firefighters

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Today, Maine’s legislature held a hearing on the Toxic Chemicals in the Workplace Act, a proposal to require employers to identify harmful chemicals in the workplace and replace them with safer alternatives. It’s the perfect example of state action on behalf of worker safety and exactly the kind of measure that might no longer be possible under two congressional proposals aimed at overhauling the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

In the span of just a couple years, five of Heather Buren’s colleagues at the San Francisco Fire Department were diagnosed with breast cancer. At first, Buren thought the diagnoses were part of the unfortunate toll that comes with age. Still, something felt amiss — “it just felt so disproportionate to me,” she said.

Occupational Health News Roundup

As the Mine Safety & Health Administration furloughs employees, three mineworkers were killed on the job in three days; OSHA issues fines in West Fertilizer explosion case; and another Bangladesh factory fire kills nine workers.

Houston firefighter’s recovery marks fourth month, May blaze killed four in his crew

Houston Fire Captain William Dowling spent seven weeks in intensive care recovering from injuries suffered in one of the deadliest fires in Houston history. Many more months of rehabilitation await him.

Ceremonies honor the 19 fallen firefighters, wisdom of battling wildfires questioned

While solemn ceremonies are held to honor the 19 firefighters killed while battling a wildfire, others question the wisdom of trying to save homes built in a tinderbox.

Fallen Houston firefighters raise national death toll to 37, 2013 especially deadly for Texas crews

In a typical year, about five firefighters in Texas die in the line of duty. So far in 2013, the death toll is 13. The official count doesn’t include five responders who were killed at West Fertilizer.

This week is Workers’ Memorial Week, when we remember the thousands of men and women who die on the job each year and work to prevent future deaths by improving workplace health and safety. Events are happening across the US and around the world.