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

Your job or you unborn child. Your job or your bladder. Your job or your life. These are the choices that far too many workers still have to make every day, in the 21st century, in the United States of America. Just got back from vacation and lots of troubling stuff has been happening while…

Mar-Jack: OSHA Inspectors “Are Not There For Us”

I wrote earlier this month about a court decision in the Mar-Jac case restricting OSHA’s ability to expand inspections at poultry plants — even when the company’s log shows high rates of injuries and illnesses — despite the industry’s record of unsafe conditions. When conducting an inspection about a specific incident, you may recall, OSHA…

Dispatches from the Front Lines of Workplace and Environmental Safety: Short Stuff

The High Price of Clean Rooms: Thousands of Marriott hotel workers are on strike in 23 hotels in Detroit, Boston, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Maui, and Oahu. Aside from wanted a greater share of the company’s enormous profits, the hotel workers, represented by UNITE-HERE, are also demanding that the company address conditions that…

Weekly Toll: Workers Die at Gas Stations, Construction Sites, Bowling Alleys, Chicken Processing Plants, in Rivers and Falling off Buildings

Boom truck hits power lines in Flagler, electrocuting 2 workers PALM COAST, Fla. – Two construction workers were electrocuted Monday in an industrial accident in Flagler County, sheriff’s officials said. The men died around 8:30 a.m. on Sebastian Court in Palm Coast.  According to Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly, Nomad LLC, a subcontractor, was laying concrete foundation for a new house…

Good News for Poultry Processing Workers

It’s not all bad news for workers out there. Curiously, however, the good news for poultry workers is coming from an uncharacteristic place: the Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA has denied an petition from the National Chicken Council asking to let meatpackers operating under a new inspection system to run their plants “at any line…

American Nightmare: Wading Through Floating Fat and Chicken Guts While Machines Snap off Workers’ Arms

Peter Waldman, along with Kartikay Mehrotra have continued Bloomberg Businessweek’s amazing — and amazingly disturbing — coverage of the underbelly of the American workplace jungle in 2017. This piece, “America’s Worst Graveyard Shift Is Grinding Up Workers,” describes the horrible work-lives of a beleaguered population of mostly invisible immigrant workers who labor all night, in working…

OSHA Rejects GAO Poultry Recommendations: Sees No Problem With Workers’ Restroom Access

In a surprising and disappointing apparent rollback of OSHA’s enforcement policy related to poultry inspections, Acting Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt has rejected recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) designed to address findings that poultry workers are intimidated about reporting health and safety problems to OSHA, particularly about their inability to get bathroom breaks. The GAO…