Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Battle for Workplace Safety: Short Stuff

The Scott Mugno Show: Reviews continue to dribble in about Trump’s nomination of Scott Mugno to head OSHA.  Katie Tracy at the Center for Progressive Reform lays out a number of  questions that Mugno needs to answer when he goes before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for his confirmation hearing. Questions like…

Short Stuff: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Battle for Safe Workplaces

Bad News For Supporters of Silica-related Disease: As of October 23, OSHA’s Silica rule has finally come into full effect. The silica standard, issued in 2016 will save hundreds of workers every year from death due to silicosis, lung cancer and kidney disease, and help thousands of others who would have suffered other diseases.  OSHA…

Houston, We Have A Fox-Chicken Problem…

While the new headlines are all about Hurricanes, health care, North Korea and tax “reform,” chickens around the country are getting more and more nervous as the foxes quietly move into the government agencies that are supposed to be protecting them. Over at the Labor Department, Justin Miller in the American Prospect writes about how…

Hurricanes and the Chemical Industry: Houston Chronicle Explores the Hazards We’re Facing

The New York Times discussed yesterday how prepared the chemical industry is for natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey. Today the Houston Chronicle picks up on that theme today, focusing on the other end of that problem — how the hundreds of chemical facilities in the Gulf that shut down in response to Harvey can start…

Times: Arkema Incident “Raised Doubts” About Chemical Industry’s Preparedness.

I have a feeling we ain’t seen nothing yet about the effects of Hurricane Harvey on the chemical industry in the Gulf States — and those who live near chemical facilities.  Although the loss of control over chemicals at the Crosby Arkema chemical plant seems to have fallen out of the news in favor of…

Post-Harvey Chemical Plant Start-Ups: Something Wicked This Way Comes

The Department of Labor yesterday announced a number of initiatives to address the impact of Hurricane Harvey. Among those was an announcement that OSHA will cease conducting programmed enforcement actions in the affected areas to avoid disrupting recovery operations. This makes sense, sort of. “Programmed inspections” are “optional,” to the extent they are not legally…

Harvey Update: Flooded Chemical Plant Explodes. Trump Policies Increase Future Risk

Cable news and newspapers across the country are headlining the continuing explosions at the  Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, that was flooded by Hurricane Harvey.  The plant was evacuated after power failed and several containers full of volatile chemicals that required cooling threatened to explode when power was lost and the generators failed. At…