“Suffocating While Alive” The Return of Black Lung

Mine worker dust black lung

Howard Berkes has published a major investigative piece for NPR/Frontline on the resurgence of black lung among coal miners. Read it or better yet, listen to it. Berkes puts most of the blame on failures of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, but is who is really at fault, the regulatory agency or the mine owners? Continue Reading

Are Kentucky — And Other OSHA State Plans — Failing Their Workers?

OSHA State Plans: love ’em or hate ’em, but we have to live with them. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, Ohio Valley ReSource and the Center for Public Integrity have just put out a devastating series of articles and audio reports about serious flaws in Kentucky’s state run OSHA program, and raised serious questions about the…

Interview With Journalist Jamie Satterfield About Workers Poisoned by Coal Ash

Knoxville News Sentinal’s Jamie Satterfield, the investigative reporter who has been following the story about cleanup workers who died and were sickened by their exposure to coal ash in the cleanup of the massive spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Fuel Power Plant in Tennessee, was interviewed yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered. You…

Working in Mordor: Workers and the Hazards of Oil & Gas Pipeline Work

It is Halloween night, 2016, and, as I reach the outskirts of town, it feels as though I am entering Mordor. Bursts of red and yellow flames shoot up out of the earth, illuminating the pitch darkness. These are the byproducts of oil fracking, the natural gas and methane that are burned away by producers…

Crushed to Death and Discarded: The Invisible “Third Men” of New York’s Garbage Industry

 There are eight million stories in the Naked City, and some of them — like this one — you’d never believe. After all these years, I’m the stories of the work people — especially immigrants — do in this country continue to amaze and sicken me. This is a ProPublica and Voice of America investigation by Kiera Feldman…

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. …