Occupational Health & Safety

Category archives for Occupational Health & Safety

Ideas galore on ways to speed process for new worker safety protections. Where is the leadership to implement them?

Earlier this month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report on the snail’s pace of the OSHA process of issuing new rules to protect workers from health and safety hazards on-the-job. One telling table in the document showed the agency issued about 20 new major regulations in each of the previous two decades (i.e.,…

By Rena Steinzor, cross-posted from CPRBlog Yesterday evening, when press coverage had ebbed for the day, the Department of Labor issued a short, four-paragraph press release announcing it was withdrawing a rule on child labor on farms. The withdrawal came after energetic attacks by the American Farm Bureau, Republicans in Congress, Sarah Palin, and–shockingly–Al Franken…

USDA gives us 30 more days to tell it why 175 birds-per-minute line speeds will take a toll on poultry workers

Gabriel Thompson writes today in The Nation about a summer job he had a few years back, working on the assembly line at a Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant in Alabama. The chickens flew by on hooks at 90 birds-per-minute as he sliced and cut the meat non-stop. It didn’t take long for him to meet…

by Elizabeth Grossman One might assume that when a government agency awards a private company a contract to do construction work – for bridge or sewer work or other public utility repairs, for example – evaluating the company’s safety and health record would be a prerequisite. This is, however, not the case. As the government…

Occupational Health News Roundup

April 28th is Workers Memorial Day, and groups California to Nebraska to Kentucky are planning events — see a complete list at the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) website. Events in Washington, DC are happening in advance of Workers Memorial Day: On Thursday, April 19th at 10am, the Senate Health, Education, Labor…

Mitt Romney’s idea of freedom: businesses free to do whatever they darn well please?

Mr. Mitt Romney spoke this weekend at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual convention and kicked off his remarks applauding the gun-lovers group’s defense of the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. “This fine organization is sometimes called a single-issue group,” Romney said. “That’s high praise when the single issue is freedom. I love my freedom…

Worker safety rule stuck in White House black hole, disease risk persists

More than 425 days—-that’s 14 months—-have passed since the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent to the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) a draft proposed regulation designed to protect workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica. The hazard is one of the oldest known causes of work-related…

By Elizabeth Grossman While the US Supreme Court was debating the Affordable Care Act, the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee held a hearing to examine the current federal oversight of cosmetics and personal care product safety. The hearing revealed that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency…

Chamber of Commerce mocks worker safety system, despite endorsement by major Chamber members and National Mining Association

The US Chamber of Commerce had a quaint little game on its website last month, complete with a YouTube video with fake sportscasters. The PR campaign called “Regulatory Madness” keyed off the annual NCAA’s basketball tournament we know as March Madness. The cutesy idea was for business people to use the Chamber’s pick of the…

At an American Public Health Association annual meeting session a couple of years ago, I learned from the panelists that green jobs aren’t always safe jobs — for instance, energy-efficient buildings and wind turbines can be designed without proper consideration for how workers constructing or servicing them will be protected from falls or assured adequate…