Blankenship Sponsors Nauseating, Error-ridden Commercial

Some of you may have had the misfortune over the last few nights to see this commercial. Produced and paid for by ex-convict Don Blankenship, the commercial features Gwen Thomas, sister of Grover Skeens, one of the 29 miners killed in the April 2010 Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine explosion. She defends Blankenship and blames…

Trump Names Coal Executive to Head MSHA

As deaths in coal mines rise, President Trump last Friday nominated retired coal mining executive David Zatezalo to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Now there’s been a lot of outrage and alarm that Trump would appoint a coal company executive to head MSHA. But what did you expect? There are basically four types of people…

Interior Department Cancels Surface Mining Health Study

The Trump administration has halted a study of the health effects of mountaintop removal strip mining for people living near surface coal mine sites in Central Appalachia. In a letter to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,  which was conducting the study, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and…

Trump Heads to Coal Country to Give Best Speech Ever Made

President Trump is heading to West Virginia coal country tonight to give the best-speech-ever-made to the largest crowd the state has ever seen. (Tickets can be purchased here if you happen to be in the neighborhood.) You may recall that Trump was just in West Virginia to give the best-speech-ever-made to the Boy Scouts. Being as…

Dispatches From the Front Lines Of Worker Safety and Health: Short Stuff

EPA Suffers From Shortage of Common Sense: Attorneys General from 11 states — New York, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – have filed a lawsuit claiming that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposed two-year delay of the Accidental Release Prevention Requirements for Risk Management Programs is illegal under…

Lead Poisoning, Murder, and Trump’s Father-Daughter War on Workers: Short Stuff

Get the Lead Out: Joe Rubin at Huffington Post has a troubling story of how the California Department of Public Health failed to crack down on lead contamination at a firing range, or even refer the case CalOSHA despite serious worker overexposure and neighborhood contamination. Trump’s Impact on Public Safety: Former OSHA head David Michaels…

Short Stuff: Information to Make Your Life More Interesting

Raw Sewage and A Foot per Worker: The Labor Department filed a lawsuit against G Farms in El Mirage, Arizona for housing immigrant workers in “dangerous and unsanitary conditions and paying them illegally low wages,” the LA Times reports. Workers had been living in four yellow school buses and two trailers without windows, where they…

Labor Department Delays MSHA Rule Requiring Mines to be Safe Before Miners Start Work

The war against the war against mining continues as the Trump Labor Department attempts to save the mining industry from yet another draconian regulation guaranteed to kill thousands of jobs. What was this onerous regulation?  A requirement for non-coal miners (“metal/non-metal) that “an examination of the working place be conducted before miners begin working in that place,…

Kentucky and West Virginia Move to Weaken Protections for Coal Miners

When you think coal mining, your think West Virginia and Kentucky. And when you think coal mine disasters, you think West Virginia and Kentucky. Traditionally, West Virginia and Kentucky have taken a special interest in the safety of their miners — to the extent that they both run their own mine safety enforcement programs that…