Occupational Health & Safety
Category archives for Occupational Health & Safety
Conditions on Florida tomato farms improve thanks to the Fair Food Program; federal officials are developing a protective inhalation screening level for the West Virginia chemical spill region; and a Government Accountability Project expert testifies on whistleblower protections in observance of Workers Memorial Day.
Nine poultry workers filed safety and whistleblower complaints with the Labor Department against the country’s fifth largest poultry company and the temp staffing agency that hired some of them.
Three hours after I wrote this “The US Department of Labor has a plan to eliminate coal mine dust lung disease (a.k.a. black lung.) It’s been stuck in White House review for eight months, under the watch of a reg czar who promised timeliness of reviews,” they announced they were issuing the new rules.
This months marks the fourth anniversary of deadly workplace disasters in West Virginia and the Gulf of Mexico; after coming under pressure from activists, Walmart has changed its policy regarding accommodations for pregnant workers; and two California nurses were stabbed in separate incidents on the same day.
Twelve weeks into 2014, six cell tower workers have died on the job – incidents that caused a total of 7 fatalities. OSHA has called the industry’s safety record “unacceptable” and announced increased focus on tower work safety. But this history of catastrophic and fatal incidents goes back nearly 20 years. What’s needed to effect change?
Thanks to a unanimous vote of California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board last Thursday, workers get to hold on to a robust chemical right-to-know rule that puts their health and safety first. The vote also means that California workers will reap the benefits of more meaningful right-to-know rules than those at the federal level.
Three years after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami led to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, concerns persist about health effects while the cleanup poses ongoing health and safety challenges; workers in three states sue McDonald’s over wage theft; and the Senate passes a bill altering how the military addresses sexual assault allegations.
The Obama Administration still has time to abandon its ill-conceived new regulation on poultry inspection. We’ll see if the Administration decides to treat poultry workers better than the firms that employ them.
Last weekend, construction worker Jose Perez stood up and spoke about life as a construction worker in one of then nation’s most prosperous cities. In front of him were hundreds of supporters who had gathered in downtown Austin, Texas, to call on a local developer to treat its workers better. Looming behind him was the new Gables Park Tower, an unfinished luxury apartment complex where construction workers have reported dangerous working conditions and frequent wage violations.
“There’s a lot we don’t know about preterm birth and we know even less about the disparities in those births.” Those are words from Ondine von Ehrenstein, who recently examined the links between occupational exposures and preterm birth rates among Hispanic women.