Archives for March, 2008

RPI Fined $845,100 for Five Worker Deaths

With the six-month deadline approaching for issuing citations and monetary penalties, OSHA announced today 13 willful and 25 serious violations against RPI Coatings, the employer of five workers who died in early October at the Excel Energy Cabin Creek Station hydroelectric plant near Georgetown, Colorado.  The penalty amount proposed by OSHA against RPI Coatings is $845,100. The deceased…

More Regulations Ahead

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Williamson links the housing-market crisis to recent problems with food, drug, and toy safety and suggests that the combination of these problems spells more regulation on the horizon:

Spitzer, Kristof, and Dangerous Jobs

By Adam Finkel I am always on the lookout for examples of how laypeople and/or experts fail to appreciate the enormity of the risks workers face.  As someone who came to OSHA from a background in environmental health policy, where an excess lifetime fatality risk greater than one chance per million is often seen as…

Friday Blog Roundup

This week, bloggers look at who’s making decisions about coal: At Gristmill (home of David “coal is the enemy of the human race” Roberts), Ted Nace explains how a bureaucrat’s change of one number in a spreadsheet can lead to 132 fewer new coal plants being built, but Tom Philpott warns that Appalachian coal will…

Miner Files Lawsuit for Coal Dust Rule

A coal miner from eastern Kentucky filed a law suit yesterday requesting a federal court judge to compel MSHA to issue a health standard to prevent miners from developing black lung disease.  The Petition for Writ of Mandamus (Howard v. Chao) argues that Congress intended, through the Federal Coal Mine Health & Safety Act of 1969 (amended 1977), MSHA…

In Honor of Sunshine Week: A FOIA to OSHA

It’s national Sunshine Week—an effort “to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger.”   A great way to celebrate the public’s right-to-know what its government is doing, is by sending a FOIA request to your…

Back in December, Andrew Schneider reported in the Seattle PI that the use of diacetyl-containing cooking oils could be putting professional cooks at risk for the same severe lung disease that’s struck workers in microwave-popcorn and flavor factories. After his article came out, the Unite-Here union requested an investigation from NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety…

EPA Tightens Diesel Ship & Train Standards

In a welcome contrast to the disappointing ozone rule the agency announced last week, EPA has issued tougher air-pollution standards for diesel locomotives and marine engines. When fully implemented in 2030, the new standards will reduce particulate matter pollution by 90% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 80%. The new standards only cover ships traveling on…

Guns in DC: What Will Stop the Violence?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard District of Columbia v. Heller, which pits DC’s handgun ban against the Second Amendment. DC’s gun law is the strictest in the nation, since it effectively all handguns; it does, however, allow for rifles and shotguns if they’re kept disassembled or under trigger lock. The big issue is whether the…

OSHA, Small Businesses and Beryllium

On OSHA’s latest regulatory agenda, the agency noted it would complete the required SBREFA report for a draft rule on beryllium in January 2008, and it did (121-page PDF here) This report stems from the December 6 meeting between OSHA, the Small Business Administration and small entity representatives, as required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement…