“I had to watch this poor kid’s head get crushed”

Common procedure for a workplace fatality: Blame the worker. Then blame the guy who warned that the workplace was dangerous. And fire him. Problem resolved. Case closed. Move along. This seems to be the practice of Goodwill Industries in Sacramento that was fined over $106,000 after Abraham Nicholas Garza’s head was crushed in a trash compactor,…

The Weekly Toll: In Memoriam

Since I restarted this blog last month, I’ve mostly focused on policy and political issues, because, well….we’ve been overwhelmed by daily attacks by Congress and the Trump administration that undermine workplace safety standards and OSHA’s budget. But ultimately, we’re only fighting the policy and political issues because working people are getting hurt and killed every day in the…

Work-Related Suicides: When work is so bad that you kill yourself

What can we say about working conditions when work becomes so bad that people kill themselves? Leeds University Research Sarah Waters published an article in Great Britain’s Hazards Magazine reviewing how different countries address workplace suicide and how little is known about the phenomenon: Studies in the United States, Australia, France, Japan, China, India and Taiwan…

Cars stained with the blood of American workers

If you read nothing else this week, read this: Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs. It tells the soul-crushing story of workers — mostly “temporary” employees — killed, dismembered, and permanently disabled in foreign owned auto parts companies producing parts for large auto companies like Kia and Hyundi. As the author, Peter…

Killing of EMT reminds us of the dangers of public employees and the “helping” professions

Tragic story about the killing of Yadira Arroyo, a 44 year-old emergency medical technician with the New York Fire Department by an apparently mentally ill man, Jose Gonzalez. Arroyo was the mother of two sons who were trying to follow her into the profession. Her death plunged the city’s medical workers into mourning and sent ripples beyond…

Utah State OSHA Plan: Good for the boss, bad for me?

The Salt Lake City Tribune (partnering with The Utah Investigative Journalism Project) published an article last week entitled “Death on the Job: Utah’s worker safety agency rejects ‘heavy-handed’ enforcement,” which, as you can probably tell, addressed a number of serious problem with Utah’s Occupational Safety and Health program (UOSH): no penalties for public employee OSHA citations…