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…

The Lives They Lived. And The Gifts They’ve Left Us With

Jim Melius. Leslie Nickels. Jack Sheehan. Mike McGraw. Paul Nyden. As a new year starts, everyone from the New York Times to the Academy Awards looks back at those we have lost and the effect they had on our lives. We’ve already discussed the sad losses of Adrian Markowitz, Rick Burns and George Yoksas last year. …

Editorial Board Resigns after Corporate Takeover of Worker-Oriented Public Health Journal

The entire 22-member Editorial Board of the International Journal of Occupational and Environment Health resigned this morning after a months-long struggle with the Journal’s new owners who have “have acted in a profoundly unethical fashion” and have moved the worker-oriented publication to a more corporate focus. The fate of the IJOEH is important to worker…

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…

Liberty Mutual to Close its Famed Research Institute

The country is about to lose a major player in safety and health research, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. We have heard from multiple sources that Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, the premier private sector researcher establishment in occupational safety and health, will abruptly close its doors within the next few weeks. Reading…

Trump to Construction and Maritime Workers on Workers Memorial Day: “Get Sick and Die.”

The Trump administration today — Workers Memorial Day — initiated its first real OSHA regulatory rollback — a proposed weakening or elimination of worker protections from deadly beryllium dust. While it’s not clear what is actually in the proposal that OSHA submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review yesterday, knowledgeable observers think its a weakening or elimination…

Legal Does Not Mean Safe: The Fate of Chemical Protections for Workers in the Trump Era

The fact that most OSHA chemical standards are old, outdated and don’t protect workers very well is something that government, labor and industry can generally agree on.  There is less agreement, however, on what needs to be done about that problem. But it’s a question that needs to be addressed, as an estimated 50,000 workers…