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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Workers Need Adequate Protection from Ebola, Infectious Diseases


By Alberto Grant, Jr., Airway Terminal Cleaner, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

Dozens of New York area airport workers took part in an awareness training provided by SEIU trainers and healthcare professionals. The training came as workers have revealed their lack of training to deal with infectious diseases in light of the Centers for Disease Control's updated advice on preventing the spread of Ebola in our airports.
I was really glad to know that we would be getting this training, because I don't think we are getting what we need to keep ourselves safe at the airport.
A lot of us are worried about this because we know there's a risk of passengers coming through who have Ebola. The equipment we have is just not good enough to deal with that. Also, this training is more than we've gotten so far from my company. They told us yesterday we should wash our hands and use gloves, and we could get gloves if we asked. I've been working here for a while and just like some contractors, they don't like to buy good equipment.
When we clean the bathrooms, we are exposed to everything, so I am really glad to know that I'm getting this training. In the past, contractors have told us just to wash our hands and use gloves. Cleaning kits are not readily available to protect against the various bodily fluids we encounter every day. Sometimes all we have are paper towels to wipe down the bathrooms.
That can be a real problem because we have to deal with some tough things -- vomit,...
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