Worker safety group asks de Blasio for executive order mandating Ebola protocols
BY ERIN DURKIN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, October 26, 2014
A top worker safety group is asking Mayor de Blasio to issue an executive order mandating the use of Centers for Disease Control guidelines and training for Ebola response at all city hospitals.
“We urge you to issue an executive order that will make the CDC guidelines on Ebola mandatory for all New York City hospitals and require—and provide—training on Ebola preparedness for all potentially at-risk workers,” Charlene Obernauer, executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health wrote in a letter to the mayor.
Hospitals are already using CDC guidelines, officials say, but after the first Ebola case was diagnosed in New York last week, the group wants an order to make them legally binding.
“Taking immediate action to require strict compliance with the CDC guidelines across the five boroughs will protect New York City’s workers and the general public,” NYCOSH wrote. “We are particularly concerned with ensuring that all potentially at-risk workers—including those in transportation, waste management, decontamination, and airports—receive adequate personal protective equipment, and are properly trained.”
Eight hospitals statewide have been designated to handle Ebola cases, but the group said the order should apply to all hospitals.
“To protect all New York City residents, CDC guidelines must be mandatory and implemented in all healthcare facilities, not just designated Ebola response hospitals,” Obernauer wrote.
The mayor’s office did not immediately comment.