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International Operating Engineer - Fall 2015

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Safety & Health

Safety & Health NIOSH’s World Trade Center Health Program Treats 9/11 Responders & Survivors Operating Engineers may be eligible for no-cost healthcare services country in its time of need. IUOE members were among the 90,000 responders involved in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts. In the months following 9/11, IUOE members worked around the clock at Ground Zero, toiling under hazardous conditions. Although this response work occurred over a decade ago, many first responders continue to experience physical and mental health symptoms as a result of their work. Chronic cough, asthma, acid reflux, certain cancers, depression and PTSD (among many other conditions) could be a 9/11-related condition. I WAS THERE. Now I’m a member of the World Trade Center Health Program . FOURTEEN YEARS LATER, major public health concerns continue for the thousands of responders and survivors (workers/residents/students) who were exposed to the health hazards in the aftermath of the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001. Responders and survivors who were present in the impacted area are still developing illnesses related to their exposures and many have yet to enroll in the NIOSH-administered World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program. The number of enrollees in the program does not reflect the full population of responders and survivors exposed to WTCderived contaminants. It is estimated that 400,000 people were exposed in the days, weeks, and months following the attacks. There are currently over 71,000 responders and survivors receiving care from the WTC Health Program. The WTC Health Program was established under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 enabling workers who participated in the rescue, recovery, cleanup, restoration, and support services as well as those who were present, lived, worked or went to school in the area to receive no-cost medical screening and treatment. First responders arrived from all over the New York City area and across the nation to answer the call and help our Even responders who are not experiencing symptoms are still eligible for an annual monitoring exam through the program. The WTC Health Program provides no-cost medical monitoring and treatment for responders and survivors with WTC-related conditions in the New York metropolitan area as well as throughout the country. Physicians affiliated with the program can provide specialized healthcare for 9/11 responders and survivors across the country. General President Callahan, a 9/11 responder himself, urges IUOE members to take advantage of the program. “Every Operating Engineer involved in the World Trade Center recovery and clean-up should enroll in the monitoring program. Don’t take chances with your health. Early detection and treatment saves lives.” For more information, please call the WTC Health Program directly at 1-888-982-4748 or visit their website at www.cdc.gov/wtc or connect with NYCOSH’s hotline for the program at 1-855-498-2243. 1 Newman, DM. 2014. Protecting Worker and Public Health During Responses to Catastrophic Disasters- Learning From the World Trade Center Experience. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 57: 1295-98. 2 “Fact Sheet on HR. 1786/S.928 Statistics that show the Size and Scope of the 9/11 Health Crisis facing Responders, Survivors and their Families.” Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act. 2014 Were you there? Providers in the New York City area, and across the country, monitor and treat conditions related to the September 11th terrorist attacks – like asthma, heartburn, certain cancers, depression, and PTSD. These providers treat responders and volunteers who participated in rescue, recovery, or clean-up on or after 9/11, as well as those in the WTC dust cloud or who lived, worked, or went to school or daycare in lower Manhattan south of Houston or into parts of Brooklyn. Learn More. Call 1-888-982-4748 or visit www.cdc.gov/wtc World Trade Center | Pentagon | Shanksville, PA WTC Health Program Image is a model portraying an actual member of the World Trade Center Health Program. 8 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER FALL 2015 9

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