State Marks 4th Annual Occupational Health Awareness and Outreach Day

New York State Department of Health
Marc Carey
(518) 474-7354
www.health.ny.gov
New York State Department of Labor
Leo Rosales
(518) 457-5519
www.labor.ny.gov/home

ALBANY - March 13, 2007 - Acting New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., and New York State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith today marked the fourth annual New York State Occupational Health Awareness and Outreach Day, an event intended to remind New York citizens that they have access to resources across the state to diagnose and treat work-related disease, screen workers at increased risk for certain occupational diseases, evaluate workplace hazards and promote prevention activities.

"It is vital for New Yorkers to realize the availability of resources across the state that help prevent, reduce and treat work-related injuries and illnesses as well as emphasize the appropriate measures to take in order to maintain a safe and healthy work environment," said Acting Commissioner Daines.

The State of New York has several programs dedicated to the occupational safety and health of New York's workers. Specifically, the Department of Health has programs which target heavy metals poisonings/exposure, pesticide poisonings, occupational lung disease, asbestos safety and a specialized network of occupational health clinics.

The New York State Occupational Health Clinic Network (OHCN) is the nation's only state-based occupational health clinic network and comprises seven regional clinics as well as one with a focus on agricultural medicine. The network was created by the State Legislature in 1987 to offer specialized medical diagnoses, high quality care and support services for workers with occupational (work-related) diseases.

By using multidisciplinary teams of physicians, industrial hygienists, health educators and social workers, the clinic network provides, in a non-regulatory environment, consultation and advice to employees, employers, employee groups, and healthcare professionals on steps that can reduce worker injury and illness. The OHCN works with the employers and unions to identify unsafe conditions, evaluate the risks to workers and develop methods to eliminate or reduce those risks.

Each clinic accepts public and private medical insurance as well as Worker's Compensation. Clinics use a sliding fee scale and no worker is denied care because of a lack of resources. More information about the clinics is available at the State Health Department's Web site: http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/workplace/clinic_network.htm.

The Department of Labor also offers employers and employees a variety of safety and health training and awareness programs that are designed to help them identify and eliminate workplace risks.

"One of the department's goals is to work with businesses to provide a safe work environment for their employees. Our efforts are proving effective as we see some of the lowest injury and illness rates on record," said State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith.

The Department of Labor's Division of Safety and Health is working to increase awareness of safety standards and enforcement assistance. This approach allows the Department to better train groups on the requirements so they know when enforcement action is necessary. The Department is also working with employers to take a proactive approach to employee safety by instituting safety and health programs in their workplaces.

There were 176,500 private-sector work-related injuries and illnesses in New York State in 2005, according to the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. These occurred at a rate of 3.2 per 100 full-time workers, well below the national average of 4.6. In addition, New York's public sector workforce (state and local government) posted a 2005 work-related injury and illness incidence rate of 8.7, compared to Connecticut's rate of 9.2 and New Jersey's rate of 8.1.

More information on the Department's safety and health resources is available at http://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/safetyhealth/DOSH_PROGRAMS.shtm. You can also contact the Department's Division of Safety and Health at (518) 457-2238 or visit their Web site to contact a district office at http://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/safetyhealth/DOSH_DIRECTORY.shtm.

Clinic Locations:

Albany

Occupational & Environmental Health Center of Eastern New York
1873 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203
Telephone: (518) 690-4420 or (800) 419-1230
Web site: www.nycamh.com/

Buffalo

Union Occupational Health Center
3121 Clinton Street
West Seneca, NY 14224
Telephone: (716) 668-8800

Cooperstown - Specialty Clinic

New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health
1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326
Telephone: (607) 547-6023 or (800) 343-7527
Web site: www.nycamh.com

Long Island

Long Island Occupational & Environmental Health Center
2500 Nesconsert Highway, Bldg #16, Suite 63 C
Stony Brook, New York 11790
Telephone: (631) 444-6250
Web site: www.lioehc.org

New York City (Health and Hospitals Corporation)

Bellevue/NYU Occupational & Environmental Medicine Clinic
Bellevue Hospital, Room CD349, 1st Avenue and 27th Street, New York, NY 10016
Telephone: (212) 562-4572

New York City (Mt. Sinai)

Mount Sinai - I.J. Selikoff Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine
1 Gustave L. Levy Place, P.O. Box 1058, New York, NY 10029
Telephone: (212) 241-5555
Web site: www.mssm.edu/departments-and-institutes/preventive-medicine/about-us
Hudson Valley Division - St. John's Hospital, Yonkers - (914) 964-4737

Rochester

Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services
2180 S. Clinton Avenue, Suite D, Rochester, NY 14618
Telephone: (585) 274-4554
Web site: www2.envmed.rochester.edu/envmed/occmed/fingerlakeswelcome.html
Arnot Ogden Medical Center and St. Joseph's Hospital (Elmira Satellite) (607) 733-6541
Web site: www.stjosephs.org/getpage.php?name=index

Syracuse

Central New York Occupational Health Clinical Center (CNYOHCC)
6712 Brooklawn Parkway, Suite 204, Syracuse, NY 13211
Telephone: (315) 432-8899
Web site: www.upstate.edu/cnyohcc/