- Philaposh, an organization whose mission since 1975, has been “the prevention of injury, disease and death on the job through information, education, technical assistance and political action”, is hosting it’s 29th annual awards banquet on Friday, November 22, 2013 by honoring the following area professionals for their commitment to job health and safety standards:
TONY MAZZOCCHI AWARD
JERRY ROSEMAN, President of Safety Research Inc. and Industrial Hygienist, has been a passionate
advocate for worker health and safety since the 80s. Most recently he’s worked with the PFT in assessing
asbestos and other health and safety hazards in the Philadelphia public schools, and with AFSCME DC 47
on workplace hazards for city workers. He’s consulted with many unions and training centers, conducted
workplace evaluations of chemical, physical and biological hazards, helped draft the Asbestos Control
Regulations for Philadelphia, developed programs for Penn State and Drexel University, and has led the
PhilaPOSH Health/Tech Committee.
KAREN SILKWOOD AWARD
DEBBIE YAKSCOE, USW Local 10-00086 Safety Representative, is the first full-time union safety rep at
the West Point Merck facility. She not only is knowledgeable about the hazards that exist there, but also
uses that knowledge to aggressively pursue the abatement or elimination of the hazards. With the active
support of her local’s leaders and members, she has also led the fight against behavior and discipline
based safety programs. She’s our own area Karen Silkwood!
CRYSTAL EASTMAN AWARD
NADIA HEWKA, Supervising Attorney, Community Legal Services Employment Unit,
represents someof the most vulnerable workers in Philadelphia who would be completely on their own if not for attorneys
like Nadia. She brings an urgency and passion to her work. Nadia connects community and immigrant
rights organizations together to use all the resources possible to win justice, whether for a worker who has
not been paid by a small contractor or restaurant owner, or a group of untrained and unprotected workers
who are dropped off at a building after dark to secretly remove asbestos.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
PAT GILLESPIE, Business Manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council,
has effectively led the Council since 1982 and has been a forceful proponent of safety and health. Pat’s
formation of the Council’s Safety and Health Committee made up of all the trades is unique within the
U.S. He has been outspoken in the press, at labor meetings, and at public functions about the connection
between well trained skilled trades union construction workers and jobsite safety. And he has supported
recent PhilaPOSH programs to reach the most vulnerable construction workers with health and safety
training and a pro-union message.
SAFETY IN THE TRADES AWARD
KEN BROWN, Trainer at the Operating Engineers Local 542 Training Facility, has been training
members of OE Local 542 since 1987 on operating heavy equipment. From 1988-1991 he worked with the
Jt Apprentice and Training Comm. as Director of Special Training Programs for minority groups and as
Health and Safety Director. He is an OSHA Outreach trainer for construction and general industry, and has
consulted and done training for PhilaPOSH for many years. Ken is known for his desire to keep increasing
his knowledge, and then passing it along.
LEADERSHIP IN HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARD
The TAXI WORKERS ALLIANCE OF PENNSYLVANIA (TWA), a multi-ethnic membership organization
formed by taxi drivers, has been fighting for rights and protections for taxi drivers in Philadelphia since
2005. They are seeking workers’ comp benefits for injured drivers, a drivers’ relief fund for families of
drivers killed on the job, safer and healthier working conditions, and health benefits for the 1,200 taxi driver
members and their families in Philadelphia. TWA continues to inspire us with their tenacity and activism
to achieve these goals.
Congratulations to all of the award winners for their support of working people and safety standards across the Delaware Valley and beyond!