Lost Both Arms and a Leg: Life and Death for Farmworkers

Intrepid Idaho Journalist Showcases Hazards Facing Farmworkers Dairy workers drown in manure pits. Farmworkers poisoned by pesticides.  Limbs amputated. Electrocutions. Horrible, but just the tip of the iceberg on Idaho farms, according a remarkable article by Idaho Statesman journalist Audrey Dutton. Drowning and other manure accidents killed farmworkers in Idaho and at least four other states during the…

VPP: An Important Tool or a Waste of Scarce OSHA Resources?

OSHA will hold a stakeholder meeting on Monday (and another in the Fall) to discuss how to improve the agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs. So, now might be a good time to review what’s good and what’s bad about the program and how it could be improved. History of VPP As part of the Reagan administration’s…

House Releases Labor Budget Bill — And It’s Even Worse than Trump’s

You thought Trump’s budget proposal was bad for OSHA? Well, our Republican friends in the House of Representatives have issued a bill that’s even worse, although we don’t have all of the details yet. The subcommittee’s mark-up session doesn’t start until 4:30 this afternoon, and we still may not know the details until the full…

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…