A year ago, the American public, government regulators, and Gulf of Mexico families had been lulled into a false sense of security over the safety of offshore drilling and the ability of the oil industry to respond in the event of a severe spill. On the first anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, even after countless hearings in Congress, and an investigation by the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, legislation to improve the safety of deepwater drilling has not been put on President Obama’s desk.
Offshore regulators have added only four additional safety inspectors to monitor oil-field operations in the year since the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers and raised concerns about federal oversight in the Gulf of Mexico. Sixty inspectors are now responsible for more than 3,500 drilling rigs and pumping platforms in the Gulf, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.
On the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and the Massey coal mine explosion in West Virginia, we are reminded how dangerous our dependence on fossil fuels can be. A large cost of our reliance on these energy sources is the death or injury of workers in these industries. Transitioning to cleaner energy technologies such as solar and wind is safer for workers as well as better for public health, economic competitiveness, and the environment. We can take steps to make fossil fuel industries less dangerous while we transition to cleaner energy.
A year ago today–as workers were being pushed to finish drilling faster than some thought was safe, according to news reports–the BP Deepwater/Horizon drilling platform, 72 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico exploded. Eleven workers were killed, the rest were rescued. On April 28, as they call for tougher job safety laws as part of the 22nd annual Workers Memorial Day, workers across the country will honor those killed on the BP Deepwater/Horizon rig and the thousands more killed on the job each year.
While Congress looks for sources of funding, they may want to just ask mining companies to pay their overdue bills. A one-day snapshot by Mine Safety and Health News found operators owing $55 million in delinquent penalties. The Civil Penalties Special Report reveals coal companies owe the government $36 million in delinquent penalties and metal/nonmetal operators owe $11.9 million. The remaining amount was owed by contractors and a few miners or agents for operators.
Nenita Ibe cleans 16 rooms a day at the Santa Clara hotel where she’s worked for 10 years, adding up to 25 mattresses per day, each of which needs to be lifted up on each side so that the 69-year-old Filipino immigrant can set the bedsheet properly. Luxury hotel mattresses can weigh more than 150 pounds these days. So last week Ibe headed to Sacramento to testify in favor of a bill that would force the state’s hotels to ditch their traditional flat bedsheets in favor of the fitted elastic sheets most of us use in our homes. The bill would also require hotels to supply housekeepers with long-handled tools so that they would no longer have to clean bathrooms on their hands and knees.
A Cleveland air traffic controller and a manager were suspended by the Federal Aviation Administration this week after a movie soundtrack was heard playing over a radio frequency by the pilot of a military aircraft, the FAA said Monday night.
An eastern Ohio contractor has been cited for serious worker safety violations at an I-75 bridge project in Lucas County last fall and been told to pay a fine of $193,200. APBN Inc., of Campbell, Ohio, was cited for 13 violations of fall protection and water safety procedures for workers sandblasting and painting I-75 bridge more than 40 feet above the over the Maumee River, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday.
The feds have slapped an accused East Flatbush slumlord with fines for exposing maintenance workers to pools of raw sewage, asbestos and other dangerous conditions.
Amid heavy fighting in Misurata, Libya, Tim Hetherington, producer of the Oscar-nominated film “Restrepo,” was killed by mortar fire Wednesday. Over the last few weeks, Hondros had been filing stunning imagery of the conflict in Libya. Getty photographer Chris Hondros, Michael Brown of the Corvis agency and Guy Martin of the Panos Photo Agency were injured in the same incident. Hondros was listed in grave condition.