When political rhetoric trumps child safety
The Obama administration made a terrible mistake last week by dropping proposed rules designed to protect young children under age 16 hired as farmhands. Caving to public pressure from Big Agriculture and Republican lawmakers puts kids’ lives on the line. Even for adults, farming remains one of the nation’s most dangerous occupations.
New child farm labor regulations dead — thanks to Sarah Palin’s expertise?
Last week, the White House abandoned proposed changes to labor rules that might have kept young people working on farms quite a bit safer. It was a move widely characterized as a cave to political pressure from Republicans and some Big Ag-friendly Democrats. Sarah Palin added her two cents to the public discussion by posting a note on Facebook — with her signature poetic subtlety — entitled, “If I Wanted America to Fail, I’d Ban Kids From Farm Work.”
Fracking sand threatens gas well workers, researcher says
Sand dust created from the hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from rock is one of the most dangerous threats to workers at wells blossoming across the U.S., a government safety researcher said. About four out of five air samples from well sites in five states in the past two years exceeded recommended limits for silica particles, said Eric Esswein, an industrial hygienist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
MSHA impact inspections find more coal dust issues
Targeted mine inspections of some of the most nation’s most troubled mines continue to find some of the same problems that led to the launch of federal impact inspection blitz. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration has been conducting “impact inspections,” targeted inspections at specific mines, since the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine.
Offshore drilling regulator lays out agenda for OTC
The nation’s top offshore drilling regulator today laid out an ambitious agenda for his agency, including plans to issue new mandates for emergency equipment and update decades-old regulations governing oil and gas production safety systems. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James Watson said in prepared remarks that he anticipated proposing the new rules later this year. That puts the agency on a faster track than Watson’s predecessor, Michael Bromwich, outlined a year ago.
New York on $15,000 a year
Imagine trying to survive in New York City on less than $15,000 a year. That is what a person making the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour earns for a full-time job. It’s time to do something about that. State legislators should approve a bill by the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, that would raise the minimum wage in the state to at least $8.50 per hour in 2013 with annual inflation adjustments after that.
Women get paid less than men for the same work
Heidi Hartmann, founder of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, joins Rachel Maddow to lay out the factual case that, contrary to the arbitrary beliefs in Republican World, women are indeed paid less than men for the same work in the United States of America.