​MassCOSH Town Halls Provide Workers with Critical Health and Safety Information

February 19, 2021

Since the beginning of the pandemic, MassCOSH has reached thousands of workers through multi-lingual, virtual town halls that provide science-based information on how to stay safe, how to access paid time-off benefits to quarantine and recover from COVID-19, and how to enforce COVID-19 worker health and safety regulations. With more and more workers leaving home to report to work with unanswered questions on the dangers of COVID-19 variants, the role of vaccination in worker health and safety, and other questions, MassCOSH is conducting a new series of online town halls this winter and spring. Click here for more information.

Already off to a great start, the first town hall on January 19 was focused on Child Care workers, an industry with a very high number of workplace COVID-19 clusters. In partnership with Community Labor United, NEU4J, SEIU 509, UAW 2322, UAW 1596, Matahari Women Workers’ Center and SEIU 888, more than 150 child care workers attended the on-line event that was simultaneously translated in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. Workers learned about specific health and safety protections for a variety of child care settings, what to do if a worker or child has been exposed to COVID-19, workers’ rights to paid time off if they have been exposed to COVID-19, and how to access those benefits. Workers also heard directly from other child care workers about how to get involved in efforts to build worker power and voice in their industry.

On February 16, MassCOSH held its second Town Hall on the COVID-19 vaccine, health and safety on the job, and workers’ rights which will be replicated in Spanish on March 2. In the upcoming months, MassCOSH will also hold town halls on COVID-19 and personal protective equipment and new OSHA guidelines and standards from the Biden Administration. Each town hall will be first held in English, then in Spanish and available through Zoom and Facebook Live broadcasts. MassCOSH hopes these accessible and multilingual trainings will help workers understand their rights to a safe workplace and how they can organize and build worker power for change.