The BP oil spill disaster, the explosion at a Massey Energy mine that killed 29, and the recall of millions of Toyota vehicles, to name a few, made headlines throughout the year, both for their human, economic, and environmental toll and for the negligence they exposed. Despite these failures, 2010 was an excellent year for America’s corporate elite. Profits skyrocketed, lobbyists fended off new regulation, and corporate access to Washington decision makers grew even more robust.
We’ve just confirmed that retiring Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship no longer plans to appear next week to be questioned by state and federal investigators who are looking into the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster. C.A. Phillips, acting director of the state Office of Miners Health, Safety and Training, said his agency was informed just a little while ago that Blankenship would invoke his 5th Amendment rights and not answer questions from the investigation team.
Louisiana’s 17 oil refineries have an abysmal record of accidents that have resulted in the release of millions of pounds of polluting chemicals into the air and water, threatening both their own workers and the more than 200,000 people who live in neighborhoods within two miles of the plants, according to a new report sponsored by the Bucket Brigade, other neighborhood environmental groups and the United Steelworkers Union.
Through a new safety initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration is calling special attention to the potential dangers that shuttle cars and scoops in underground coal mines pose to miners. Between January 2000 and September 2010, nearly 800 miners have been injured and 16 killed in coal mine accidents involving shuttle cars and scoops.
Some of K Street’s biggest lobbying forces are up in arms over a proposal that would require businesses to reduce noise to protect their workers.
An East Bay, Calif., assemblywoman has introduced a bill to improve staff safety at hospitals in response to the slayings of two medical workers, including death of a psychiatric technician at Napa State Hospital late October.
The nation’s workplace safety agency is scrutinizing how the state handled a 2007 investigation into remodeling at the Flamingo Las Vegas, which exposed workers and, possibly, guests to dangerous airborne asbestos.
The Tyson feed mill, where a grain silo collapse last week killed one worker, had not been visited by federal inspectors in almost two decades, according to documents from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Los Angeles County on Thursday served a cease-and-desist order on a Sherman Oaks-based clinic serving the adult-film industry, two days after state health officials denied it a community clinic operating license. Among other “business-related issues,” the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM) lacked a required agreement with a hospital to which patients could be transferred as needed, said Al Lundeen, a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health.
Department of Public Safety firefighters responded to a blaze at the Carbolytic Materials Company plant Friday afternoon. The facility is located in the Maryville Industrial Park in Maryville, Mo.