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workplace safety 176 articles

After 8 industrial worker deaths in 4 months, OSHA vows to do more

Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a warning to the petrochemical and energy industries today, prompted by the deaths of 58 workers in just the last four months. Eleven of those deaths occurred when the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. Fifteen days prior to the BP oil rig disaster, 29 miners were killed in a West Virginia coal mine explosion. That mine is owned by Massey Energy, another company with a long and troubled history of federal safety violations. In testimony before a congressional panel on workplace ... Read More

BP used Three Little Pigs story to explain employee housing options

The Daily Beast has located some internal BP documents that throws much light on the disaster that took place aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and a mile below it. The documents, which surfaced after a March 2005 explosion at a Texas oil refinery killed 15 workers and injured 170 plant employees and residents of nearby neighborhoods, concern a cost-savings analysis of employee housing. What’s particularly telling about these memos and the corporate culture of BP, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, is that they illustrate the value of employee lives with the story of the Three Little Pigs. ... Read More

OSHA tells 15,000 employers to improve workplace safety

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it is notifying the owners and managers of about 15,000 workplaces that their rate of employee injury is exceedingly high compared to other similar companies. OSHA uses data, known as the DART rate (Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers) to determine which businesses have the highest number of illnesses and injury resulting in days away from work, restricted work activities, or job transfers. OSHA sent each of the 15,000 businesses a standard letter and included a report of the illness and injury data that prompted the notification. “Receipt of this letter means ... Read More

NYC crane bosses may go to jail after crane accident kills 2

The owner of two construction crane and rigging companies and a mechanic have been indicted on manslaughter charges after a 200-foot construction crane crashed onto a New York City apartment, killing 2 men and seriously injuring a third. Investigators have found evidence that James Lomma, owner of New York Crane and J.F. Lomma, Inc., and Tibor Varganyi, a former mechanic with the company, chose an obscure Chinese operation they found on the Internet to repair cracks in the turntable of a crane in an effort to save time and money. The accident occurred on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in May ... Read More

Plant safety worsens after passage of workers bill of rights

The “Packinghouse Workers Bill of Rights,” passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2007 as part of an effort to improve safety conditions for workers in the meatpacking industry, has failed to make any improvement, according to a report by Workday Minnesota. A recent survey conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Program found that working conditions at meatpacking plants throughout the state actually have grown worse since the bill was passed. Meatpacking is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Workers typically perform repetitive tasks, which often create repetitive-motion injuries such as carpal tunnel and tendonitis. ... Read More

OSHA, Congress mark Workers Memorial Day

Companies throughout the United States need to do a better job of providing safe working environments for their employees … or else. That’s the message the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is sounding this week in honor of Workers Memorial Day today. To mark the occasion, Congress will be spending the day conducting hearings on OSHA’s performance in enforcing the law. Many lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled Congress think that OSHA’s enforcement of workplace standards and regulations was too lax under the Bush Administration, allowing corporations to compromise the health and safety of its workers. Safety experts and union members ... Read More