No Worker’s Compensation for Media Hurt Covering 9/11


NEW YORK, New York, August 8, 2007 (ENS) – The New York Press Photographers
Association is asking members of the media who covered the September 11 attacks
on New York’s World Trade Center to contact the association.

These journalists were exposed to the same toxic chemicals and dust as first
responders, and the association wants to ensure that they receive worker’s compensation
for health problems resulting from that exposure.

David Handschuh, the NYPPA intergovernmental affairs chair and a photographer
for the "New York Daily News," circulated a letter to media Tuesday
asking people who covered the attacks to come forward.

In the letter, Handschuh explains that New York State has passed a law extending
the time for "Rescue and Recovery Workers" to file for Workers Compensation
payment for injuries sustained while working at the World Trade Center until
August 14, 2008.

"This is VERY good legislation that will help many people but unfortunately
excludes photographers, journalists, reporters, producers, correspondents and
others in the media who covered the attack for months afterwards," wrote

"We feel that journalists have encountered the same health issues as other
rescue and recovery workers and should be treated equitably when it comes to
health challenges and care issues resulting from 9/11 exposure," he wrote.

Handschuh himself was injured while photographing the attack when debris from
the explosion of the second World Trade Center tower broke his leg, dislocated
his knee and caused other injuries.

Now among those suffering from breathing problems, Handschuh says he has heard
from about a dozen 9/11 media workers who are suffering health problems.

The NYPPA and other press groups are attempting to identify all media members
who are now suffering from health issues as a result of 9/11 coverage or are
concerned over future health issues.

The NYPPA also wants media members who covered the attack to fill out and submit
a form that would help others who reported the attack to get coverage in the
event of future health issues.

The NYPPA will track the responses of the New York State Worker’s Compensation
Board to see whether these submissions are accepted or rejected.

And the association will lobby New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and the Legislature
to offer statutory amendments that would assure the inclusion of journalists.

"We need to hear from you, no matter how long or short a time period you
were at "Ground Zero" or how limited or extensive your exposure was,"
Handschuh writes. "Together I believe that we can get health protection
for members of our community who informed the public and recorded history on
9/11/01 and for months and months after."

Handschuh can be reached by email at: or by phone at:

Source URL:

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2007.

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