FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24
Brothers and Sisters:
As has been reported, I have been speaking intensively with the MTA over the last two days since an Ebola patient was identified in New York City who rode the transit system. Our greatest concern of course is the well being of our members and our families. My discussions with the MTA have focused on infection control procedures, especially that the rules requiring the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) are up to date. The MTA has now issued new and stronger regulations.
We must stay safe at work. The MTA must provide us with proper personal protective equipment to safely perform our work. No TWU Local 100 member should attempt to clean or remove infectious waste (bodily fluids or materials containing bodily fluids) without having the prescribed PPE. Personal Protective Equipment includes "Gloves, Tyvek suits, face shields and boots, that protect the wearer from sources of exposure." (Page 9, Infection Control Policy 10.15.4) Above is the link to the MTA's updated regulations specifying what protective equipment is required. Additionally, the MTA has released a brief statement which gives additional information about infection control equipment and procedures. Also, MTA CEO Thomas Prendergast sent out a memo today about how to avoid infection from Ebola.
In a situation where bodily fluids or infectious waste contaminates your work location, you should notify supervision immediately. If you are ordered to work in direct contact with body fluids without proper PPE, request a safety challenge form and call your union rep. Don't jeopardize your health, the health of your family, or that of the riding public. Further instructions can be obtained from your Department or from the TWU Local 100 Safety Department. You can also find more documentation about how to protect yourself from infectious disease on our website at www.twulocal100.org.
John Samuelsen, President