Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Public Employee Unions: Worker Safety Is At Risk

One of the most significant cases for workers in recent history is coming before the Supreme Court next week. Janus vs. AFSCME will determine whether “workers who are not members of unions representing teachers, police, firefighters and certain other government employees must pay to help cover the costs of collective bargaining with state and local…

Weekly Toll: Public employees, workplace violence and death in a tire-shredder

I’ve been away, so it’s a long, depressing list this week. Lowlights include 11 public employees in states that don’t have OSHA coverage – Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio: Highway workers, police, firefighters. PennDOT worker killed in I-99 crash LOGAN TOWNSHIP, PA — State police at Hollidaysburg are investigating a…

It’s Always Something: Dispatches from the front lines of the battle for workplace safety

Black Lung is Back: After almost being eradicated in the late 1990, black lung is back, with a vengeance. Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say they’ve identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever reported, according to an NPR story.  “When I first implemented this clinic back in 1990, you…

Trump’s Worker Safety & Health Budget Again Undermines Worker Safety & Health

Earlier this week, President Trump submitted his Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal. This is his second budget proposal, and like the first, although it left OSHA’s budget fairly flat, it once again proposes to slash or eliminate important safety and health programs and agencies.  And this is Trump’s second OSHA budget that has been proposed…

Good News for Poultry Processing Workers

It’s not all bad news for workers out there. Curiously, however, the good news for poultry workers is coming from an uncharacteristic place: the Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA has denied an petition from the National Chicken Council asking to let meatpackers operating under a new inspection system to run their plants “at any line…

The Gang That Couldn’t (de)Regulate Straight

President Trump frequently boasts about “eliminating more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.” This is supposedly a good thing for the American people, even thought most regulations are actually “protections,” protecting workers and consumers from health and safety hazards, exploitation, bad food — and being ripped off by their employers. And…

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…