the job."

The report and the hearing were covered in the New York Times, Newsday and the Daily News.

Labor Day Parade Draws Thousands


Assemblyman Lancman marched in the annual New York City Labor Day Parade with the New York Committee on Occupational Safety & Health. "Unionization is synonymous with safety," said Assemblyman Lancman. "Nothing does more to improve the safety of a workplace than when employees are empowered to collectively bargain for better wages, better benefits, and yes, better working conditions." The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School's 2007 report, Unregulated Work in the Global City, put in plain and simple language what we have always known: "Violations are much less likely in unionized workplaces."

The Mount Sinai-IJ Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine:
A Jewel In The Crown Of Workplace Safety


Assemblyman Lancman met with the Advisory Board of the Mt. Sinai-IJ Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine to discuss important workplace safety issues and plan for a campaign to expand the budget for the state's eleven publicly funded occupational clinical health centers and satellite facilities.

"The Occupational Health Clinic Network is the foundation of New York's commitment to workplace safety, providing healthcare to thousands of workers, but even more importantly conducting research, engaging in detection and monitoring, developing innovative healthcare responses and offering expertise to occupational health providers across the state," said Assemblyman Lancman.

ACORN Getting a Bum Rap

Assemblyman Lancman wrote an Op Ed piece in the Daily News about the important role ACORN plays in providing services to poor New Yorkers. Assemblyman Lancman asked the public to take a step back while examining ACORN and the mistakes it has made, and remember all the good ACORN does for those less fortunate.

Assemblyman Lancman writes: "The uncomfortable truth is that tens of millions of Americans live the kind of lives where the availability of help from groups like ACORN is the difference between having food on the table or not, having a roof over their heads or not, seeing a doctor or not, and having a voice in the political process or not."

Youth Workplace Violation Found

The Albany Times Union reported that the US Department of Labor charged a company in Averill Park New York, Tremont Lumber Company, with various Child Labor Violations including which led to a fifteen year old who was seriously injured when unloading a truck. The company was found to be illegally assigning youth to "load and unload trucks and also use log splitters, circular saws and forklifts.

Assemblyman Lancman considers youth workplace safety a top priority on the Subcommittee on Workplace Safety's agenda, and he is working with a state funded "youth worker taskforce" to improve workplace safety training for teens and young workers.

Freedom in Iran Includes the Right to Organize


Protests against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's participation the UN's General Assembly session occurred all over the world, including a protest in New York City attended by tens of thousands. Assemblyman Lancman joined Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in calling for true freedom for the Iranian people, which includes the right to organize. Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union spoke on behalf of workers in Iran, declaring, "Today, I am calling on labor unions throughout the world to stand with our brothers and sisters in Iran. The global labor movement must play an important role in advocating for union rights in Iran and preventing repression of trade unionists."