domestic workers https://scienceblogs.com/ en Occupational Health News Roundup https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2016/08/16/occupational-health-news-roundup-227 <span>Occupational Health News Roundup</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>At <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/08/11/488428558/in-south-texas-fair-wages-elude-farmworkers-50-years-after-historic-strike">NPR</a>, John Burnett reports on the conditions facing farmworkers in south Texas 50 years after a landmark strike in which farmworkers walked 400 miles to the capital city of Austin to demand fair working conditions. He writes:</p> <blockquote><p>A lot has changed since 1966, when watermelon workers in the South Texas borderlands walked out of the melon fields in a historic strike to protest poor wages and appalling working conditions.</p> <p>They marched 400 miles to the state capital of Austin; California labor activist and union leader Cesar Chavez joined them.</p> <p>The farmworkers succeeded in publicizing their cause — but ultimately, the strike failed when replacement workers were brought in.</p> <p>Still, working conditions have improved in the decades since the failed strike.</p> <p>What hasn't changed is the work: It's as brutal as ever.</p> <p>"I've seen that watermelon has no friends," says Justino DeLeon, a 58-year-old retired farmworker. He fell off a melon truck and hurt his arm three years ago. He lives in a battered green mobile home in the town of Pharr. "They're sweet to eat, but hell to harvest."</p> <p>"You have to be in great condition to toss melons all day," DeLeon continues. "You work hard in the heat and it's easy to get dehydrated."</p> <p>It's not just that field work is grueling. Workers are vulnerable to getting cheated by growers and crew bosses.</p></blockquote> <p>To read the full article, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/08/11/488428558/in-south-texas-fair-wages-elude-farmworkers-50-years-after-historic-strike">NPR</a>. To learn more about the 1966 farmworker strike, visit the <a href="https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/oes03">Texas State Historical Association</a>.</p> <p>In other news:</p> <p><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-rauner-signs-domestic-workers-bill-0816-biz-20160815-story.html"><em>Chicago Tribune</em></a>: Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz reports that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law, ensuring that domestic workers are entitled to the same minimum wage and human rights protections as other workers. The bill goes into effect at the start of 2017. Specifically, the legislation means domestic workers will be covered by state minimum wage laws, sexual harassment protections, pay discrimination laws, and the One Day Rest in Seven Act, which requires workers get at least 24 hours of rest in each calendar week and meal periods of 20 minutes for every seven-and-a-half hours of work. Illinois is the seventh state to enact such a bill of rights. Elejalde-Ruiz quoted Wendy Pollack, founder and director of the Women's Law and Policy Project at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, who said: "This is really historic because the exclusion of domestic workers from federal and state employment laws has an unfortunate history in slavery and anti-immigrant sentiment."</p> <p><a href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_SKOREA_SAMSUNG_SAFETY_SECRETS_QUOTES?SITE=AP&amp;SECTION=HOME&amp;TEMPLATE=DEFAULT">Associated Press</a>: Youkyung Lee reports on an AP investigation that found Samsung Electronics, South Korea’s largest company, was allowed to withhold critical information from sick workers about the chemicals they were exposed to at the company’s factories. The article reports that a worker safety group has documented more than 200 cases of serious illnesses among former workers, including leukemia, lupus, lymphoma and multiple sclerosis. To date, 76 workers have died, with most in their 20s and 30s. In profiling victims and their families, Lee writes: “Hwang Sang-Gi, father of Hwang Yu-mi, a former Samsung factory worker who died of leukemia at the age of 22. Hwang launched a movement seeking independent inspections of Samsung factories. (He) said:’(Samsung) once offered me 1 billion won ($864,000), asking me to stay silent. The idea was to deny her illness was an occupational disease and to leave me without any power to fight back.’” Not surprisingly, Samsung had <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37042199">denied</a> withholding such information.</p> <p><a href="http://www.kltv.com/story/32772549/osha-cites-center-chicken-plant-after-investigating-amputation">KLTV</a> (ABC): Jeff Awtry reports that OSHA has fined a Tyson chicken processing plant in Texas more than $260,000 after investigating an incident in which a worker lost a finger. Investigators found two repeated violations and 15 serious violations, including failing to use proper guards on moving machinery, having higher-than-allowable carbon dioxide levels, failing to provide workers with protective equipment, and not training workers about the dangers of peracetic acid. Awtry writes: “The investigation revealed the employee's finger became stuck in an unguarded conveyor belt as he worked in the debone area and tried to remove chicken parts jammed in the belt, according to the (Labor Department) press release.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/08/10/the-labor-department-is-pushing-states-to-create-their-own-paid-family-leave-programs/"><em>The Washington Post</em></a>: Danielle Paquette reports that the U.S. Department of Labor will grant $1.1 million to six states and municipalities that want to launch their own paid family leave programs — the recipients are: Denver; Franklin, Ohio; Madison, Wisconsin; Hawaii; Indiana; and Pennsylvania. The recipients will use the money, which is part of the Paid Leave Analysis Grant Program, to examine the costs of such programs. The article noted that while 58 percent of large U.S. firms offer some paid maternity leave, only 12 percent of all private-sector workers receive paid family leave to care for a baby or sick family member. Only the states of California, Rhode Island and New Jersey guarantee paid family leave for all workers. Paquette writes: “The United States guarantees just 12 weeks of job-protected time off to new parents — none of which is paid. The issue is also fiercely divisive: The Democratic Party platform says all workers should be paid for those 12 weeks leave, while the Republican Party platform makes no mention of a paid leave policy.”</p> <p><em>Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for nearly 15 years.</em></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/kkrisberg" lang="" about="/author/kkrisberg" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kkrisberg</a></span> <span>Tue, 08/16/2016 - 14:42</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/agriculture" hreflang="en">agriculture</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals-policy" hreflang="en">chemicals policy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/department-labor" hreflang="en">department of labor</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/environmental-health" hreflang="en">Environmental health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/farm-workers" hreflang="en">farm workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/government" hreflang="en">government</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/legal" hreflang="en">Legal</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occup-health-news-roundup" hreflang="en">Occup Health News Roundup</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/osha" hreflang="en">OSHA</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/paid-leave" hreflang="en">paid leave</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/poultry-plants" hreflang="en">poultry plants</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health-general" hreflang="en">Public Health - General</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/toxics" hreflang="en">Toxics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/workers-compensation" hreflang="en">workers&#039; compensation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/agricultural-workers" hreflang="en">agricultural workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemical-exposure" hreflang="en">chemical exposure</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals" hreflang="en">chemicals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/electronics-manufacturing" hreflang="en">electronics manufacturing</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-workers" hreflang="en">low-wage workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health" hreflang="en">Occupational health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-safety" hreflang="en">occupational safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/poultry-workers" hreflang="en">poultry workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health" hreflang="en">public health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/tyson-foods" hreflang="en">Tyson Foods</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/wage-theft" hreflang="en">wage theft</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-fatality" hreflang="en">worker fatality</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-safety" hreflang="en">worker safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/workplace-safety" hreflang="en">Workplace Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/agriculture" hreflang="en">agriculture</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals-policy" hreflang="en">chemicals policy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/environmental-health" hreflang="en">Environmental health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/paid-leave" hreflang="en">paid leave</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/poultry-plants" hreflang="en">poultry plants</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/toxics" hreflang="en">Toxics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/workers-compensation" hreflang="en">workers&#039; compensation</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1874081" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1471391418"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“… Samsung Electronics, South Korea’s largest company… To date, 76 workers have died…”</p> <p>Kim,<br /> Closer to home, will you be presenting any up-to-date occupational health reports for U.S. policemen?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1874081&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="VRu8dhCNwnqgWk-VOZGpBxhQAKSGR7peHRLV0MjaQUk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">See Noevo (not verified)</span> on 16 Aug 2016 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/13781/feed#comment-1874081">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1874082" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1471444369"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>sn, closer to the point, will you ever make a post that is related to the topic of the blog?<br /> Think (I know from your posts on Starts with a Bang that you never really do that) about what should be the working conditions between the people discussed in this blog and those for police officers: why are you trying to conflate the two?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1874082&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="MzSo6xW3bXGS3lp9xDM7wFgPuU4HGGlVFw4Xmfu4D0o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dean (not verified)</span> on 17 Aug 2016 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/13781/feed#comment-1874082">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1874083" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1471537559"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Certainly, SN, why don't you head on over to the Seattle Times and look up their investigative report on the danger of lead in shooting ranges, and how that affects police officers?</p> <p>Or, conversely, you could demand that Kim discuss all the American professions that are far *more* dangerous than police officer.</p> <p>Or, you could finally figure out that posts here are based on what the writers want to write, not on what you demand from them.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1874083&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="gZ994cmhaNt67Osaj1Bxu0P2aZ8WSasgtM3NaF1SnwU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JustaTech (not verified)</span> on 18 Aug 2016 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/13781/feed#comment-1874083">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2016/08/16/occupational-health-news-roundup-227%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 18:42:49 +0000 kkrisberg 62671 at https://scienceblogs.com Occupational Health News Roundup https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2016/05/24/occupational-health-news-roundup-221 <span>Occupational Health News Roundup</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>At <a href="http://extras.mercurynews.com/silicon-valley-imported-labor/"><em>San Jose Mercury News</em></a>, Louis Hansen reports on the “hidden” workforce of foreign workers that helped expand a Fremont plant for car manufacturer Tesla. The story begins with Gregor Lesnik, an unemployed electrician from Slovenia, who, according to his visa application, was supposed to work in South Carolina. Hansen writes:</p> <blockquote><p>The companies that arranged his questionable visa instead sent Lesnik to a menial job in Silicon Valley. He earned the equivalent of $5 an hour to expand the plant for one of the world’s most sophisticated companies, Tesla Motors.</p> <p>Lesnik’s three-month tenure ended a year ago in a serious injury and a lawsuit that has exposed a troubling practice in the auto industry. Overseas contractors are shipping workers from impoverished countries to American factories, where they work long hours for low wages, in apparent violation of visa and labor laws.</p> <p>About 140 workers from Eastern Europe, mostly from Croatia and Slovenia, built a new paint shop at Tesla’s Fremont plant, a project vital to the flagship Silicon Valley automaker’s plans to ramp up production of its highly anticipated Model 3 sedan. Their story emerged from dozens of interviews conducted by the Bay Area News Group, and an extensive review of payroll, visa and court documents.</p> <p>Yet neither the contractors involved nor Tesla itself have accepted legal responsibility for the hiring practices, long hours and low pay. While most of the imported workers interviewed for this story said they are happy with their paychecks, their American counterparts earn as much as $52 an hour for similar work.</p></blockquote> <p>Hansen writes that Lesnik and workers like him came to the U.S. on a B1/B2 visa, which allows people to come into the country for pleasure and limited work purposes. However, Hansen interviews a number of people who say that the B1 visa system is in need of serious reform — he writes:</p> <blockquote><p>Critics say the B1 system appears to be broken. While consular officers check to see that workers will return home, less attention is paid to the work they perform in the U.S.</p> <p>“It’s the wonderful world of unregulated visas,” said Daniel Costa, an immigration law and policy researcher at the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank funded partly by labor unions.</p> <p>Jay Palmer, a former manager and whistleblower on his Indian technology and outsourcing company Infosys, said an employment contractor can make more profit on B1 workers compared to higher paid H-1B visa holders. For example, a company can charge its client $100 an hour for each laborer under a B1 visa, and pay the worker a fraction of the amount, he said. “It’s extremely simple,” said Palmer, now a consultant who advises companies and whistleblowers. “It’s low risk and high reward.”</p></blockquote> <p>To read Hansen’s full investigation, visit the <a href="http://extras.mercurynews.com/silicon-valley-imported-labor/"><em>San Jose Mercury News</em></a>.</p> <p>In other news:</p> <p><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-illinois-domestic-workers-bill-of-rights-0511-biz-20160511-story.html"><em>Chicago Tribune</em></a>: Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz reports that a bill providing basic labor protections to domestic workers in Illinois recently passed through the state’s Senate with a unanimous vote. The Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights would ensure house cleaners, child care workers, cooks, drivers and other domestic workers receive the protections of minimum wage laws as well as proper breaks during their work schedules. The bill would also protect domestic workers against sexual harassment and prohibit employers from paying an “oppressive and unreasonable wage.” Now, it’s up to Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the bill. Elejalde-Ruiz interviewed Wendy Pollack, of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, who said of domestic workers: "Right now they're exploited and abused. And we are talking for the most part about women with their own children, taking care of other people's children."</p> <p><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/congress-zika-truck-safety_us_573cfc0ae4b0646cbeec1b89">Huffington Post</a>: Michael McAuliff reports that members of Congress are trying to use a Zika funding bill to weaken federal trucking safety rules. Last week, the Senate passed a measure that would allow truckers to drive 73 hours and do more than eight hours of related work each week — the measure was attached to a giant spending bill that also included Zika funding. If enacted, the measure would stop the Obama administration from trying to enforce a 2013 regulation that capped truck drivers’ working hours at 70 a week and ensured they got two nights off in a row. (That rule, though briefly enacted, was also blocked in a 2014 spending bill.) McAuliff writes: “The White House has threatened to veto the Senate spending bill, in part because of the rest rule rollback. But the prospect of a veto is less likely with the Zika measure attached.”</p> <p><a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/05/18/americans_are_filing_more_lawsuits_alleging_caregiver_discrimination_here.html">Slate</a>: Elissa Strauss reports that many more Americans are deciding to file suit over caregiver discrimination in the workplace. She writes about new research from the University of California Hastings’ Center for WorkLife Law that finds a 269 percent increase in lawsuits involving such discrimination in the last decade, with two-thirds of such cases involving pregnancy and maternity leave. Lawsuits over pregnancy accommodation and breastfeeding spiked dramatically as well. The factors behind the lawsuit spike include more double-income households and a rising population of elderly adults who require caregiving. She writes: “Above all, these lawsuits reflect a shift in expectations among employees about their employer’s ability to make family care compatible with their professional life.”</p> <p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/24/business/sex-shop-workers-welcome-the-protections-of-a-retail-union.html"><em>The New York Times</em></a>: Babeland, an adult toy store with locations in New York City, has become the first adult sex shop to unionize after a majority of employees voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, reports Rachel Abrams. Employees said the pro-union vote would help them address wage and training issues, as well as issues related to harassment from customers and workplace conditions for transgender employees. Abrams writes: “The employees have advocated better training and support from management to deal with problematic customers. They had pushed for caller ID, for example, to help weed out the threatening phone calls workers said they received on a daily basis. Two of the three stores now have caller ID, Babeland said.”</p> <p><em>Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for nearly 15 years.</em></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/kkrisberg" lang="" about="/author/kkrisberg" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kkrisberg</a></span> <span>Tue, 05/24/2016 - 12:11</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/california" hreflang="en">california</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/government" hreflang="en">government</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/legal" hreflang="en">Legal</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occup-health-news-roundup" hreflang="en">Occup Health News Roundup</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/paid-leave" hreflang="en">paid leave</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health-general" hreflang="en">Public Health - General</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/transportation" hreflang="en">Transportation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/working-hours" hreflang="en">working hours</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/foreign-workers" hreflang="en">foreign workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/harassment" hreflang="en">harassment</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-union" hreflang="en">labor union</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-workers" hreflang="en">low-wage workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/maternity-leave" hreflang="en">maternity leave</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/minimum-wage" hreflang="en">Minimum Wage</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health" hreflang="en">Occupational health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-safety" hreflang="en">occupational safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health" hreflang="en">public health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/trucking-industry" hreflang="en">trucking industry</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/visa-program" hreflang="en">visa program</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/workplace-safety" hreflang="en">Workplace Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/paid-leave" hreflang="en">paid leave</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/transportation" hreflang="en">Transportation</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2016/05/24/occupational-health-news-roundup-221%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 24 May 2016 16:11:47 +0000 kkrisberg 62621 at https://scienceblogs.com Chicago organizers take on domestic worker health and safety: ‘We start with the idea that everyone deserves dignity and respect’ https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2015/12/24/chicago-organizers-take-on-domestic-worker-health-and-safety-we-start-with-the-idea-that-everyone-deserves-dignity-and-respect-2 <span>Chicago organizers take on domestic worker health and safety: ‘We start with the idea that everyone deserves dignity and respect’</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>During the holiday season, Kim, Liz and I are taking a short break from blogging. We are posting some of our favorite posts from the past year. Here’s one of them which was originally posted on May 26, 2015:</em></p> <p>by Kim Krisberg</p> <p>After 18 years as a professional house cleaner in the suburbs of Chicago, Magdalena Zylinska says she feels very lucky. Unlike many of her fellow domestic workers, she hasn’t sustained any serious injuries.</p> <p>Zylinska, 43, cleans residences in the metropolitan Chicago area five days a week. An independent contractor, she cleans two to three houses each day. Fortunately, she doesn’t do the job alone — she always works with at least one other person, so they can help each other with much of the lifting and other types of repetitive physical labor that can often lead to preventable injuries and even long-term disabilities. But Zylinska is well aware of the hazards and abuses that frequently accompany the duties of domestic workers — the house cleaners, nannies and caregivers who work in unregulated workplaces with no employer oversight, accountability or standards. A workforce largely made up of immigrants and women from minority communities, domestic workers often face a level of workplace isolation that lends itself all too easily to exploitation and persistent, preventable dangers.</p> <p>So when Zylinska heard an advertisement on Polish-language radio about a free training course specifically designed for domestic workers on occupational health and safety as well as green cleaning, she jumped at the chance. In late 2013, she took the training course and received a certificate of completion that she hopes to use in marketing her services. During the weekend-long training course, Zylinska and her fellow domestic workers also learned about their rights under wage and labor laws and how to negotiate a contract with a client.</p> <p>The course Zylinska took was developed and organized by <a href="http://arisechicago.org/">Arise Chicago</a>, a local worker center that partners with faith communities to fight for worker justice and is one of many efforts across the country bringing much-needed health and safety training to domestic workers.</p> <p>“We don’t really know what our rights are,” Zylinska told me. “We come from a different country, we don’t know what’s expected of us — a lot of (employers) will use that against us. …I wish more people could take this course.”</p> <p>About four years ago, Arise Chicago began reaching out to domestic workers, but found that the isolating nature of the industry made it difficult to bring workers together, said Ania Jakubek, domestic worker organizer at Arise. Fortunately, Jakubek and her colleagues began making some real inroads after recruiting workers to participate in the first national survey of domestic workers, which was conducted by the <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/">National Domestic Workers Alliance</a> (NDWA) and findings from which were released in 2012. The experience solidified the need to organize Chicago’s domestic workers, Jakubek said, and so advocates began talking with workers about their personal and professional needs. Formal training and education quickly rose to the top.</p> <p>“They wanted education related to their work,” Jakubek told me. “They said they didn’t feel like professionals and felt like they were undervalued.”</p> <p>In turn, Jakubek partnered with researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health to develop a domestic worker health and safety curriculum that includes education on labor and wage rights. (Jakubek noted that Arise first tried organizing a know-your-rights training for domestic workers, but it wasn’t a great success. When the focus switched to health and safety, however, worker interest rose markedly.) The final training curriculum focuses on three main topic areas — chemical hazards and green cleaning, ergonomics and how to deal with work-related stress — and includes education in domestic worker rights and how to negotiate a contract. The curriculum, which draws inspiration from a <a href="http://coeh.berkeley.edu/bridges/Summer2012/HomecareGuide.html">guidebook</a> developed at Berkeley’s Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, addresses many of the specific risks and conditions uncovered in the NDWA survey and report, <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/sites/default/files/HomeEconomicsEnglish.pdf">“Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work.”</a></p> <p>That report, which summarizes survey responses from more then 2,000 nannies, caregivers and house cleaners in 14 metropolitan areas and was conducted in nine languages, found that 38 percent of workers had suffered from occupational wrist, shoulder, elbow or hip pain in the previous year; 29 percent of house cleaners had suffered from skin irritation and 20 percent had experienced respiratory problems; and 29 percent of caregivers had suffered a back injury in the previous 12 months. The survey also found that 23 percent of survey respondents were paid below the state minimum wage, 35 percent worked long hours without proper breaks, and 25 percent of live-in domestic workers had responsibilities that prevented them from getting at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep in the week prior to being surveyed. The great majority of domestic workers said they didn’t speak up about troublesome workplace conditions for fear of losing their jobs.</p> <p>Veronica Avila, workforce development director at NDWA, said because most domestic workers are excluded from labor law protections and don’t receive proper health and safety training, worker centers such as Arise play a hugely important role. She said the alliance is currently working on creating an inclusive curriculum that can be easily adopted by worker groups nationwide, with the ultimate goal that comprehensive training will lead to increased negotiating power among domestic workers as well as higher wages.</p> <p>“The home is a workplace that has real implications for the health and safety of workers,” said Avila, who noted that health and safety protections are a central piece of the alliance’s push for stronger legislative protections, such as the <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/ca-bill-of-rights">California Bill of Rights</a> that went into effect last year. “It’s really about having an impact on the day-to-day life of workers.”</p> <p><strong>Health, safety and justice: ‘Domestic workers have to build power’</strong></p> <p>The Arise training, which is taught in Polish and conducted over the course of a weekend, begins with lessons in ergonomics, such as safe lifting, bending and carrying techniques, as well as tips on how to look for and assess hazards in the workplace. Education then moves on to chemical hazards and green cleaning, as many domestic workers work with harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals on a daily basis.</p> <p>During this part of class, workers get some hands-on experience making their own cleaning products with more natural and less abrasive ingredients, such as vinegar, incense oil and plain soap. (Much of the green cleaning lessons draw from <a href="http://web61798.aiso.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/final-english-vida-verde-turi-booklet.pdf">Vida Verde</a>, which supports Brazilian house cleaners in making green cleaning a reality.) Marsha Love, an occupational health educator at the University of Illinois-Chicago who worked with Jakubek to develop the training, said the green cleaning demonstrations are among the students’ favorite lessons. In fact, one exercise has students developing an advertisement for the green cleaning products they create in class.</p> <p>After ergonomics and green cleaning, discussions turn to stress — what causes stress on the job, how stress manifests, how to deal with stress collectively and as individuals, and how to address the organizational and systemic roots of domestic worker stress. This is where education on one’s labor rights and how to effectively negotiate with employers is especially important, as it’s often the lack of formal parameters and expectations in the domestic worker-employer relationship that are the source of worker stress.</p> <p>“The personal stress relief part is so important,” Love told me. “The problem for many domestic workers, especially live-ins, is that time is not their own. So to find time for stress relief is a big issue.”</p> <p>Jakubek said the training encourages workers to put together a stress relief “goodie bag” that they can carry with them. The goodie bag could include a piece of chocolate, a soothing aromatic pouch or a picture of one’s children. But, she said it’s education on how to put together a contract and how to negotiate with clients that really gets at the roots of domestic worker stress and empowers workers to celebrate and value their work. In addition, bringing together workers who typically labor in isolated environments is a form of therapy in itself, Jakubek said. At the end of each training weekend, workers who’ve completed the entire course receive a certificate and are offered a chance to join Arise and the growing domestic worker movement.</p> <p>“The knowledge they’re getting is so important,” Jakubek told me. “They’re undervalued and they’re not protected by most laws. We need to change that — that’s one of our goals, to get them involved in policy change.”</p> <p>As of late spring, more than 60 domestic workers had participated in the Arise training and received a certificate of completion, said Jakubek, who’s now working with her partners to develop a health and safety train-the-trainer curriculum. The completion certificate states that the worker has participated in health, safety and green cleaning training and is designed to help domestic workers market their services and secure fair employment.</p> <p>“Once workers are in the room, they feel free to speak about their needs and share their experiences and we can use that as a basis for thinking about problems and taking action on them,” Love said. “It’s a very dynamic experience — the facilitator is them, not me.”</p> <p>Arise isn’t the only Chicago worker center reaching out to domestic workers with education and training. Last year at <a href="http://www.latinounion.org/">Latino Union of Chicago</a>, organizers trained more than 100 domestic workers in the span of four months — it was the union’s first such health and safety training for domestic workers. Building off a longtime partnership between the University of Illinois-Chicago’s<a href="http://www.uic.edu/sph/erc/index.html">Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Education and Research Center</a> and the Latino Union, the center brought on an intern — industrial hygiene student Sheila M. Serrano-Serrano from the University of Puerto Rico — to develop a domestic worker health and safety curriculum. During focus groups with domestic workers, Serrano-Serrano found that even among workers who did not report a work-related injury, 75 percent still experienced pain after completing a work task.</p> <p>Like the Arise curriculum, the Latino Union curriculum, which is delivered in English and Spanish, covers ergonomics, chemical hazards, hands-on green cleaning training, stress relief, labor rights and employer negotiations. Participants are offered contract templates and receive a certificate upon completion.</p> <p>But unlike more traditional health and safety training, the Latino Union curriculum kicks off with a discussion on the history of women workers and their many accomplishments, said Joe Zanoni, director of continuing education and outreach at the university center. This year, Zanoni said organizers are now offering domestic workers CPR training as well — a skill that domestic workers had specifically requested.</p> <p>“We start with the idea that everyone deserves dignity and respect,” Zanoni told me. “We offer some ideas, (the workers) offer some ideas and hopefully we can start a conversation in which workers can support each other. We want health and safety to be a natural part of their lives.”</p> <p>Myrla Baldonado, domestic worker organizer at Latino Union, said she’s heard from many domestic workers who said the training empowered them with the skills and confidence to initiate conversations with employers and clients — “it lifts up their spirits to see that they can change their situations,” she said. The Latino Union is home to the Chicago Coalition of Household Workers, which is devoted to advancing an <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/illinois-bill-of-rights">Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights</a>.</p> <p>“Domestic workers have to build power,” Baldonado told me. “Right now, there are no rules — it’s a completely unregulated workplace.”</p> <p>Zylinska, who’s experienced more than one wage theft attempt at the hands of dishonest employers and now works to organize domestic workers as a member of Arise Chicago, said she highly recommends the health and safety training to fellow workers. She also hopes the training course will facilitate the gathering of typically isolated workers into a larger movement for domestic worker rights.</p> <p>“Maybe we can find the solution together,” Zylinska told me. “Together, we have the power to change the situation.”</p> <p>To learn more about domestic worker health and safety, visit <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/">NDWA</a>, the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chicagocoalitionofhouseholdworkers">Chicago Coalition of Household Workers</a> and <a href="http://arisechicago.org/worker-center/domestic-workers/">Arise Chicago</a>.</p> <p><em>Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for more than a decade.</em></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/lborkowski" lang="" about="/author/lborkowski" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lborkowski</a></span> <span>Thu, 12/24/2015 - 05:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/education" hreflang="en">education</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/government" hreflang="en">government</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health-general" hreflang="en">Public Health - General</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/toxics" hreflang="en">Toxics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/womens-health" hreflang="en">women&#039;s health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/working-hours" hreflang="en">working hours</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemical-safety" hreflang="en">chemical safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals" hreflang="en">chemicals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ergonomics" hreflang="en">ergonomics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/green-cleaning" hreflang="en">green cleaning</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/health-and-safety-training" hreflang="en">health and safety training</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-workers" hreflang="en">low-wage workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health" hreflang="en">Occupational health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-safety" hreflang="en">occupational safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/prevention" hreflang="en">Prevention</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health" hreflang="en">public health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/regulation" hreflang="en">regulation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/stress" hreflang="en">stress</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/wage-theft" hreflang="en">wage theft</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/women-workers" hreflang="en">women workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-center" hreflang="en">worker center</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-safety" hreflang="en">worker safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/workplace-safety" hreflang="en">Workplace Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/education" hreflang="en">education</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/toxics" hreflang="en">Toxics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/womens-health" hreflang="en">women&#039;s health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/education" hreflang="en">Education</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2015/12/24/chicago-organizers-take-on-domestic-worker-health-and-safety-we-start-with-the-idea-that-everyone-deserves-dignity-and-respect-2%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Thu, 24 Dec 2015 10:02:43 +0000 lborkowski 62523 at https://scienceblogs.com Occupational Health News Roundup https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2015/07/14/occupational-health-news-roundup-200 <span>Occupational Health News Roundup</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>At <a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/whats-next-for-the-domestic-workers-movement/"><em>The Nation</em></a>, leaders in the domestic workers movement write about what’s next in their efforts to improve conditions for the thousands who work in people’s homes, often with no rights or recourse.</p> <p>Authored by Ai-jen Poo and Andrea Cristina Mercado, both with the <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/">National Domestic Workers Alliance</a>, the article chronicles the “legacy of exclusion” that domestic workers have experienced, such as their exemption from federal labor protections, as well as the day-to-day conditions they often face in people’s homes — conditions that can result in serious and long-term injuries. The authors write:</p> <blockquote><p>The intrinsic power imbalance between employer and employee is heightened in the context of a private home, compounding the absence of legal protections. Domestic workers typically work without a contract. They are routinely given tasks beyond their job description (when there is one). They work long hours without meal or rest breaks, are entitled to no paid holidays or vacation days, are subject to arbitrary termination without severance pay and theft of wages due, and experience high rates of injury on the job without access to workers’ compensation or adequate healthcare. The workforce of nannies, housecleaners, and elder caregivers is also especially vulnerable on account of race, ethnicity, gender, and immigration status and limited English-language proficiency.</p> <p>The domestic work industry urgently needs to raise and clarify the baseline requirements of the employer-employee relationship, both to empower workers and to hold employers accountable to the legal and ethical responsibilities of their role.</p></blockquote> <p>Poo and Mercado go on to write about the movement’s legislative and advocacy strategies, which helped pass Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New York, California, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Oregon. They also note that such victories “demonstrate that there is room for workers to maneuver and make progress in a political environment in which organized labor has struggled to make gains.” However, they also write that enforcing new legislative rights remains a problem, though creative solutions are emerging:</p> <blockquote><p>Enforcement presents many challenges. At the top of the list are the woefully insufficient funds provided by public agencies and workers’ fear of retaliation for complaining about violations — a fear that is especially strong and well-founded for undocumented workers. In response to these challenges, domestic worker organizations in New York, California, and Massachusetts, and supportive employers working through an organization called Hand in Hand, are developing a grassroots enforcement agenda that builds organized worker density and trains leaders to educate colleagues about their rights and show them how to negotiate for contracts and better working conditions. Hand in Hand also educates employers about their obligations and about the “Fair Care Pledge,” which includes living wages, paid time off and a clear work agreement. The most productive ways to advance this work are not firmly established, but we are experimenting and innovating.</p></blockquote> <p>To read the entire article, visit <a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/whats-next-for-the-domestic-workers-movement/"><em>The Nation</em></a>.</p> <p>In other news:</p> <p><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/13/scott-walker-eliminates-living-wage_n_7789472.html">Huffington Post</a>: Janie Velencia reports that Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker signed a new state budget into law that had the words “living wage” stripped from its contents and replaced with “minimum wage.” The last-minute change means minimum-wage workers in Wisconsin will earn about $6000 per year less than what <a href="http://livingwage.mit.edu/states/55">researchers estimate</a> is a living wage for the state. Velencia reports that the change will also mean workers have no recourse either — she writes: “The new law eliminates the ability of low-wage workers to appeal for a living wage. Previously, Wisconsin law stated that employee pay ‘shall be not less than a living wage,’ defined as ‘adequate to permit any employee to maintain herself or himself in minimum comfort, decency, physical and moral well-being."’ In related news, Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/13/scott-walker-unions_n_7785896.html">summed up</a> Walker’s presidential candidacy with these six words: "Scott Walker is a national disgrace."</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pentagon-to-allow-transgender-members-to-serve-openly/2015/07/13/fe9b054a-298d-11e5-a5ea-cf74396e59ec_story.html">The Washington Post</a></em>: Sandhya Somashekhar and Craig Whitlock report that just yesterday, the Pentagon announced that transgender service members will be able to serve openly beginning next year. In the coming months, officials will develop new rules in support of the announcement; a new directive was also put in place to make it harder to discharge transgender members while the new rules are being developed. About 15,000 transgender people serve in the U.S. military, according to research estimates. Somashekhar and Whitlock write: “Gay rights groups praised the decision, which they said was long overdue. They noted that several other countries, including Israel, Canada, Britain and Australia, have successfully incorporated transgender members in their ranks and predicted that a policy change in the United States would be relatively simple.”</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/07/13/feds-add-dupont-to-severe-violator-program/30111419/">USA Today</a></em>: OSHA has designated DuPont a “severe” violator of federal workplace safety rules after a second inspection of the company’s La Porte, Texas, facility, where four workers died in a gas leak last year, writes reporter Jeff Mordock. OSHA’s action means the La Porte plant will be under extra scrutiny from safety inspectors. Mordock writes: “Following a second inspection, OSHA found eight violations at the Texas plant and fined the company $273,000, citing an ‘indifference’ to creating a safe workplace. The company didn't properly inspect equipment, implement operating procedures or an have equipment safety plan, according to OSHA documents.”</p> <p><a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/07/13/group-starts-ballot-drive-require-paid-sick-leave/30084271/">Detroit News</a>: Gary Heinlein reports that a Detroit-based effort known as the Time to Care Coalition is launching a ballot petition drive for paid sick leave for all Michigan workers and to reverse a state ban that prohibits local officials from implementing local workplace requirements. The proposed policy, which organizers hope to get on the 2016 ballot, would require employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Heinlein writes of efforts to reverse the local ordinance ban: “Lawmakers last month passed the Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act prohibiting any local government from requiring employers to pay more than the minimum wage, provide paid or unpaid leave time or other benefits, or regulate employment in way that exceeds state or federal requirements.” In <a href="http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/oregon-governor-celebrates-paid-sick-leave-law-ceremonial-signing">related news</a>, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown recently held a ceremonial signing to celebrate the state’s new paid sick leave law.</p> <p><em>Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for more than a decade.</em></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/kkrisberg" lang="" about="/author/kkrisberg" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kkrisberg</a></span> <span>Tue, 07/14/2015 - 11:10</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemical-facility-safety" hreflang="en">Chemical facility safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/government" hreflang="en">government</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/legal" hreflang="en">Legal</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occup-health-news-roundup" hreflang="en">Occup Health News Roundup</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/osha" hreflang="en">OSHA</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/paid-leave" hreflang="en">paid leave</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health-general" hreflang="en">Public Health - General</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/toxics" hreflang="en">Toxics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals" hreflang="en">chemicals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals-facility" hreflang="en">chemicals facility</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/living-wage" hreflang="en">living wage</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-workers" hreflang="en">low-wage workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/military" hreflang="en">military</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/minimum-wage" hreflang="en">Minimum Wage</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health" hreflang="en">Occupational health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-safety" hreflang="en">occupational safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/paid-sick-leave" hreflang="en">paid sick leave</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health" hreflang="en">public health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/regulation" hreflang="en">regulation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/transgender-discrimination" hreflang="en">transgender discrimination</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-fatality" hreflang="en">worker fatality</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-safety" hreflang="en">worker safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/workplace-safety" hreflang="en">Workplace Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/paid-leave" hreflang="en">paid leave</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/toxics" hreflang="en">Toxics</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/policy" hreflang="en">Policy</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2015/07/14/occupational-health-news-roundup-200%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 15:10:02 +0000 kkrisberg 62401 at https://scienceblogs.com Chicago organizers take on domestic worker health and safety: ‘We start with the idea that everyone deserves dignity and respect’ https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2015/05/26/chicago-organizers-take-on-domestic-worker-health-and-safety-we-start-with-the-idea-that-everyone-deserves-dignity-and-respect <span>Chicago organizers take on domestic worker health and safety: ‘We start with the idea that everyone deserves dignity and respect’</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>After 18 years as a professional house cleaner in the suburbs of Chicago, Magdalena Zylinska says she feels very lucky. Unlike many of her fellow domestic workers, she hasn’t sustained any serious injuries.</p> <p>Zylinska, 43, cleans residences in the metropolitan Chicago area five days a week. An independent contractor, she cleans two to three houses each day. Fortunately, she doesn’t do the job alone — she always works with at least one other person, so they can help each other with much of the lifting and other types of repetitive physical labor that can often lead to preventable injuries and even long-term disabilities. But Zylinska is well aware of the hazards and abuses that frequently accompany the duties of domestic workers — the house cleaners, nannies and caregivers who work in unregulated workplaces with no employer oversight, accountability or standards. A workforce largely made up of immigrants and women from minority communities, domestic workers often face a level of workplace isolation that lends itself all too easily to exploitation and persistent, preventable dangers.</p> <p>So when Zylinska heard an advertisement on Polish-language radio about a free training course specifically designed for domestic workers on occupational health and safety as well as green cleaning, she jumped at the chance. In late 2013, she took the training course and received a certificate of completion that she hopes to use in marketing her services. During the weekend-long training course, Zylinska and her fellow domestic workers also learned about their rights under wage and labor laws and how to negotiate a contract with a client.</p> <p>The course Zylinska took was developed and organized by <a href="http://arisechicago.org/">Arise Chicago</a>, a local worker center that partners with faith communities to fight for worker justice and is one of many efforts across the country bringing much-needed health and safety training to domestic workers.</p> <p>“We don’t really know what our rights are,” Zylinska told me. “We come from a different country, we don’t know what’s expected of us — a lot of (employers) will use that against us. …I wish more people could take this course.”</p> <p>About four years ago, Arise Chicago began reaching out to domestic workers, but found that the isolating nature of the industry made it difficult to bring workers together, said Ania Jakubek, domestic worker organizer at Arise. Fortunately, Jakubek and her colleagues began making some real inroads after recruiting workers to participate in the first national survey of domestic workers, which was conducted by the <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/">National Domestic Workers Alliance</a> (NDWA) and findings from which were released in 2012. The experience solidified the need to organize Chicago’s domestic workers, Jakubek said, and so advocates began talking with workers about their personal and professional needs. Formal training and education quickly rose to the top.</p> <p>“They wanted education related to their work,” Jakubek told me. “They said they didn’t feel like professionals and felt like they were undervalued.”</p> <p>In turn, Jakubek partnered with researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health to develop a domestic worker health and safety curriculum that includes education on labor and wage rights. (Jakubek noted that Arise first tried organizing a know-your-rights training for domestic workers, but it wasn’t a great success. When the focus switched to health and safety, however, worker interest rose markedly.) The final training curriculum focuses on three main topic areas — chemical hazards and green cleaning, ergonomics and how to deal with work-related stress — and includes education in domestic worker rights and how to negotiate a contract. The curriculum, which draws inspiration from a <a href="http://coeh.berkeley.edu/bridges/Summer2012/HomecareGuide.html">guidebook</a> developed at Berkeley’s Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, addresses many of the specific risks and conditions uncovered in the NDWA survey and report, <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/sites/default/files/HomeEconomicsEnglish.pdf">“Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work.”</a></p> <p>That report, which summarizes survey responses from more then 2,000 nannies, caregivers and house cleaners in 14 metropolitan areas and was conducted in nine languages, found that 38 percent of workers had suffered from occupational wrist, shoulder, elbow or hip pain in the previous year; 29 percent of house cleaners had suffered from skin irritation and 20 percent had experienced respiratory problems; and 29 percent of caregivers had suffered a back injury in the previous 12 months. The survey also found that 23 percent of survey respondents were paid below the state minimum wage, 35 percent worked long hours without proper breaks, and 25 percent of live-in domestic workers had responsibilities that prevented them from getting at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep in the week prior to being surveyed. The great majority of domestic workers said they didn’t speak up about troublesome workplace conditions for fear of losing their jobs.</p> <p>Veronica Avila, workforce development director at NDWA, said because most domestic workers are excluded from labor law protections and don’t receive proper health and safety training, worker centers such as Arise play a hugely important role. She said the alliance is currently working on creating an inclusive curriculum that can be easily adopted by worker groups nationwide, with the ultimate goal that comprehensive training will lead to increased negotiating power among domestic workers as well as higher wages.</p> <p>“The home is a workplace that has real implications for the health and safety of workers,” said Avila, who noted that health and safety protections are a central piece of the alliance’s push for stronger legislative protections, such as the <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/ca-bill-of-rights">California Bill of Rights</a> that went into effect last year. “It’s really about having an impact on the day-to-day life of workers.”</p> <p><strong>Health, safety and justice: ‘Domestic workers have to build power’</strong></p> <p>The Arise training, which is taught in Polish and conducted over the course of a weekend, begins with lessons in ergonomics, such as safe lifting, bending and carrying techniques, as well as tips on how to look for and assess hazards in the workplace. Education then moves on to chemical hazards and green cleaning, as many domestic workers work with harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals on a daily basis.</p> <p>During this part of class, workers get some hands-on experience making their own cleaning products with more natural and less abrasive ingredients, such as vinegar, incense oil and plain soap. (Much of the green cleaning lessons draw from <a href="http://web61798.aiso.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/final-english-vida-verde-turi-booklet.pdf">Vida Verde</a>, which supports Brazilian house cleaners in making green cleaning a reality.) Marsha Love, an occupational health educator at the University of Illinois-Chicago who worked with Jakubek to develop the training, said the green cleaning demonstrations are among the students’ favorite lessons. In fact, one exercise has students developing an advertisement for the green cleaning products they create in class.</p> <p>After ergonomics and green cleaning, discussions turn to stress — what causes stress on the job, how stress manifests, how to deal with stress collectively and as individuals, and how to address the organizational and systemic roots of domestic worker stress. This is where education on one’s labor rights and how to effectively negotiate with employers is especially important, as it’s often the lack of formal parameters and expectations in the domestic worker-employer relationship that are the source of worker stress.</p> <p>“The personal stress relief part is so important,” Love told me. “The problem for many domestic workers, especially live-ins, is that time is not their own. So to find time for stress relief is a big issue.”</p> <p>Jakubek said the training encourages workers to put together a stress relief “goodie bag” that they can carry with them. The goodie bag could include a piece of chocolate, a soothing aromatic pouch or a picture of one’s children. But, she said it’s education on how to put together a contract and how to negotiate with clients that really gets at the roots of domestic worker stress and empowers workers to celebrate and value their work. In addition, bringing together workers who typically labor in isolated environments is a form of therapy in itself, Jakubek said. At the end of each training weekend, workers who’ve completed the entire course receive a certificate and are offered a chance to join Arise and the growing domestic worker movement.</p> <p>“The knowledge they’re getting is so important,” Jakubek told me. “They’re undervalued and they’re not protected by most laws. We need to change that — that’s one of our goals, to get them involved in policy change.”</p> <p>As of late spring, more than 60 domestic workers had participated in the Arise training and received a certificate of completion, said Jakubek, who’s now working with her partners to develop a health and safety train-the-trainer curriculum. The completion certificate states that the worker has participated in health, safety and green cleaning training and is designed to help domestic workers market their services and secure fair employment.</p> <p>“Once workers are in the room, they feel free to speak about their needs and share their experiences and we can use that as a basis for thinking about problems and taking action on them,” Love said. “It’s a very dynamic experience — the facilitator is them, not me.”</p> <p>Arise isn’t the only Chicago worker center reaching out to domestic workers with education and training. Last year at <a href="http://www.latinounion.org/">Latino Union of Chicago</a>, organizers trained more than 100 domestic workers in the span of four months — it was the union’s first such health and safety training for domestic workers. Building off a longtime partnership between the University of Illinois-Chicago’s <a href="http://www.uic.edu/sph/erc/index.html">Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Education and Research Center</a> and the Latino Union, the center brought on an intern — industrial hygiene student Sheila M. Serrano-Serrano from the University of Puerto Rico — to develop a domestic worker health and safety curriculum. During focus groups with domestic workers, Serrano-Serrano found that even among workers who did not report a work-related injury, 75 percent still experienced pain after completing a work task.</p> <p>Like the Arise curriculum, the Latino Union curriculum, which is delivered in English and Spanish, covers ergonomics, chemical hazards, hands-on green cleaning training, stress relief, labor rights and employer negotiations. Participants are offered contract templates and receive a certificate upon completion.</p> <p>But unlike more traditional health and safety training, the Latino Union curriculum kicks off with a discussion on the history of women workers and their many accomplishments, said Joe Zanoni, director of continuing education and outreach at the university center. This year, Zanoni said organizers are now offering domestic workers CPR training as well — a skill that domestic workers had specifically requested.</p> <p>“We start with the idea that everyone deserves dignity and respect,” Zanoni told me. “We offer some ideas, (the workers) offer some ideas and hopefully we can start a conversation in which workers can support each other. We want health and safety to be a natural part of their lives."</p> <p>Myrla Baldonado, domestic worker organizer at Latino Union, said she’s heard from many domestic workers who said the training empowered them with the skills and confidence to initiate conversations with employers and clients — “it lifts up their spirits to see that they can change their situations,” she said. The Latino Union is home to the Chicago Coalition of Household Workers, which is devoted to advancing an <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/illinois-bill-of-rights">Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights</a>.</p> <p>“Domestic workers have to build power,” Baldonado told me. “Right now, there are no rules — it’s a completely unregulated workplace.”</p> <p>Zylinska, who’s experienced more than one wage theft attempt at the hands of dishonest employers and now works to organize domestic workers as a member of Arise Chicago, said she highly recommends the health and safety training to fellow workers. She also hopes the training course will facilitate the gathering of typically isolated workers into a larger movement for domestic worker rights.</p> <p>“Maybe we can find the solution together,” Zylinska told me. “Together, we have the power to change the situation.”</p> <p>To learn more about domestic worker health and safety, visit <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/">NDWA</a>, the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chicagocoalitionofhouseholdworkers">Chicago Coalition of Household Workers</a> and <a href="http://arisechicago.org/worker-center/domestic-workers/">Arise Chicago</a>.</p> <p><em>Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for more than a decade.</em></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/kkrisberg" lang="" about="/author/kkrisberg" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kkrisberg</a></span> <span>Tue, 05/26/2015 - 12:16</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/education" hreflang="en">education</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/government" hreflang="en">government</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/legal" hreflang="en">Legal</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health-general" hreflang="en">Public Health - General</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/toxics" hreflang="en">Toxics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/womens-health" hreflang="en">women&#039;s health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/working-hours" hreflang="en">working hours</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemical-safety" hreflang="en">chemical safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals" hreflang="en">chemicals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ergonomics" hreflang="en">ergonomics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/green-cleaning" hreflang="en">green cleaning</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/health-and-safety-training" hreflang="en">health and safety training</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-workers" hreflang="en">low-wage workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health" hreflang="en">Occupational health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-safety" hreflang="en">occupational safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/prevention" hreflang="en">Prevention</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health" hreflang="en">public health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/regulation" hreflang="en">regulation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/stress" hreflang="en">stress</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/wage-theft" hreflang="en">wage theft</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/women-workers" hreflang="en">women workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-center" hreflang="en">worker center</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-safety" hreflang="en">worker safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/workplace-safety" hreflang="en">Workplace Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/education" hreflang="en">education</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/toxics" hreflang="en">Toxics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/womens-health" hreflang="en">women&#039;s health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/education" hreflang="en">Education</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1873674" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1432739532"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Do you think that an organization like Arise could improve on their success by advertising to potential employers? I've considered hiring a house cleaner, but I'm concerned about making sure that whomever I hire will be able to do the job safely, and that I am paying them appropriately.</p> <p>I would gladly pay more to know that my house was cleaned with "green" cleaners, and that the people doing the cleaning were doing it safely. It is one thing for me to choose to use a harsh cleaner, or to be stupid about picking up my couch, but it is another thing altogether for me to ask (even just implicitly) for someone else to risk their health for my home.</p> <p>Has any research been done comparing occupational illness and injury between 'independent' domestic workers and those who work for a larger company (like Merry Maids)?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1873674&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="o38Ul12sk8BlXVJ98ef2g4Cpc8dZByHiKqhBqwUhW_0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JustaTech (not verified)</span> on 27 May 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/13781/feed#comment-1873674">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2015/05/26/chicago-organizers-take-on-domestic-worker-health-and-safety-we-start-with-the-idea-that-everyone-deserves-dignity-and-respect%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 26 May 2015 16:16:06 +0000 kkrisberg 62366 at https://scienceblogs.com ‘Statistics can’t tell stories’: Houston domestic workers release personal anthology https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2014/12/26/statistics-cant-tell-stories-houston-domestic-workers-release-personal-anthology-2 <span> ‘Statistics can’t tell stories’: Houston domestic workers release personal anthology </span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>While we take a breather during this holiday season, we’re re-posting content from earlier in the year. This post was originally published on May 6, 2014.</em></p> <p>by Kim Krisberg</p> <p>Two years ago, domestic workers in Houston, Texas, took part in the first national <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/homeeconomics/">survey</a> documenting the conditions they face on the job. The experience — a process of shedding light on the often isolating and invisible world of domestic work — was so moving that Houston workers decided they didn’t want to stop there. Instead, they decided it was time to put their personal stories to paper.</p> <p>The result is “We Women, One Woman!: A view of the lived experience of domestic workers,” which was officially released last month. The anthology features the stories of 15 nannies, house cleaners and caregivers — all are members of <a href="http://www.houstonworkers.org/la-colmena-domestic-workers">La Colmena</a> (The Beehive), a domestic worker group that’s part of Houston’s <a href="http://www.houstonworkers.org/">Fe y Justicia Worker Center</a> and that works to organize domestic workers and educate them on their rights. The anthology’s release follows two years of domestic workers meeting regularly to share their stories, participate in writing workshops and ultimately, use their own words to illustrate the experience of working in the largely unregulated, oversight-free workplaces that are people’s homes.</p> <p>“We always talk about how there’s no statistic that can accurately capture what it’s really like,” Laura Perez-Boston, executive director of Fe y Justicia, told me. “Statistics can’t tell stories.”</p> <p>The anthology’s stories, published in both English and Spanish, cover a range of topics, often exposing issues such as wage theft as well as unsafe and unfair working conditions. The women also write about their personal lives — single motherhood, poverty, immigration, leaving their native countries and families behind — and why they felt it was so important to speak out about their workplace experience. For example, Consuelo Martinez, an elder care provider, wrote in the anthology: “I’d like to express what we have to go through because for many people being a domestic worker is a job that doesn’t mean anything. …I want everyone who hears me to remember this warrior woman who helped her children get ahead in life with an honorable job and a lot of pride.” Other La Colmena members, such as Lucy Quintanar, were less personal in their narratives, instead using the opportunity to call for better working conditions and collective power.</p> <p>“We need to get a union to get our rights, to make people conscious of the situation and the circumstances of this employment,” Quintanar told me. “I hope everybody reads it…I would like to let (other domestic workers) know that there’s a place called La Colmena where they can get help to learn their rights. Don't be afraid to speak out.”</p> <div style="width: 310px;display:block;margin:0 auto;"><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/files/2014/05/libros-7.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-9883" src="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/files/2014/05/libros-7-300x225.jpg" alt="One of the many handcrafted covers of the new domestic worker anthology. Photo courtesy La Colmena" width="300" height="225" /></a> One of the many handcrafted covers of the new domestic worker anthology. Photo courtesy La Colmena </div> <p> </p> <p>Quintanar originally sought out Fe y Justicia after an employer refused to pay her wages she had earned — more commonly known as wage theft. (The National Domestic Workers Alliance <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/homeeconomics/">survey</a> that originally inspired the anthology found that 23 percent of domestic workers are already paid below state minimum wage.) At the time, Quintanar was working as a live-in domestic worker, taking care of children, cleaning the house and doing typical household chores. One day, her employer asked her to clean the swimming pool, which Quintanar refused to do as it wasn’t among the job duties to which she’d agreed. The employer fired her on the spot and never paid Quintanar the $450 she was owed. It was the second time an employer refused to pay her hundreds of dollars in wages that she had earned, Quintanar said.</p> <p>Quintanar told me that the women of La Colmena have become like family for her.</p> <p>“When you’re working, you don’t have the opportunity to have friends,” she said. “La Colmena is very important to me…I like belonging to a group. Now I can organize with other women to improve our labor conditions.”</p> <p>It’s easy to see how much effort and emotion was poured into the anthology, as the women who wrote its stories also handcrafted the covers of each book. One La Colmena member fashioned tiny fabric aprons that tie around the book, while another woman used Guatemalan weaving fabric to create original covers. One worker used a picture that her daughter drew of a woman with long, dark braids hugging the Earth. All of the book covers are wrapped in a scrapbooking material printed with the shape of a honeycomb.</p> <p>Mitzi Ordoñez, domestic worker organizer at Fe y Justicia, said she and the members of La Colmena hope the anthology will reach both employers as well as other domestic workers. Ordoñez said plans are in the works for a second anthology, which would focus on success stories and how domestic workers are empowering each other to fight for better conditions.</p> <p>“We want to make employers aware of the true value of this work,” she told me. “Nannies and caregivers — these are jobs that make other jobs possible. For domestic workers, we want to let them know that there’s a place where they can come and they’re not alone.”</p> <p>The anthology experience has put the power of storytelling front and center, Perez-Boston said. Narrative can be a strong tool for organizing and building a common identity, she noted, especially for domestic workers, who often work alone in isolated environments.</p> <p>“Storytelling can help us move toward social transformation,” she told me.</p> <p>The anthology’s initial publishing run of 500 copies is nearly sold out; however, more copies are expected to come out soon. To inquire about purchasing a copy, email Ordoñez at <a href="mailto:mordonez@houstonworkers.org">mordonez@houstonworkers.org</a>. Click <a href="http://www.houstonworkers.org/la-colmena-domestic-workers">here</a> to learn more about La Colmena and the Fe y Justicia Worker Center, and click <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/homeeconomics/">here</a> and <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2012/12/07/first-of-its-kind-survey-compiles-the-experience-of-domestic-workers-highlights-the-grim-nature-of-an-unregulated-industry/">here</a> to learn more about the domestic worker survey that originally inspired the Houston anthology.</p> <p><i>Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for more than a decade.</i></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/cmonforton" lang="" about="/author/cmonforton" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cmonforton</a></span> <span>Fri, 12/26/2014 - 02:01</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/fe-y-justicia" hreflang="en">Fe y Justicia</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/la-colmena" hreflang="en">La Colmena</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/low-wage-work" hreflang="en">low-wage work</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2014/12/26/statistics-cant-tell-stories-houston-domestic-workers-release-personal-anthology-2%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Fri, 26 Dec 2014 07:01:47 +0000 cmonforton 62252 at https://scienceblogs.com Occupational Health News Roundup https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2013/12/03/occupational-health-news-roundup-160 <span>Occupational Health News Roundup</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In May 2010, an explosion at the Black Mag gunpowder-substitute plant in Colebrook, New Hampshire killed employees Jesse Kennett and Don Kendall. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated and <a href="https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&amp;p_id=18594">issued 54 citations with penalties totaling $1.2 million</a>. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Health and Safety, said at the time, "Even after a prior incident in which a worker was seriously injured, and multiple warnings from its business partners and a former employee, this employer still decided against implementing safety measures." Safety measures the company failed to implement included remote starting procedures, isolating operating stations, and erecting barriers or shielding. The agency issued four "egregious" citations for the employer's failure to train each of the four workers involved in manufacturing the company's gunpowder substitute.</p> <p>The Coös County Attorney's Office prosecuted company president Craign Sanborn, and a jury found him guilty of manslaughter. Sanborn has been sentenced to serve a total of 10-20 years in prison and pay $10,000 in fines. In a <a href="http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20132311.htm">statement</a>, Michaels said:</p> <blockquote><p>The disregard for safety cost two workers their lives, and this jury agreed that Craig Sanborn's actions were criminal.</p> <p>Sanborn recklessly ignored basic safety measures that would have protected their lives. His criminal conviction and sentence won't bring these men back to life, but it will keep him from putting workers' lives in peril. And it should drive home to employers this message: Worker safety can never be sacrificed for the benefit of production, and workers' lives are not — and must never be — considered part of the cost of doing business. We categorically reject the false choice between profits and safety.</p></blockquote> <p>Employers who disregard workplace safety may figure they have little to fear from OSHA, whose enforcement staff and penalty amounts haven't kept pace with workplace growth or inflation. But the possibility of a prison term if their safety problems kill workers may motivate lawbreaking employers to start following the rules.</p> <p>In other news:</p> <p><a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/177138/regulations-are-killed-and-kids-die">The Nation:</a> The Obama administration withdrew a proposed regulation that would have barred young farmworkers from certain hazardous tasks. Reporter Mariya Strauss culled through data sources and found that at least 13 farworkers under age 16 have been killed on the job since the proposal was withdrawn, and at least four of them died doing tasks they would not have been allowed to perform if the rules had been finalized.</p> <p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/29/black-friday-crowds-may-not-kill-you-any-more-that-doesnt-mean-theyre-a-good-idea/">Washington Post's Wonkblog</a>: Five years after worker Jdimytai Damour was crushed to death in a Black Friday frenzy at a Long Island Walmart, many retailers have taken steps to prevent problem crowding at big sales events, from strategically placed barricades to crowd-control staffing. (Also see the <a href=" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/21/walmart-black-friday-death_n_4312210.html">Huffington Post's report</a> about how Walmart has not yet paid the $7,000 fine for inadequate crowd control related to Damour's death.)</p> <p><a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/11/13/domestic-workers-testify-state-house-hearing-for-bill-rights/OQcfI3dlKrEmvcf9k8EdDJ/story.html">Boston Globe</a>: Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights that would require those employing nannies, housekeepers, caregivers, and other in-home workers to sign contracts agreeing on precise duties and pay. It would also allow domestic workers to file complaints about harassment or abuse with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. At a hearing about the bill, several domestic workers testified about poor treatment by employers.</p> <p><a href="http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/25/fire-and-punishmentinmatefirefightersonthefrontlines.html">Al Jazeera America:</a> Prison inmates from the Airway Heights Correction Center near Spokane are fighting forest fires in some Western states, a hazardous job for which they're paid less than a dollar an hour.</p> <p><a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6247a6.htm?s_cid=mm6247a6_w">Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report:</a> CDC's Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) program identified 11,536 adults with very high blood lead levels during 2002-2011, and the majority of these adults had occupational lead exposures. (Also see <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2013/07/19/sequestration-claims-another-public-health-program-the-adult-blood-lead-epidemiology-and-surveillance-program/">Kim Krisberg's post about how federal funding for ABLES program has fallen victim to sequestration</a>.)</p> <p><a href="http://www.ilo.org/beirut/media-centre/news/WCMS_229066/lang--en/index.htm">International Labour Organization:</a> Lebanon has released a National Action Plan to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour by 2016.</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/lborkowski" lang="" about="/author/lborkowski" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lborkowski</a></span> <span>Tue, 12/03/2013 - 02:42</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/confined-space-tph" hreflang="en">Confined Space @ TPH</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occup-health-news-roundup" hreflang="en">Occup Health News Roundup</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/agriculture" hreflang="en">agriculture</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/black-friday" hreflang="en">Black Friday</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/child-labor" hreflang="en">child labor</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/lead" hreflang="en">lead</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/manslaughter" hreflang="en">manslaughter</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/prisoners" hreflang="en">Prisoners</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/regulation" hreflang="en">regulation</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2013/12/03/occupational-health-news-roundup-160%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 03 Dec 2013 07:42:25 +0000 lborkowski 61979 at https://scienceblogs.com California Governor signs Domestic Worker Bill of Rights https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2013/09/27/california-governor-signs-domestic-workers-bill-of-rights <span>California Governor signs Domestic Worker Bill of Rights</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2012/10/01/governor-brown-vetoes-bills-to-protect-california-domestic-and-field-workers/">Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights</a> passed by the state's legislature. Yesterday, <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/176377/california-governor-signs-domestic-worker-bill-rights#">he signed a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights</a> that is watered down from its original version but takes the important step of extending overtime protections to nannies and other in-home employees. Domestic workers will earn overtime pay for working more than nine hours a day or 45 hours in a week (higher than the federal cutoff of 40 hours per week). The bill no longer contains the rest and meal breaks from the original version, and it will sunset after three years.</p> <p>California is the third state to pass legislation protecting domestic workers' rights. Earlier this year, Hawaii adopted legislation that extends coverage of the state's wage-and-hour law to domestic workers and establishes protections against discriminatory practices. <a href="http://www.domesticworkersunited.org/index.php/en/our-work/campaigns">New York passed the nation's first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights</a> in 2010, requiring that in-home workers receive overtime pay for working more than eight hours per day and be protected from discrimination and harassment.</p> <p>The Department of Labor's recently finalized rule to <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2013/09/17/good-news-for-home-care-workers-fairer-pay-is-on-the-way/">extend Fair Labor Standards Act wage and overtime protections to home care workers</a> will require minimum-wage and overtime pay for home health aides, personal care aides, and other workers who provide in-home care to elderly and disabled clients (starting on January 1, 2015). That regulation does not affect nannies and housekeepers, while California's bill does.</p> <p>At The Nation, <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/176377/california-governor-signs-domestic-worker-bill-rights#sthash.vINe2XLQ.dpuf">Laura Flanders</a> considers why Governor Brown signed this bill after vetoing last year's version:</p> <blockquote><p>A slightly broader version of [Assemblyman Tom] Ammiano’s bill passed last year, only to be vetoed by the governor. What made the difference?</p> <p>“Last year was hard. Getting up the next day was really difficult,” said Laphonza Butler, president of the SEIU United Long Term Care Workers, about the governor's veto last September. The SEIU ULCW was part of the broad coalition that worked with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the California Domestic Workers Coalition both years. This year's bill was known as AB 241.</p> <p>For all the tweeting on announcement day, it wasn’t short-form social media so much as hard-slog footwork and long-term coalition building that turned things around in 2013, Butler said. “What made the difference was a lot of community and worker activity that made the governor realize we’ve got to do something about an economy that keeps workers in poverty.”</p> <p>Finances came in too. A year ago, Governor Brown was focused on solving the state’s deficit. Frustrated as they were by the vetoing of their bill, the coalition behind the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights put their person-power behind passing Proposition 30. Officially, “Temporary Taxes to Fund Education” Proposition 30—to increase taxes—was approved by California voters by a margin of 55 to 45 percent in November 2012.</p></blockquote> <p>Ai Jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, tells<br /> Flanders that <a href="http://www.domesticworkers.org/mass-bill-of-rights">Massachusetts</a> will be the site of the next big campaign to win labor rights for domestic workers. <a href="http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/15669/california_passes_domestic_workers_bill_of_rights/">R.M. Arrieta writes for In These Times</a> that organizations are also pushing for similar bills in Illinois, Oregon, Washington, and Connecticut.</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/lborkowski" lang="" about="/author/lborkowski" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lborkowski</a></span> <span>Fri, 09/27/2013 - 11:10</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/california" hreflang="en">california</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2013/09/27/california-governor-signs-domestic-workers-bill-of-rights%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Fri, 27 Sep 2013 15:10:19 +0000 lborkowski 61932 at https://scienceblogs.com Labor Day review of significant efforts by states and localities to address (or not) workers’ rights and safety protections https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2013/09/05/labor-day-review-of-significant-efforts-by-states-and-localities-to-address-or-not-workers-rights-and-safety-protections <span>Labor Day review of significant efforts by states and localities to address (or not) workers’ rights and safety protections</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This week, Liz and I have been highlighting parts of our <a href="http://defendingscience.org/sites/default/files/The%20Year%20in%20US%20Occupational%20Health%20%26%20Safety%202013.pdf">second annual review of U.S. occupational health and safety</a>.   The first two sections of the report summarize key studies in the peer-reviewed literature, and an assessment of activities at the federal level.  In section three of the report we present high points---and a few low points---from state and local governments on workers’ rights and safety protections.  These include:</p> <ul><li>New laws in <strong>Portland, Oregon and New York City</strong> requiring many employers to offer paid sick leave to their employees.   With <a href="http://defendingscience.org/sites/default/files/Borkowski_Monforton_Low-wage_Workforce.pdf">22 percent of the U.S. workforce</a> in occupations that pay less than $11 per hour, missing a day or two of work cuts deeply into an already small paycheck.  Paid sick leave allows workers to recover from an illness or injury without fear of job loss or foregoing basic necessities.  If they are suffering an infectious illness, it also protects their fellow workers and the public from contracting it.</li> <li><strong>Rhode Island</strong> Governor Lincoln Chafee signed in July 2013 the Temporary Caregiver Insurance Act. The law will use the state’s payroll tax-funded disability insurance system to pay workers a share of their weekly wages when they are off work caring for a child or sick relative.</li> <li>Several states and cities adopted new minimum wage laws that exceed the federal standard.    There are few things as effective in advancing individual's and a community's health than workers earning a decent wage.  The states and cities with new wage laws are <strong>Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Albuquerque, NM, San Jose, CA, and Long Beach, CA</strong>.</li> <li>Domestic workers and home care workers in Hawaii, Minnesota and Vermont were afforded protections from state wage and hour laws, and the right to unionize, by laws passed in those states.</li> <li><strong>California</strong> OSHA (Cal/OSHA) assessed a record $963,200 penalty against Chevron USA for violations associated with the August 2012 fire at the firm's Richmond, CA facility.  Also in California, Cal/OSHA took steps to consider new protections for hotel housekeepers, and workers exposed to ethylbenzene and n-methylpyrrolidine.</li> <li><strong>Indiana</strong> OSHA (IOSHA) was criticized by its front-line staff for mandating higher inspection quotas without providing additional staff.  Several complaints to federal OSHA about this matter are pending.</li> <li>The <strong>Michigan</strong> <strong></strong>Governor signed a bill disbanding the key labor-management advisory committees that develop standards for Michigan OSHA.</li> </ul><p>We also use the annual report to acknowledge some of the well-researched, State-specific reports prepared by non-profit organizations.   We provide synopsis of reports issued by groups including the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty, Public Citizen, and Puget Sound Sage.</p> <p>Finally, the report gives credit to several reporters who covered worker health and safety issues in Houston, Massachusetts and North Carolina.</p> <p>Blog <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2013/09/02/on-labor-day-looking-back-at-the-year-in-us-occupational-health-and-safety/">post on section 1</a> of the report.</p> <p>Blog <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2013/09/03/labor-day-assessment-of-federal-efforts-to-improve-or-impede-worker-safety-protections/ ">post on section 2</a> of the report.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/cmonforton" lang="" about="/author/cmonforton" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cmonforton</a></span> <span>Thu, 09/05/2013 - 05:14</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals-policy" hreflang="en">chemicals policy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/government" hreflang="en">government</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/healthcare" hreflang="en">healthcare</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/osha" hreflang="en">OSHA</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/regulation" hreflang="en">regulation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/calosha" hreflang="en">Cal/OSHA</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/homecare-workers" hreflang="en">homecare workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health" hreflang="en">Occupational health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-safety" hreflang="en">occupational safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/osha-state-plans" hreflang="en">OSHA State Plans</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/prevention" hreflang="en">Prevention</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health" hreflang="en">public health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/research" hreflang="en">Research</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/wage-theft" hreflang="en">wage theft</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-fatality" hreflang="en">worker fatality</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/worker-safety" hreflang="en">worker safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/workplace-safety" hreflang="en">Workplace Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/chemicals-policy" hreflang="en">chemicals policy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/healthcare" hreflang="en">healthcare</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/labor-rights" hreflang="en">labor rights</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/regulation" hreflang="en">regulation</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/safety" hreflang="en">safety</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2013/09/05/labor-day-review-of-significant-efforts-by-states-and-localities-to-address-or-not-workers-rights-and-safety-protections%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 09:14:14 +0000 cmonforton 61915 at https://scienceblogs.com Occupational Health News Roundup https://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2013/05/28/occupational-health-news-roundup-148 <span>Occupational Health News Roundup</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved immigration legislation that would overhaul US immigration laws. <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/05/21/senate-committee-passes-immigration-bill/2348905/">Alan Gomez reports in USA Today</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>The bill was produced by a bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight. With four of those members on the committee, the bill survived 212 amendments over five lengthy hearings.</p> <p>Left intact was the core of the bill, which will allow the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship, add significant investments in border security and fundamentally alter the legal immigration system of the future.</p> <p>The committee approved the bill 13-5, meaning the bill is on track to be debated on the full Senate floor beginning the first week of June.</p></blockquote> <p>Among the bill's provisions is a new program of "W visas" to allow workers to come to the US from other countries to fill jobs not being filled by US residents. A Center for Global Development/ Partnership for a New American Economy <a href="http://www.renewoureconomy.org/sites/all/themes/pnae/nc-agr-report-05-2013.pdf">report</a> (via <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/15/north-carolina-needed-6500-farm-workers-only-7-americans-stuck-it-out/">Wonkblog's Dylan Matthews</a>) sheds light on why agricultural employers consider this so important. In 2011, around 130,000 people in North Carolina were unemployed, but fewer than 300 asked to be referred for the North Carolina Growers' Association for agricultural work; 97% of referred applicants were hired, but only 163 showed up to work the first day and only seven were still working by the end of the growing season. "Analyzing data from North Carolina farms, this report shows that foreign agriculture workers fill jobs that native workers will not, and that by filling these jobs, foreign workers benefit North Carolina’s economy and create jobs for Americans," writes report author Michael A. Clemens.</p> <p>In other news:</p> <p><a href="http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/14991/two_wins_bangladesh_garment_workers_unions_minimum_wage/">In These Time</a>s: Following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh, which killed 1,127 people, reforms are beginning. The Bangladeshi government announced it will raise the minimum wage in the garment industry and make it less difficult for garment workers to unionize. Also, seven major clothing companies have created a binding fire and safety agreement.</p> <p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/low-wage-workers-to-picket-outside-federal-buildings/2013/05/20/b29ede18-c176-11e2-ab60-67bba7be7813_story.html">Washington Post</a>: Contract workers doing food-service and cashier work at Smithsonian Museums and federal-government office buildings walked off their jobs to protest low wages and a lack of benefits. The one-day protest was organized by Good Jobs Nation.</p> <p><a href="http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&amp;p_id=24075">Occupational Safety and Health Administration</a>: An OSHA investigation found that Enercon Services Inc. wrongfully terminated an employee who raised safety concerns during nuclear-energy construction projects; now, the agency has ordered the company to reinstate the employee and pay back wages and compensatory damages totaling more than $250,000.</p> <p><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/05/27/186722882/Brazils-Domestic-Workers-Continue-Fight-For-Fair-Treatment">NPR's All Things Considered</a>: A new law in Brazil sets domestic workers' weekly hours at 44 (with overtime pay for more) and mandates hour-long lunch breaks and paid vacation. Two months after it took effect, many domestic workers are still paid under the table and most haven't registered their status, the first step to ensuring they get the law's benefits.</p> <p><a href="http://www.propublica.org/article/taken-for-a-ride-temp-agencies-and-raiteros-in-immigrant-chicago">ProPublica</a> (in collaboration with Marketplace): In Chicago, "raiteros" who drive immigrant workers to temp jobs with large companies (like Ty Inc, maker of Beanie Babies) function as informal temp agencies -- but the charges they deduct for transportation to jobs and the time workers spend waiting before and after rides makes the workers' net wages fall below minimum wage. Workers told reporters that they don't have the choice of finding their own transportation; if they don't arrive with a raitero, they say they aren't able to work.</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/lborkowski" lang="" about="/author/lborkowski" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">lborkowski</a></span> <span>Tue, 05/28/2013 - 07:50</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/confined-space-tph" hreflang="en">Confined Space @ TPH</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occup-health-news-roundup" hreflang="en">Occup Health News Roundup</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/occupational-health-safety" hreflang="en">Occupational Health &amp; Safety</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/bangladesh" hreflang="en">Bangladesh</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/contract-workers" hreflang="en">contract workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/domestic-workers" hreflang="en">domestic workers</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/immigration" hreflang="en">immigration</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/raiteros" hreflang="en">raiteros</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/whistleblowers" hreflang="en">Whistleblowers</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/thepumphandle/2013/05/28/occupational-health-news-roundup-148%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 28 May 2013 11:50:02 +0000 lborkowski 61840 at https://scienceblogs.com