Dispatches from the Front Lines of Workplace and Environmental Safety: Short Stuff

The High Price of Clean Rooms: Thousands of Marriott hotel workers are on strike in 23 hotels in Detroit, Boston, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Maui, and Oahu. Aside from wanted a greater share of the company’s enormous profits, the hotel workers, represented by UNITE-HERE, are also demanding that the company address conditions that…

Century Foundation: EPA Foot-Dragging on Methylene Chloride Is Endangering Workers and Consumers

Check out my commentary on The Century Foundation’s website on EPA’s foot-dragging on banning the use of methylene chloride as a stripper — and the needless deaths it’s causing.  Another gift to the American people by Scott Pruitt. To see for myself how appropriate the labels were, I headed down to my neighborhood hardware store…

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

Michaels to Musk: Manage safety at Tesla and production will fall into line: Former OSHA head Dr. David Michaels has penned an article in the Financial Times calling on the safety-challenged automaker Tesla and its owner Elon Musk to learn the lessons of the safest companies. Musk has been plagued by production and safety problems, but…

Rest in Power: Workplace Safety Heroes John Mehring and Samuel Epstein

The workplace safety movement lost two of its heroes over in March — one fairly well known (enough to get an article in the NY Times) and one not so well known except to the people he worked with and the workers he worked for. Samuel Epstein (1926-2018):  Sam Epstein was warmly remembered by those…

Methylene Chloride Deaths: “All Preventable”

Methylene chloride kills. We wrote about 21-year old Kevin Hartley last June. He died last April 29 — Workers Memorial Day — while when he was overcome by methylene chloride while stripping a bath tub. Seventeen workers have died from over-exposure to methylene chloride between 2000 and 2015, and probably at least as many consumers.…

OSHA Alliance: Protecting Workers or Protecting the Chemical Industry?

OSHA may have strong principles about not issuing press releases that might embarrass companies that endanger or kill workers, but they’re gung-ho about press releases publicizing their cozy relationships with industry associations, especially where those relationships are actually helping those industry associations fight off regulatory activity in another state that would protect workers and consumers.…

Why Workers Wait So Long For OSHA Standards (And How Trump Is Making It Worse)

Attached here is an article I wrote for Law 360 about OSHA’s painfully slow process for issuing standards that protect workers, and how the Trump administration is trying to make it even slower. OSHA’s law, court decisions and OMB Executive Orders have already slowed the process to a crawl, but Trump’s Executive Order requiring one…

Industry calls EPA Proposal to Ban Bathtub Stripper a “Blatant and raw power grab”

Seventeen workers dying between 2000 and 2015 isn’t enough to convince the methylene chloride industry that more is needed than just labels on a can to prevent the needless deaths of worker stripping bathtubs. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed ban of methylene chloride as a paint stripper is a “blatant and raw power grab” of authority…