Category archives for silica

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is no stranger to budget cuts — the agency is already so underfunded that it would take its inspectors nearly a century, on average, to visit every U.S. workplace at least once. In some states, it would take two centuries. Unfortunately, appropriations bills now making their way through Congress don’t bode much better for OSHA.

Donald Rasmussen: Coal miners’ physician, humble man

Dr. Donald Rasmussen, 87, spent more than 50 years in Appalachia treating coal miners with lung disease. He was at the forefront of efforts during the 1960’s to challenge the establishment’s views that exposure to coal mine dust damaged miners’ lungs.

Occupational Health News Roundup

New investigative series examines the toll of occupational illness and the lack of federal protections; OSHA steps up its efforts to protect nurses; women janitors face sexual assault and rape risks on the night shift; and IKEA reports that raising wages worked so well, the company is set to raise them again.

Predicting key regulatory action on new worker safety protections should not be that difficult

OSHA and MSHA have a pathetic track record of estimating target dates for key regulatory action on new worker safety regulations. The Labor Department’s explanation for why they miss the mark just doesn’t hold up.

While silicosis-related deaths have declined, it remains a serious occupational health risk and one that requires continued public health attention, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Too many oil and gas industry workers are being hurt or killed on the job,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, David Michaels in remarks delivered to the more than 2,000 people who gathered last week in Houston for the 2014 OSHA Oil & Gas Safety and Health Conference. As part…

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.

Crystalline silica, hydrofluoric acid and formaldehyde. Those are just three of the dozens of air toxic chemicals that oil companies have used thousands of times in southern California in just the past year.

Don’t be fooled by the safety talk

Two recent incidents reminded me of what a worker said about “safety talks.”

“No dust, no silica”: OSHA Silica Hearings Week #2

A high-road employer and lower-wage workers spoke in the second week of public hearings on OSHA’s proposed rule to protect workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica.