Training on workplace safety and workers’ rights

Training on workplace safety and workers’ rights

Photo by James A. McBride

workplacesafetygroup-webIndividuals who completed training on workplace safety and workers’ rights hold their certificates and pose for a photo after a prayer service at St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, Camden, on Sunday, Aug. 19. The 12-hour workshop, held at the parish, was given by representatives of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

CAMDEN — Workers who spend their days on construction sites, or routinely handle landscaping equipment, spent hours at St. Joseph Pro-Cathedal Parish here to learn about workplace safety and what to do if their rights are violated.

The parish hosted a 12-hour OSHA workshop. More than 30 men and women attended. All were Spanish-speaking immigrants. Most were from the parish but some came from as far away as Pennsylvania.

Those who comlpeted the 12-hour OSHA workshop were presented with certificates during a ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 19.

Sister of St. Joseph Veronica Roche, pastoral associate, who helped coordinate the workshop, said the 10-hour program was expanded two hours to integrate religious components and shared experiences

The workshop was conducted by Stuart Sydenstricker of OSHA who, with his wife Diana Mejia, presided over three workshops in February that discussed immigrants’ rights. They are associated with Wind and Spirit, an interfaith immigrant advocacy group based in Morristown.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a federal agency of the United States that regulates workplace safety and health. The OSHA Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry provides training for workers on avoiding workplace hazards. The program also provides information regarding workers’ rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.

St. Joseph, a multi-ethnic parish of 900 families in East Camden, considers social justice an essential part of its mission. The parish is home to Romero Center Ministries, an urban retreat center; Joseph’s House, a ministry to the city’s homeless; and St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, a non-profit housing company. The parish is also a member of the city advocacy group CCOP (Camden Churches Organized for People).

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