Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster Anniversary: Don Blankenship Commemorates By Running for Senate

Today is the eighth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion that claimed the lives of 29 coal miners in a massive coal dust explosion.  A press release from Bobby Scott, Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee notes that five independent investigation reports by state and federal agencies agree that the…

Weekly Toll: Another group of workers join the list those who didn’t make it through the workday

Parkland School Teachers Killed in Shooting Parkland, FL — Three school employees were among the 17 persons killed in the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Scott Beigel, 35, a geography teacher, was killed as he tried to usher students back into his classroom when the shooting broke out. Aaron Feis,…

Weekly Toll: Last Workers to Die in 2017. Let’s hope 2018 is better

Bad couple of weeks for workers in Kansas and firefighters across the country. Also two trench deaths and a food processing worker whose leg was ripped off. Last list of workers killed during 2017. Good Riddance. Let’s hope for a better 2018. Man Killed Loading Road Salt at Kentucky Facility Identified LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) —…

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: …

Weekly Toll: The Bell Continues to Toll For American Workers

Bentleyville man dies at ArcelorMittal plant in Monessen Monessen, PA — A Bentleyville man died Sunday night at the ArcelorMittal Coke Plant in Monessen. According to a report Tuesday from the Washington County coroner’s office, Robert Klett, 60, was found unresponsive about 10:45 p.m. Sunday at the plant at 345 Donner Ave. The report said…

Weekly Toll: The Last Two Weeks of Carnage in the American Workplace

These reports always contain an surprising and upsetting diversity of ways to die in the workplace.  The last couple of weeks seemed to witness a large number of workers who were killed in violent workplace incidents — retail robberies, carjackings, and law enforcement. Marks Farms worker dies from injuries suffered in farm accident MARTINSBURG, NY…

Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Battle to Protect Workers: Short Stuff

In Memorium, Adrienne Markowitz: The health and safety movement has lost another of its legends. Adrienne Markowitz, former safety and health Director  of  the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers Union died of breast cancer last week. As her obituary describes  “She worked with, and for, the New Jersey teachers union, identifying threats from mercury,…

Blankenship Sponsors Nauseating, Error-ridden Commercial

Some of you may have had the misfortune over the last few nights to see this commercial. Produced and paid for by ex-convict Don Blankenship, the commercial features Gwen Thomas, sister of Grover Skeens, one of the 29 miners killed in the April 2010 Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine explosion. She defends Blankenship and blames…

Trump Names Coal Executive to Head MSHA

As deaths in coal mines rise, President Trump last Friday nominated retired coal mining executive David Zatezalo to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Now there’s been a lot of outrage and alarm that Trump would appoint a coal company executive to head MSHA. But what did you expect? There are basically four types of people…