Occupational Health & Safety

Category archives for Occupational Health & Safety

Food safety is at the top of the list for local restaurant inspectors in Rockaway Township, New Jersey. Recently, however, inspectors tested out the feasibility of adding a new safety checkpoint to the menu — the safety of restaurant employees. The effort was a success and one that organizers hope will ultimately lead to safer working conditions for food service workers statewide.

With agriculture ranked one of the most dangerous industries in the country, many Americans might be surprised to know that it’s still perfectly legal for farms to officially employ children. For years, advocates have been working to address this gaping loophole in the nation’s child labor laws, often citing children’s increased vulnerability to workplace-related injury, illness and exploitation. A new study confirms those concerns, underscoring the need to better protect the children and youth working in American fields.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Staten Island worker death highlights risks facing Latino construction workers; fight continues to ban asbestos; Minnesota minimum wage increase in jeopardy for tipped workers; and researchers look for ways to protect respiratory health among dairy farm workers.

2012 train derailment, first responders and “indefensible actions”

Emergency responders to a 2012 train derailment were exposed to vinyl chloride. Many did not wear respiratory protection, and some suffered acute health effects. An MMWR report describes those findings, but an NTSB report illuminates how and why their safety was compromised.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The top worker victories of 2014; work-related deaths in coal mining industry projected to reach new low; police officer deaths reach new high; and a major Southern grocery store chain offers benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

‘Statistics can’t tell stories’: Houston domestic workers release personal anthology

by Kim Krisberg. Two years ago, domestic workers in Houston, Texas, took part in the first national survey documenting the conditions they face on the job. The experience — a process of shedding light on the often isolating and invisible world of domestic work — was so moving that Houston workers decided they didn’t want to stop there. Instead, they decided it was time to put their personal stories to paper. (While we take a breather during this holiday season, we’re re-posting content from earlier in the year. This post was originally published on June 30, 2014.)

“In the 602 days since the West, Texas tragedy there have been 355 chemical accidents resulting in 79 deaths and 1500 hospitalizations,” said Committee Chair Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) opening the hearing. “Essentially,” said Boxer, since the West, Texas accident, there’s been a U.S. incident involving hazardous chemicals every other day. “This,” she said, “is absolutely outrageous.”

Occupational Health News Roundup

Petrochemical companies spend millions to undermine the science on benzene; in-depth series sheds light on the horrific working conditions in Mexico’s agricultural sector; National Labor Relations Board rules in favor of worker organizing; and federal officials grilled on response to West fertilizer explosion.

Feeling tired? You’re not alone. A new study finds that many U.S. workers aren’t getting enough sleep, which is essential to optimal health, and that people who work multiple jobs are at heightened risk of getting less than the recommended hours of nightly rest.

A mixed bag in Labor Department’s latest agenda for new worker safety rules

The latest edition of the Labor Department’s regulatory agenda offers a mixed bag of unaddressed workplace hazards and slipped deadlines, as well as a few new topics for possible regulatory action to protect workers.