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Occupational Health News Roundup

California farmworkers living in fear of deportation; Ontario health care workers call on officials to address violence in the workplace; West Virginia legislators consider dramatic loosening of mine safety standards; and thousands of workers get ready to strike on May 1.

Call to action on worker safety for future Labor Secretary

Senators preparing for next week’s confirmation hearing for Trump’s Labor Secretary should study National COSH’s newly released Agenda for Action. “Protecting Workers’ Lives & Limbs” makes dozens of recommendations to improve occupational health and safety policies and practices which will fall under the purview of the future Labor Secretary.

Exaggerating the cost of workplace safety penalties, instead of limbs, lungs, lives saved

It bothers me when politicians try to rile up employers by exaggerating the cost of OSHA penalties.

Fatal work injury that killed Rick Simer, 64, was preventable, OSHA cites K.B.P. Coil Coaters

The fatal work-related injuries that killed Simer, 64, could have been prevented had K.B.P. Coil Coaters, Inc. followed worker safety regulations.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Former head of the federal Wage and Hour Division talks about efforts under Obama, challenges under Trump; news releases on OSHA enforcement actions disappear from its website; Texas lawmakers propose bills to improve farmworker housing conditions; and congressional Republicans vote to roll back OSHA reporting rules.

Last month, California’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) proposed revised and stronger regulations for oil refineries in the state after a 4½-year joint campaign by labor unions, environmental and community organizations.  The successful strategic coalition is a powerful example of how health and safety regulations can be improved despite an industry’s wealth, power and political influence.

Worker’s death at demolition site a “freak accident”?

Cirilo Banuelos Reyes, 50, fell four stories to his death at a demolition site. His boss called it a “freak accident.” OSHA will likely find it could have been prevented.

Case and Deaton’s analysis of increasing mortality rates among white middle-age Americans made a connection to economic phenomena, but their analysis didn’t discuss specific pathways that might lead from one to the other. A group of doctoral students at UMass Lowell’s Work Environment Program set out to explore those causal pathways.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Navy shipbuilders get lucrative contracts despite worker safety violations; Baltimore airport executive cited in worker retaliation case; thousands of California workers have potentially harmful blood lead levels; and immigrant workers lose their jobs after joining national protests.

Fewer economic opportunities may be exposing black and Hispanic workers to an increased risk of workplace injury, according to a new study.