There He Goes Again: Kavanaugh Still Doesn’t Get It

Good news! Good News! Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh thinks it’s perfectly reasonable for American workers to expect to come home safely at the end of the day, even if they work in the entertainment industry. Sort of. So he claims in his response to a written question from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Unfortunately, “expecting”…

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…

Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Battle for Safe and Health Workplaces: Short Stuff

The moral of this week’s stories is that if you find yourself eating pork chops at your fancy seaside hotel in a hurricane ravaged part of Florida, you need to re-evaluate your life. Trumpworld to Government Scientists: No Science for You! This falls into “The Onion or Real News” category. Imagine my alarm when I…

Hurricane Recovery Workers Face Safety, Health and Wage Problems According to Report

Substandard conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey have impacted workers’ health and safety on the job, as well as their wages according to a devastating new report from from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and University of Illinois Chicago that surveyed 360 workers. The report also offers recommendations for improving working conditions…

Arkema Update: Chemical Plants and Climate Change

More information is coming out about the chemical releases at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby Texas following last summer’s flooding in the Houston area as a result of Hurricane Harvey. To refresh your memory, rising floodwaters disabled the plant’s power supply, the emergency generators and finally the cooling mechanisms in temporary truck storage, allowing…

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…

Chickens, Hurricanes and OSHA Penalties: Media Interest in Workplace Safety

One would think with monster hurricanes, threatened nuclear war with North Korea, plans to deport some of America’s best young folk to foreign lands, Russians undermining our already fragile election system and right-wing, family-values-defending Senators accidentally “liking” pornography on Twitter — little issues like workplace safety and health wouldn’t be getting much attention from the…

It’s in the Water: Protecting Hurricane Recovery Workers

With both Harvey and Irma behind us (barely), the time for cleanup, recovery and rebuilding is here. And workers across the region and from across the United States will be looking for work. We have discussed many of the hazards these workers will face — primarily from working at heights, and working with electricity, tree…

Dispatches From the Front Lines of the War On Worker Safety: Short Stuff

The Incredible Disappearing Security Breach: Hard to know what to say about this. Remember that alleged security “breach” in OSHA’s website that’s collecting injury and illness data from employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements? That’s the same database that was supposed to be up in February, with a submission deadline of July 1.  It was…

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, 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 up…