Inspector General Issues Bizarre Chemical Safety Board Report

The Inspector General (IG) issued a somewhat bizarre report yesterday on “management challenges” at the Chemical Safety Board. The IG is required by the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000 “to report what we consider the most serious management and performance challenges facing the CSB.” As the report accurately states, “Historically, the CSB has been plagued…

Arkema Chemical Plant Investigation Results in Weak CSB Recommendations

The Chemical Safety Board released its report on the Arkema chemical incident last week. You may recall that during the heavy rains in the Houston area following Hurricane Harvey last year, the Arkema chemical plant was flooded and lost all ability to control the temperature of reactive organic peroxides.  The company evacuated the plant and…

EPA Rescinds Obama Chemical Plant Protections; Puts Residents At Risk

Five years after a catastrophic ammonium nitrate explosion in West, Texas killed 15 persons, destroyed much of the city, and launched reforms in the way the federal government oversees the safety of the nation’s chemical facilities, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last week told us that he cares more about the concerns of the chemical industry…

Chemical Safety Board Dodges Trump’s Bullet Again

But is the agency selling its soul? House Gives CSB Thumbs Up The House Interior and Environment Appropriations Committee has not only (again) defied President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Chemical Safety Board, but the committee actually plans to add a million dollars to the agency’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget.  The Committee’s bill, released Monday,…

Really Stupid Sh*t: Johns Hopkins, Scott Walker and Bad Foster Parents

Sometimes you just have to smack your head and laugh. Because the only other thing you can do is scream and cry. Let’s start close to home. Martin Luther King Rises From The Grave to Bust Unions Johns Hopkins is Maryland’s largest employer. Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) employs more than 3,000 nurses — 3,000 unorganized…

Wisconsin Refinery Explosion Injures Workers, Causes Mass Evacuation

A huge explosion rocked the Husky Energy Oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin this morning, sending at least six workers to the hospital and causing the evacuation of schools, businesses and hospitals in a 78 square mile area around the refinery. One worker is apparently being treated for “serious blast injuries.” The explosion reportedly occurred in…

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…