The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) is a membership organization of workers, unions, community-based organizations, workers’ rights activists, and health and safety professionals. NYCOSH uses training, education, and advocacy to improve health and safety conditions in our workplaces, our communities, and our environment. Founded in 1979 on the principle that workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths are preventable, NYCOSH works to extend and defend every person’s right to a safe and healthy workplace. NYCOSH is a non-profit 501c3 organization.
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The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health grew out of informal, brown bag lunch meetings between health and safety activists and trade unionists in the middle to late 1970s. The federal Occupational Health and Safety Act had passed in 1970 and this group that included scientists, academics, doctors, lawyers, union representatives and rank-and-file workers discussed how to ensure that the new federal law provided the strongest possible protections to ordinary workers. They also examined problems in the workers’ compensation system and the latest scientific findings on workplace hazards.
In 1978, the committee held its first conference, “Cancer in the Workplace.” A year later, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health was incorporated, with Deborah Nagin and David Michaels (now head of federal OSHA) as its first co-coordinators. NYCOSH quickly gained prominence as a leading, authoritative voice for worker safety and health.
Over the years, we have built coalitions of community, environmental, and labor organizations to win inspirational campaigns; trained over one hundred thousand workers in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley; successfully led advocacy efforts around the creation of New York State’s occupational health clinics and the Public Employees Safety and Health Act; conducted educational conferences for hundreds of workers on the disproportionate hazards on the job facing immigrant and low-wage workers, workers’ compensation, workplace violence, asbestos, office hazards, and ergonomics; and provided thousands of various technical assistance consultations on issues ranging from the aftermath of a wastewater treatment plant explosion and lab safety in schools.
The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) has for 40 years been a leading independent voice for worker safety and health. Committed to ensuring that all workplaces are safe and healthy, NYCOSH provides training and resources to workers while advocating for strong laws and regulations. We:
- Train thousands of workers every year on how to keep themselves and their workplaces safe and healthful;
- Develop curricula and training materials covering a wide range of industries and workplace safety topics, from cutting-edge issues, such as Green Jobs, Safe Jobs, to the latest technical and regulatory information on Confined Space;
- Inform the occupational safety and health community, the labor movement, the media, and the public through publishing print and online newsletters and news digests on worker safety and health issues;
- Advocate to strengthen occupational safety and health laws and regulations at the municipal, state and federal levels;
- Raise awareness of the close interrelationship between occupational safety and environmental concerns: Protecting the worker protects the environment. Or, conversely, jobs that put workers at risk often also put the environment at risk.