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…

Catching Up: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Battle for Workplace Safety — Short Stuff

Just got back from a couple of weeks away and thought I’d spend some time catching up on what’s been happening. And as long as I’m doing that, you should benefit from it as well. Here’s some of the things that have been going on over the last few weeks that you may have missed.…

Killing the Harwood Program Means Killing Workers

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services will vote Thursday on OSHA’s FY 2018 budget. Most of the OSHA budget remains flat, but there’s one devastating exception. The budget calls for the elimination of OSHA’s 40 year old Susan Harwood Worker Training Grant Program. Originally created in 1978 as the “New Directions”…

Breaking: OSHA Launches Rollback of Beryllium Worker Protections

Less than half a year after workers finally received long overdue protections against deadly beryllium dust, the Trump administration has officially proposed removing many of those protections from construction and shipyard workers. OSHA announced today “a proposed rule that would modify the agency’s recent beryllium standards for the construction and shipyard sectors.” The proposal would send…

Chamber of Commerce: Killing Unions More Important Than Saving Lives

The Chamber of Commerce is nothing if it’s not consistent. Consistently opposed to each and every new protection issued or contemplated by OSHA, consistently challenging every new OSHA initiative in court, consistently (and drastically) overestimating the cost of every proposed OSHA standard, consistently opposed to any action by OSHA that would expand (or even maintain) workers’…

Short Stuff: News You Will Be Embarrassed Not to Know

Here’s the latest news that you can use to impress your friends and intimidate your enemies. Slashing and Burning: The New York Daily News warns of the effects of Trump’s budget cuts on workers and on OSHA, especially the Susan Harwood Program. And the article extensively quotes a former OSHA official. But there’s at least…

Sacrificing Your Health For Paycheck: NELP Report on Severe Injuries — Especially in Poultry

Twenty-seven workers suffer severe injuries involving hospitalization or an amputation every day, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP) in a report based on OSHA severe injury data. These numbers cover just over half the states. The NELP report singles out the poultry industry, reporting that two poultry companies, Tyson Foods and JBS/ Pilgrim’s…

Hit the fu**ing Road Jack: Why we need a strong OSHA enforcement program.

This is not generally how a good company wants a supervisor to respond to a worker who reports unsafe conditions:  “Next time you have a problem with safety, talk to me. Then get in your car and hit the f***ing road.”  Then you write him up, don’t renew his contract — and, for good measure, fire…