Harvey Update: Flooded Chemical Plant Explodes. Trump Policies Increase Future Risk

Cable news and newspapers across the country are headlining the continuing explosions at the  Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, that was flooded by Hurricane Harvey.  The plant was evacuated after power failed and several containers full of volatile chemicals that required cooling threatened to explode when power was lost and the generators failed. At…

Trump to Visit Company Where Worker Was Killed After Company Removed Guard

Donald Trump is on his way to Springfield, Missouri today to deliver a major speech about tax cuts reform at the Loren Cook company. Loren Cook, one of Springfield’s largest companies, manufactures fans, blowers, gravity vents and laboratory exhaust systems and employees 1,000 workers. And the company’s executives are big Trump supporters: Loren Cook II, vice-president…

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

“We need to be protecting our workers as much as protecting our shores.”  So says former OSHA head Dr. David Michaels in response to a report by Reveal and PBS about fatalities and injuries at shipyards that receive billions in contracts from the US government. The reporters point out intentional, knowing violations of the law,…

EPA “Reconsiders” Whether to Protect Communities Surrounding Chemical Plants

But as the ….government has promoted the [chemical] sector’s rapid growth, it has struggled with its impact on the environment. The chemical industry has quashed calls to strengthen oversight and force companies to publicly disclose what substances they produce. Local environmental bureaus are often politically feeble and understaffed. — New York Times, June 13, 2017…

FLASH: Trump to visit Department of Labor

Just got word that President Trump (yes, that President Trump) will be visiting the Department of Labor Next Wednesday, where he “will announce policy initiatives that this Administration will pursue to narrow the skills gap and to ensure that all Americans have good, safe jobs.” Secretary of Labor Acosta sent a memo to Department staff stating that:…

Trump Administration Continues to Attack Worker Protections

The New York Times takes another look at Obama administration worker protections that are being “revisited” in the early months of the Trump administration. Most of these stories — the Administration’s attempt to roll back the Beryllium rule’s coverage of construction and maritime industries, the delay in enforcement of the silica standard and proposed elimination…

Trump’s Attacks on Immigrants: Bad for all workers, good employers and workplace safety

Read this article in The Nation by Terri Gerstein. Gerstein was formerly  Labor Bureau Chief in the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and a Deputy Commissioner in the New York State Department of Labor. Her article vividly describes why the Trump administration’s war on immigrants hurts all workers and helps bad bosses.  And without mentioning health…

The First Hundred Days of Trump’s OSHA: Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet?

Today is Workers Memorial Day, a day set aside around the world to remember those killed on the job — and commit ourselves to fighting to protect workers from preventable death injury and illness on the job. As the AFL-CIO summed up in its Death on the Job report, 4,836 workers were killed on the job…