That repetitive tasks such as typing or assembly work can cause muscular or skeletal pain and injury over time?
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In September of 2010, the Occupational Health Clinical Centers became aware of working conditions severe enough to send one worker to a local emergency room and several others to an infirmary.
It was later discovered that many other workers had suffered from dehydration, hunger, dizziness, and other work-related health problems. The workers were from Mexico—all lawfully present under the federal H2B program—and had worked for a long-time vendor at the Great New York State Fair.
A preliminary review by the U.S. Department of Justice, concluding that the men were victims of labor trafficking, resulted in the workers being rescued, and an arrest of the vendor.
OHCC was involved in the medical evaluation of some of these workers who had the courage to step forward, even while they were in captivity, so that the impact of their abuse could be documented.
As a result of OHCC’s involvement and that of many grassroots volunteers, the New York State Department of Labor initiated a comprehensive review of vendors, wage and working conditions at the 2011 fair. They also conducted a training session on indicators of Human and Labor Trafficking so that greater vigilance and stronger enforcement will ensue.
OHCC continues to focus on the health and safety issues of fair and carnival workers in New York, and partner with other organizations to protect the safety and health of all who work at fair and carnivals in our regions (whether the State Fair, county fairs, or carnivals).