Occupational Health & Safety

Category archives for Occupational Health & Safety

Community groups, labor applaud new California refinery safety protections

Environmental justice and labor groups in California were relentless in their demand to make refineries safer. Their years of effort paid off with an announcement last week by the state of new refinery safety regulations.

Nation’s largest wireless infrastructure provider linked to two worker deaths in eight days

In an eight-day period, two workers lost their lives at communication towers. Their deaths reminded me of the grave hazards in the industry and the subcontracting model that can shield firms from responsibility for the hazards they create.

Investigation reveals how Case Farms poultry plants exploit immigrant workers; Chinese workers who make Ivanka Trump’s clothing line are overworked and underpaid; California lawmakers consider bill to protect salon workers from harmful chemicals; and Trump’s budget would slash funds for combating child and forced labor overseas.

More “severe violators” designated by OSHA

OSHA’s list of bad actors has two new members. An update of the agency’s “severe violators” program shows two companies were added since President Trump took office.

Prevention message opportunities in media coverage of worker fatalities?

Instead of calling worker fatalities “accidents,” could the press communicate how such incidents could be averted? A new paper published in the Journal of Agromedicine got me thinking about the topic.

Midnight 28 years ago: Exxon Valdez ran aground, 11 million gallons crude oil released

28 years ago today, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground off the coast of Alaska and released 11 million gallons of crude oil.

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.

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.