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National COSH Deputy Director Jessica Martinez Appointed to Top Federal Advisory Committee on Worker Health and Safety

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Press Contacts: 

David Isaacson, dmisaacson@rcn.com, 773.593.2741

WASHINGTON DC – Jessica Martinez, deputy director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), has been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH).

NACOSH advises, consults and makes recommendations to both the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on regulation, research, compliance and other key issues in occupational health and safety. The committee will meet in Washington DC this coming Wednesday, December 10th.

"Jessica is an ideal choice to bring the concerns of workers and safety advocates to the highest levels of the federal government,” said Barbara Rahke, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health, who was recently elected as president of the National COSH Board of Directors. “As a bilingual health and safety educator, organizer and researcher with wide-ranging experience in the United States and abroad, she is well-suited to help confront the health and safety challenges facing America's changing workforce – including our most vulnerable and at-risk workers.

“It’s a great honor to serve as safety representative on the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health,” said Martinez. “I am committed to promoting implementation of safer and healthier workplaces for ALL workers. Every worker has the right to return home safe to his or her family and loved ones and I look forward to providing my insight and experience to the committee to make sure this happens."

Martinez holds a Masters’ Degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Her research expertise includes investigating effective outreach, prevention, and intervention methods for improving lifestyle quality correlated to public health for vulnerable and underserved populations.

Martinez has worked as a labor organizer and on public health and worker rights projects in Venezuela, Brazil and the United States. As Deputy Director of National COSH, she works on organizational and leadership development, education and training, and program planning and implementation for a national network of more than 20 local organizations which advocate for improved worker safety in workplaces and communities.

Martinez has recently been interviewed by CNN en Espanol and Telemundo, discussing the need for greater workplace protections for immigrant workers, as well as U.S. government data which show that Hispanics have a higher rate of workplace fatalities than workers from other ethnic groups.

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The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is a federation of local and statewide organizations; a private, non-profit coalition of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others interested in promoting and advocating for worker health and safety.