Protecting America’s Workers Act Introduced. Would Strengthen OSHA and Workers’ Rights

protecting workers

Congressman Joe Courtney has introduced a new and improved version of the Protecting America’s Workers Act which significantly expands workers’ rights to participate in improving health and safety in their workplaces, and enhances the ability of OSHA to effectively enforce safe working conditions. 

“Fund OSHA and List Workers Killed” Says the Senate

Some good news from the Senate, and God knows, we need a little good news. The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to approve a bi-partisan bill that provides a $4 million increase for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and full funding for OSHA’s Susan Harwood Worker Training…

Former CSB Chair Moves on to (Much) Greener Pastures

Last month, without any warning or explanation, Vanessa Sutherland announced her resignation as Chair of the Chemical Safety Board. Earlier this week we learned why. More money and more love. Norfolk Southern announced that Sutherland had been hired as Vice President, Legal, for the giant rail corporation. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. is a major transporter/hauler of…

Trump’s Worker Safety & Health Budget Again Undermines Worker Safety & Health

Earlier this week, President Trump submitted his Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal. This is his second budget proposal and although it leaves OSHA’s budget fairly flat, it once again proposes to slash or eliminate important safety and health programs and agencies.  And this is Trump’s second OSHA budget that has been proposed with no Assistant…

OSHA Is Bleeding: Shrinking Government and Killing Workers

Washington Post reporters Lisa Rein and Andrew Ba Trim published an excellent front page article today chronicling Donald Trump’s largely successful effort to shrink the federal government: “By the end of September, all Cabinet departments except Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and Interior had fewer permanent staff than when Trump took office in January — with…

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

COSHCON17 — The Young and the Active — : The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, the umbrella group of all the nation’s COSH groups held its annual conference last week and I was privileged to be able to chair a very moving panel on “Lessons from Workplace Fatalities” with some of my heroes: …

Deepwater Horizon: Is the CSB Preparing to Retreat on Worker Participation?

The Chemical Safety Board may be preparing to take a significant step backwards in its advocacy for worker participation in preventing chemical facility incidents, including catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In April, 2016 the CSB unanimously approved a 4-volume “Macondo Investigation Report” in response to the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon blowout that killed 11…

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…

Short Stuff: More Problems for Construction, Poultry Processing, Farms and Whistleblowers. So why doesn’t anyone want to work at DOL?

Do Not Pass go:  The New York Times reports that “the owner of two Brooklyn construction companies was charged with manslaughter on Wednesday because the authorities said he ignored complaints about a poorly maintained retaining wall that collapsed at a work site in 2015, killing an 18-year-old laborer and injuring two others.” Small Farms Don’t…

In $5.4 Million Decision, OSHA Orders Wells Fargo to Reinstate, Compensate Employee

In the largest-ever individual award by the OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program, OSHA announced today that it had ordered Wells Fargo to reinstate and compensate a former bank manager “who lost his job after reporting suspected fraudulent behavior to superiors and a bank ethics hotline.” The order was announced in a press release issued today. (Yes, a…