BREAKING: Chemical Safety Board Survives

Good news! The House Appropriations Committee released its FY 2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations budget bill today and it fully funds the Chemical Safety Board. The Trump administration had recommended that the Board be eliminated. The sub-committee will vote on the bill tomorrow House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen stated that “This legislation responsibly supports the…

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”…

Save The Chemical Safety Board: Call Your Representatives NOW

The House Appropriations Committee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will hold a mark-up on Wednesday, July 12 on the FY 2018 budget which includes the budget for the Chemical Safety Board. You may remember that the President’s proposed budget calls for the elimination of the CSB. A mark-up is where they take the proposed bill and…

Weekly Toll: Suffocations, Shootings, Highways — again.

Fourth TECO worker dies after accident at plant Tampa, FL — A fourth person has died from the TECO Apollo Beach industrial accident on June 29. Frank Lee Jones, 55, died Saturday, according to a company spokeswoman. Christopher Irvin, 42, and Michael McCort, 60, died the day of the accident. Antonio Navarette, 21, died Wednesday.…

Time To Act: Save Worker Training Grants, Health & Safety Research

If you haven’t yet done so, it’s time to do so. And if you have done so, do it again: Contact your legislators about passing a budget that will protect workers.  The House Appropriations Sub-Committee that deals with OSHA, MSHA and NIOSH is scheduled to mark up the FY 2018 Appropriations Bill on Thursday, July…

Dispatches from the Front of the War on Worker Safety: Short Stuff

Major, Radioactive Oops:  More than 30 nuclear experts inhaled uranium after radiation alarms and ventilation systems at a Department of Energy weapons site were switched off.  The incident raises significant questions about safety in the nation’s premier nuclear labs: “not only were the labs’ procedures and responses riddled with errors, but even after attention was…

States Get Safety Report Cards: Winners and Losers

It’s report card time and states are lining up to get their grades from the National Safety Council.The State of Safety: A State-by-State Report graded states in three categories: Road Safety, Home Safety and Workplace Safety.  No state received an overall “A” grade, but several states received “Bs,” including the state in which I live (Maryland),…

Losses at OSHA

George Yoksas The OSHA family suffered a huge loss last month when George Yoksas passed away at his desk at age 66.  It’s somehow fitting that George died at work, because he had dedicated his life to protecting workers. George would say “safety is our craft”.  He’d say this proudly when he was excited that…

Enforcement Update: OSHA Still Embarrassed About Enforcing the Law

Press Release Drought Continues When Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta testified last month before the US Senate, he committed to citing employers who have the information about how to make the workplace safe, but don’t do what they need to do to provide a safe workplace.  Well, to their credit, OSHA continues to enforce the…

EPA, Climate Change and Regulatory Certainty

A federal appeals court has blocked EPA’s delay of its methane pollution rule. The court says that the reasoning EPA used, that interested parties didn’t have an opportunity to comment, was “unreasonable,” “arbitrary” and “capricious.”  As the New York Times explains, “Methane is a potent greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.” So,…