Category archives for OSHA
Following the deadly April 17, 2013 explosion at the West, Texas fertilizer plant – and a series of other catastrophic incidents involving hazardous materials – President Obama directed federal agencies to improve chemical facility security and safety. Their report makes recommendations but does not mandate any immediate action. Meanwhile, dangerous chemical releases occur at workplaces around the US almost daily.
This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality. This one occurred on June 4 on an electrical pole in Florence, Alabama.
The Huffington Post investigates how the mining industry cheats worker safety; Seattle set to raise minimum wage to $15; and the death of a hummus plant worker could have been prevented with better safety practices.
The heath effects of occupational solvent exposure don’t always fade with time. A new study has found that years — sometimes even decades — down the road from their last workplace exposure, some workers are still experiencing very real cognitive impairments.
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.
California’s workforce has grown by about 22 percent in the last 20 years but the number of safety inspectors for the 17 million people employed in the state’s 1.34 million workplaces has decreased by about 11 percent. This leaves California’s workforce – the largest of any US state – with the lowest number of inspectors per workers of any state with its own occupational safety and health plan for private-sector workers. California has so few workplace safety inspectors that it would take 173 years to inspect each workplace in the state just once.
In New York, construction is the deadliest industry, with immigrant workers experiencing half of all occupational-related fatalities. In Massachusetts in 2013, it’s estimated that upward of 500 workers died from occupational disease, at least 1,800 were diagnosed with cancers associated with workplace exposures and 50,000 workers experienced serious injury. In Wyoming, workplace deaths climbed to a five-year high in 2012.
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.