Chemical Safety Board
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Our Labor Day tradition continues with the third edition of “The Year in US Occupational Health & Safety: Fall 2013 – Summer 2014.” Section I of the report recaps happenings over the last 12 months at the federal level.
More than a month after the Freedom Industries chemical spill in West Virginia, it remains unclear if Charleston’s water is truly safe to drink and what the health consequences of exposure to these chemicals may be. Legislation has been introduced that calls for more inspections, better tank construction, overflow containment and emergency response. But why not go beyond and also call for safer chemistry?
Anniversaries of two deadly workplace disasters remind us of the hazards of combustible dust and gas blows; a former Cal/OSHA employee warns that the agency is dangerously understaffed; and CDC uses sugar-industry money to fund studies into the epidemic of chronic kidney disease striking Central American sugarcane workers.
Should fatality investigation reports include the names of the victims? Opinions differ.
The city of Anacortes – population about 16,000 – sits on shores of Fidalgo Island, the eastern-most island in the San Juan archipelago, the string of islands clustered off the northwest coast of Washington State. Located at the western end of Skagit County, known regionally for its agriculture, Anacortes’ petrochemical plants – Tesoro and Shell…
Throughout a meeting in which it criticized OSHA action on several workplace hazards, the Chemical Safety Board was careful to acknowledge the progress OSHA had made in addressing the hazards, the factors that impede effective OSHA action, and the preventability of explosions and other chemical incidents that kill workers and leave families and communities devastated.
The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee hears about regulatory shortcomings related to the Texas fertilizer plant explosion; 70 clothing retailers agree to a legally binding plan for safety inspections at Bangladesh factories supplying their clothing; and Hyatt and the UNITE HERE union reach a tentative agreement.
The federal, State and local authorities investigating the West Fertilizer plant disaster each have different responsibilities and expertise. The ATF is acting like its task is the only one that matters.
In our new report “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety,” we devote one section to key activities by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress.
Sheri Sangji, 23, earned a bachelors degree in chemistry from Pomona College in 2008, and dreamed of being an attorney. While awaiting word on her admission to law school, Sangji took a job in October 2008 as a research assistant in the laboratory of UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran. Three months later, Sangji was dead.…