Archives for July, 2010

Seeking nominations for list of unscrupulous employers

Congressman Tom Price MD (R-GA) is apparently offended by the suggestion that some companies are not model employers. During last week’s hearing in the House Education and Labor Committee on a bill to modernize a few provisions of the OSHA and MSHA statutes, he seemed annoyed that asst. secretary of labor for OSHA, David Michaels,…

Ugly truth about Maryland’s crab industry; no wonder the locals don’t want the jobs

In an amazing and comprehensive report entitled “Picked Apart,” the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante and the International Human Rights Law Clinic of American University College of Law reveal the ugly, dark side of the Maryland crab industry. Some employers are skirting the law and exploiting workers hired under the H2-B guestworker program. Many…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Kyle Hopkins of McClatchy follows up on the question of how we learned from the Exxon Valdez disaster about long-term health effects experienced by cleanup workers. In short, we have no peer-reviewed studies on this important topic, even though occupational health experts called for long-term monitoring of workers. Hopkins writes: Exxon has consistently maintained that…

Quote of the day from eastern Kentucky’s WYMT-TV about US Chamber of Commerce front group

Thanks to Frank Gallagher blogging at FireDogLake for providing us the quote of the day courtesy of WYMT-TV in eastern Kentucky. In “US Chamber of Commerce goes astroturfing to sink miner safety bill,” he writes about the front-group sponsored by the Chamber and other business groups to oppose legislation to improve federal worker safety laws.…

OSHA takes US Postal Service to task for electrical hazards

I happened upon a statement issued last week by the Labor Department saying that OSHA was seeking a first-ever “enterprise-wide” remedy to compel the US Postal Service (USPS) to fix electrical hazards in its 350 processing and distribution (P&D) centers. Twenty-nine of the 350 P&D facilities are designated as OSHA VPP sites, but we don’t…

No surprise, Coalition for Workplace Safety rejects tough sanctions for employers who violate safety laws

The web address is “working for safety.com” but the Coalition for Workplace Safety is just another well-funded attempt by the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, and more than 20 other industry groups to oppose fundamental improvements to the 40 year old OSHA law. Despite their catchy web address, I was hard…

Six Months Post-quake in Haiti

For the first few weeks after a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12th, Haiti seemed to be on everyone’s mind. Six months later, many of us think little about the quake survivors who are still struggling. In an op-ed in today’s New York Times, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive of Haiti and Bill Clinton, co-chairs…

Back in March of 2009, President Obama delighted advocates of scientific integrity when he signed a memorandum that stated: The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions. Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. If scientific and technological information is developed…

By Elizabeth Grossman “I’ve never seen anything like it,” says David Willman, who has nearly 15 years’ experience captaining supply boats that support oil rigs and drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. “We’re seeing pods of whales and dolphins out in the oil and lots of dead things,” he tells me. “Things I’ve never…

Imperial Sugar agrees to $6 million OSHA penalty, bold promises about safety

OSHA and Imperial Sugar reached an agreement this week stemming from the agency’s investigations following a February 2008 dust explosion that ultimately claimed 14 workers’ lives. OSHA originally issued more than 100 willful citations for violations at the company’s Port Wentworth, GA (site of the disaster) and Gramercy, LA plants, and proposed a total of…