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Occupational Health News Roundup

Workers suffering the ‘lethal legacy’ of a General Electric plant in Canada fight for compensation; OSHA looks into an Arizona commission that routinely reduces penalties for safety violations; advocates ponder the future of OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program; and millions of workers get a raise in the new year.

While The Pump Handle is on holiday break, we are republishing some of our favorite posts from the past year. This one is from March 2016: A painter named Jason, who nearly died from using a methylene chloride-based paint stripper, teams up with the California Department of Public Health to make the case for using safer alternatives.

Deadly legacy of coal mining: a thousand new black lung disease cases

An NPR investigation identified nearly 1,000 new cases in Appalachia of the most severe form of black lung disease. The government’s surveillance system recorded just a fraction of them.

Injury incident alerts: blaming worker is not a safety lesson

The Labor Department’s safety alerts should not point blame at a worker for suffering an injury.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The Center for Public Integrity investigates working conditions inside the nation’s oil refineries; mine safety advocates worry about changes under a Trump administration; garment workers in Bangladesh continue to face abusive conditions; and workers chronicle sexual harassment and retaliation within the National Park Service.

Poultry workers suffer while industry uses chemicals to disinfect your chicken

Poultry processing workers and food safety inspectors are being doused with chemicals in the name of food safety. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and colleagues urge the Secretaries of USDA, HHS, and Labor to ensure that food safety doesn’t come at the expense of worker safety.

New investigations by the Workers Rights Consortium and the Fair Labor Association reveal sweatshop operations in Vietnam by a major Korean factory operator. The garments produced are sold by dozens of international clothing brands. The sweatshops exist despite “audits” by the $80 billion global “corporate responsibility industry.”

EPA embraces new chemical safety law, proposes rule to ban certain uses of trichloroethylene

EPA announced yesterday a proposed rule to ban trichloroethylene as a spot-cleaning agent in dry cleaning operations and as an aerosol spray degreaser. The agency is again moving swiftly to use its authority under a chemical safety law.

Not an “accident”: Bud Wesley, 65, suffers fatal work-related injury in Belding, MI

This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the US. This one occurred on Wednesday, November 30 in Belding, MI.

Occupational Health News Roundup

If the ACA is repealed, miners could lose out on critical compensation for workplace illness; New York farm owner indicted in death of teen worker; possible contender for U.S. labor secretary opposes minimum wage hike; and in good news, Ikea expands paid parental leave for its U.S. workers.