More American die in their workplaces each year than died during 10 years of war in Iraq
4,690 people were killed at work in 2010, up three percent from 2009, the Center for Public Integrity reports. That means that more Americans died in their workplaces in one year than died during the entire war in Iraq. But while Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to protect defense spending from budget cuts, they are simultaneously looking to defund the agency that protects workers from physical harm in the workplace.
New York minimum wage raise remains blocked by Republican opposition, governor’s indifference
The New York State Assembly has passed a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage from the federal level of $7.25 an hour to a more livable $8.50 an hour, but the bill is stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate, with a big assist from Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s refusal to champion the measure.
Obama’s plan to stick it to poultry workers
As I reported a while back, the USDA is pushing a new regime for industrial-scale poultry slaughterhouses: The agency wants to fire its own inspectors and let the poultry companies oversee their own kill lines. And that’s not all—the proposed new rules would allow the companies dramatically speed up those company-inspected kill lines.
OSHA establishes whistleblower protection advisory committee
This week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the establishment of a Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. This body will make recommendations to the Secretary of Labor on ways to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of OSHA’s administration of whistleblower protections.
Administration safety data initiative challenges app developers
To help kick off the Safety Data Initiative, today we are announcing two app challenges that take advantage of more than 700 open government datasets now available on Safety.Data.gov. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants your help in building tools to educate the public about safety in the workplace through its Worker Safety and Health Challenge. The goal is to develop apps that can reduce the number of work-related injuries, which affected more than 800,000 individuals in 2009 alone.
“I always knew somebody would get killed inside that place”
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, American workers are entitled to “safe and healthful” conditions. Revetta’s death and the events that followed lay bare the law’s limitations, showing how safety can yield to speed, how fatal accidents can have few consequences for employers, and how federal investigations can be cut short by what some call a de facto quota system.
In U.S. Steel town, fatal gas explosion goes unpunished by OSHA
In 2009, 4,551 people were killed on the job in the U.S., a toll that eclipsed the nation’s deaths from the nine-year Iraq war. Yet the typical fine for a worker death is about $7,900. “These deaths take place behind closed doors,” said Michael Silverstein, recently retired head of Washington State’s workplace safety agency. “They occur one or two at a time, on private property. There’s an invisibility element.”
Cell tower deaths
The smartphone revolution comes with a hidden cost. A joint investigation by FRONTLINE and ProPublica explores the hazardous work of independent contractors who are building and servicing America’s expanding cellular infrastructure. While some tower climbers say they are under pressure to cut corners, layers of subcontracting make it difficult for safety inspectors to determine fault when a tower worker is killed or injured.
Best and worst jobs for your health
A healthy job is about more than just avoiding hazards, like dangerous material and machines. Every job and employer is different, but there are ways to make any job healthier. Try borrowing strategies from our list of the best, then read on for the worst.