No Protections: Children Get Hurt and Die On Family Farms

What happens when financial pressures and fear of “big government” intrusion run into concerns about the safety of children. In the case of agriculture, the children lose. The New York Times ran heartbreaking story earlier this week about children as young as 5 getting hurt and killed working with heavy machinery on the family farm. …

Weekly Toll: Falls, shootings, explosions — and two more tow truck drivers

Man found dead, pinned underneath Bobcat in York County PARADISE TWP., PA — A New Oxford man died Monday afternoon after being pinned underneath a piece of construction equipment. Shane Hockensmith, 30,  was found unresponsive — and determined dead — under a Bobcat in the first block of Beaver Creek Road around 4:12 p.m., according to…

Indiana OSHA Cuts Penalty 94% for Fatality at Indiana Auto Parts Facility

Last October, Melissa Stephens went to work on third shift at Autonium in Jeffersonville, Indiana. She never came home to her husband of  20 years or her four children. Stephens had apparently gone through the interlocked gate, to put a fiber pad over a broken seal. But a spinning belt and pully dragged her into a…

Maryland Refuses to Protect Construction Workers From Deadly Silica Dust

Inhaling silica dust can cause silicosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease. OSHA’s 45 year old standards were antiquated and did not protect workers, which is why in 2016, OSHA issued two new respirable crystalline silica standards: one for construction, and the other for general industry and maritime.  About 2.3 million workers are exposed…

Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Battle for Safe and Health Workplaces: Short Stuff

The moral of this week’s stories is that if you find yourself eating pork chops at your fancy seaside hotel in a hurricane ravaged part of Florida, you need to re-evaluate your life. Trumpworld to Government Scientists: No Science for You! This falls into “The Onion or Real News” category. Imagine my alarm when I…

5 Workers Dead in Gas Rig Explosion at Company with History of Safety Problems

Five gas rig workers are presumed dead after an explosion  gas rig in Quinton, OK.  The names of the employees are Matt Smith of McAlester, Parker Waldridge of Crescent and Roger Cunningham from Seminole — and two from neighboring states, Josh Ray of Fort Worth, Texas; and Cody Risk of Wellington, Colorado. For much of the…

Weekly Toll: Explosions, Electrocutions and Three More Tow Truck Drivers

Ames Company Releases Details in Employee’s Workplace Death AMES, Iowa  —  An Ames company has confirmed one of its employees died as a result of an accident on the job. At approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, Danfoss employee John Lavery, 45, was working at the company’s 13th Street location. A preliminary investigation revealed the safety hood on…

LATE BREAKING: Lac Mégantic Rail Workers Acquitted

A jury has acquitted all three rail workers charged with criminal negligence causing death of 47 persons in the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. For those of you who may not have been following this story, Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA) locomotive engineer Tom Harding, 56, rail traffic controller Richard Labrie, 59, and operations manager Jean Demaître,…

Government Shutdown: What Does It Mean For OSHA — And For Workers

As we go to press, it looks likely that the federal government, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will shut down at midnight tomorrow night — for the second time in less than 5 years. I have two vivid memories from the last government shutdown in 2013 and how it affected OSHA and American…