Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Battle for Workplace Safety: Short Stuff

OSHA: The Incredible Shrinking Agency: The number of OSHA inspectors has hit an all-time low according to data compiled by Bloomberg Environment Reporter Bruce Rolfsen. “The agency ended fiscal 2018 with 753 inspectors, compared to 860 at end of fiscal 2014, the personnel data, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show.” And that…

Production Over Safety at Tesla: “People are getting hurt every day”

Elon Musk, owner of SpaceX and Tesla is a seriously strange and driven guy. Sometimes that can be amusing if the strange guy is your next door neighbor or crazy uncle. But when he owns a major car company, it can result in workers getting hurt or killed. Last May we wrote about a report…

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…

Some Bad New (about NY Dairy Workers), But Also Good News: Read All About It in Short Stuff

Milking the Workers? Farm worker advocates have published a survey of mostly undocumented Hispanic workers that describes discrimination and workplace abuse experienced by workers on New York’s large dairy farms. Most of the workers are undocumented. The authors report that nearly half of the workers said they were bullied or intimidated by their bosses, and two-thirds said…

Tesla: Futuristic Cars, Same Old Worker Injuries

Tesla may make shiny, new, innovative, futuristic American automobiles, but the relentless pace at which it pushes its workers is producing the same old, tired, painful, debilitating and disabling injuries that we’ve always seen in the auto industry. I take that back. Not the “same” injuries, but more of the same injuries. Worksafe, a California-based organization…

More on Southern Auto Parts Carnage

Bloomberg Business Week’s Peter Waldman published a devastating article last month about the injuries and fatalities in Southern auto parts facilities. Confined Space followed up over the next few days with stories about OSHA’s emphasis auto parts emphasis program in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia and the agency’s delay in renewing the emphasis program The story continues…

OSHA Resumes Preventive Auto Parts Inspections

OSHA today officially renewed its Regional Emphasis Program (REP) targeting auto parts establishments in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Following the devastating Bloomberg Business Week article about preventable fatalities and injuries in foreign-owned auto parts facilities in the South, Confined Space learned that OSHA’s auto parts REP had expired on February 4, 2017 and had not been…

Auto Parts Industry Enforcement Update

Last week, following the devastating Bloomberg Business Week article detailing the human carnage in Southern auto parts facilities,  I reported that OSHA had stopped doing pro-active (programmed) inspections in those facilities.  After I posted an analysis of that article, I read OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program (REP) targeting Auto Parts establishments in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and…

OSHA Stops Preventive Inspections in Southern Auto Parts Industry

In the wake of  yesterday’s devastating article in Bloomberg Business Week about the carnage in foreign-owned auto parts facilities in the South,  Confined Space has learned that OSHA has apparently stopped doing programmed (or pro-active) inspections in Southern auto parts plants. In my summary and analysis of the Business Week article, I discussed OSHA’s Regional Emphasis…