Jobs

“It’s like an oven in there”: preventing work-related heat illnesses

Business lobbyists in California claim proposed worker safety rules for heat illness prevention are on too fast a track. They might think differently if they set up their desk in a warehouse or laundry without air conditioning.

Two global unions, four labor rights organizations and 23 apparel brands and retailers agreed in late June to extend the ground-breaking Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety that has led to safer working conditions for 4 million garment workers. The legally-binding agreement came about following the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1,138 workers in Dhaka.

“Safety talk” at the Tour de France

Remarks about safety for cyclists at the Tour de France have a familiar ring to those about workplace safety.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Uber’s new insurance plan won’t do much to protect its injured workers; investigation finds 1,000 additional black lung cases in Appalachia; Washington state welcomes a new paid family leave law; and St. Louis workers face a pay cut after state legislators overturn the city’s minimum wage hike.

Dozens of safety inspector positions in California are vacant while workplace fatalities and injuries in the state are on the rise. Cal/OSHA has had an average of 34 vacant field enforcement positions a month since July 2015, which means that more than $10 million in state-authorized funding was left unused.

I’m shocked, shocked: Part 2 on U.S. coal miners and black lung disease

I explain five reasons why I’m not shocked by the epidemic of black lung cases among U.S. miners.

I’m shocked, shocked to find so many U.S. coal miners with black lung disease

Like Capt. Louis Renault in the film Casablanca, I could declare “I’m shocked, shocked to learn about the epidemic of black lung disease in the U.S.”

Occupational Health News Roundup

Five-part series investigates worker safety and lax accountability at nuclear facilities; workers at port trucking companies in Southern California report conditions mirroring indentured servitude; seventh journalist murdered in Mexico since beginning of 2017; and a new farmworkers union is born in Washington.

OSHA throws book at contractor for trenching death. I hear lame excuses for ignoring risk

DJ Meyer died when the trench he was working in collapsed around him. OSHA has proposed a $712,000 penalty against the company. When these incidents occur, what excuses does OSHA hear from the employers?

Labor Secretary talks nominations, safe jobs at Senate hearing

I heard a few interesting things when I tuned in to listen to Labor Secretary Acosta testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee.