President Obama on Monday laid the groundwork for a four-year effort to improve federal workplace safety standards, ordering agencies to reduce the number of workers who fall ill or injured on the job.
Oil cleanup workers on offshore vessels will begin receiving longer and more thorough safety training today, fulfilling a pledge by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to improve training after it acknowledged, as we reported, that the previous course was inadequate.
It’s easy to organize around BP’s workers, and to demand the government do everything possible with everyone watching this disaster unfold. But there’s only about 30,000 people working to clean up BP’s oil disaster. Meanwhile, OSHA is responsible for protecting the health and safety of about 130,000,000 other workers, each and every day.
Recognizing that robust whistleblower protection is critical to preventing another financial crisis, Congress included in the Dodd-Frank financial services reform bill (H.R. 4173) numerous provisions designed to encourage whistleblowing and to provide robust protection from retaliation.
A bill has been signed by President Obama that will limit the use of formaldehyde, a chemical found in wood products that can cause respiratory problems and has been linked to cancer.
Since 1983, more than 2,500 coal miners have been killed on the job in the United States. That is partly because mining coal is an inherently dangerous job, but many of those deaths can also be blamed on an industry notorious for breaking the rules and a federal agency notorious for allowing it.
All organizations, regardless of number of employees, are vulnerable to workplace violence, which can occur in any type of economy.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a West Virginia DuPont plant for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals. Monday’s citations and $43,000 fine followed OSHA’s investigation into a series of leaks at DuPont’s Belle plant in January.
The press release yesterday from the U.S. Department of Labor made the “other-than-serious” violations at DuPont Co.’s Belle, W.Va., chemical plant sound like no big deal … nothing to worry about: The company was also cited for five other-than-serious violations due to improper recordkeeping.
OSHA has cited Clint Horn, doing business in St. Louis as Sturgis Tuckpointing, with alleged safety violations for repeatedly exposing workers to fall hazards while working on scaffolding structures. Proposed penalties total $221,600.