State Commissioners Daines & Smith Mark 5th Annual New York State Occupational Health Awareness and Outreach Day

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 10, 2008) – The New York state Departments of Health and Labor announced that Tuesday, March 11, is the fifth annual New York State Occupational Health Awareness and Outreach Day, reminding New Yorkers they have access to resources across the state that diagnose and treat work-related disease, screen workers at increased risk for certain occupational diseases, evaluate workplace hazards and promote prevention activities.

"We are proud to remind the people of New York that there are resources across the state that are available to prevent, reduce and treat work-related injuries and illnesses," said Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D.

The state has several programs dedicated to the occupational safety and health of New York's workers. Specifically, the Department of Health programs 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 is comprised of seven regional clinics and one focused 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) illnesses.

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 other healthcare professionals on steps that can reduce worker injury and illness. The OHCN works with the employers and/or unions to identify unsafe conditions, evaluate the risks to workers, and methods to eliminate or reduce the risks.

Each clinic accepts public and private medical insurance as well as worker's compensation reimbursement. 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 Health Department's website: http://www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/workplace/clinic_network.htm

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

"We continue to partner with state agencies to find better ways to protect New York's employees while at work and keep the state's work-related injury rate the lowest on record," said State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith.

The Labor Department's Division of Safety and Health provides free on-site workplace risk assessments to private and public sector employers to determine compliance with Federal and state safety and health standards and to eliminate any hazards that may be found. Last year, its On-Site Consultation Bureau conducted more than 2,000 on-site inspections that identified and corrected over 11,000 safety and health hazards. This effort aided in the protection of more than 200,000 private sector employees.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses for 2006 reported 169,700 private-sector, work-related injuries and illnesses in New York state. These injuries and illnesses occurred at a rate of 3.0 per 100 full-time workers, well below the national average rate of 4.4.

New York posted 255,400 injuries and illnesses for public sector (state and local government) workers. The work-related injury and illness rate of 8.9 per 100 full-time workers was the second lowest total rate for the public sector since 1992. New York State's incidence rate was somewhat higher than New Jersey's rate of 7.6 and Connecticut's rate of 7.9. Many states do not report work-related injury and illness information for public sector workers separately.

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

Clinic Locations:

Albany – Mid-Hudson Valley

  • Occupational & Environmental Health Center of Eastern New York
    Albany - Telephone: (518) 690-4420 or (800) 419-1230
    Web site: www.occmedgroup.com/

Western New York

  • Union Occupational Health Center
    West Seneca - Telephone: (716) 668-8800

Agricultural Specialty Clinic

  • New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health
    Cooperstown - Telephone: (607) 547-6023 or (800) 343-7527
    Web site: www.nycamh.com

Long Island

  • Long Island Occupational & Environmental Health Center
    Stony Brook - Telephone: (631) 444-6250
    Web site: www.lioehc.org

New York City

Finger Lakes

Central New York