5th Anniversary of West Fertilizer Explosion: Lessons Learned and Not Learned

Five years ago tonight a fire broke out at the West Fertilizer company in West, Texas. Emergency responders rushed toward the facility which contained 40 to 60 tons of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate, but twenty minutes later a massive explosion ripped through the building killing 12 responders and three others, injuring 252 and damaging or destroying…

Nightmare Now Showing at Chemical Facility Near You

From my next screenplay….”The Day Before The Day After Tomorrow” Open Old film of an ominous fog spreading across the Indian city of Bhopal.  Sounds of coughing, screams, children crying. Caption: “Bhopal, India, December 2, 1984: An uncontrolled release of MIC from a Union Carbide Chemical plant kills thousands of sleeping residents.“ Cut to Helicopter…

Climate Change: They Can’t Handle the Truth!

When EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had the brilliant idea last year to convent a “Red-Team/Blue-Team” exercise to debate the science behind climate change, even climate change believers were skeptical.  We already do “Red-Team/Blue-Team” exercises. They’re called peer review.” Now it seems that even the White House — especially Chief of Staff John Kelly — want to…

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.…

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…