Occupational Health & Safety

Category archives for Occupational Health & Safety

A investigative Houston Chronicle piece exposes the dangers of the tank cleaning industry; North Carolina lawmakers back fracking secrecy with jail time; and Wal-Mart contractor settles in wage theft case.

BLS estimate of work-related amputations grossly understates magnitude of the problem

Yet another study that calculates the extent to which BLS’ data on work-related injuries understates the incidence.

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.

Wayne Farms and Employer Solutions Staffing subject of Alabama poultry workers’ safety complaints

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.

Obama’s regulatory czar, Yoda and black lung disease

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.

Occupational Health News Roundup

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.

Occupational Health News Roundup

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.

Poultry workers appeal to White House, USDA must abandon new poultry slaughter rule

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.