At BuzzFeed News, Zahra Hirji and Jason Leopold report that the news organization has obtained internal emails, recordings and interviews from oil company BP showing that executives are struggling to “reset” its Alaska operations after a string of incidents that threatened workers’ lives. For example, on Sept. 10, two workers inadvertently triggered a leak of […]
A celebrity chef has joined Harvey Weinstein in news headlines about sexual harassment in the workplace. A work environment that tolerates sexual harassment makes workers ill. It’s worker safety issue in need of much more attention.
In more encouraging public health news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that vaccination rates among kindergarteners have remained stable, with the median vaccine exemption rate at 2 percent. Some states even reported an increase in immunization rates.
Reporters investigate a court-ordered rehab center that funnels unpaid labor to a poultry processor; Ben & Jerry’s commits to improving conditions for workers on dairy farms; Massachusetts is one step closer to providing all public-sector workers with OSHA protections; and the Trump administration rolls back protections for transgender workers.
A reporter goes undercover to expose the conditions facing temp workers; West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin comes out against Trump’s MSHA pick; carpenters union confronts Industrial Commission of Arizona on leniency toward violators; and a Philadelphia union joins an opioid lawsuit against drug companies.
Public interest continues to grow for accurate information on the working conditions faced by the 450 million workers in global supply chains. The last quarter’s reports, through September 2017, include information on workplace health and safety, discrimination and sexual harassment of women workers, and corporate non-compliance with even basic labor laws in the electronics, apparel, and food industries.
Labor unions are becoming de facto immigrant rights groups; Trump pick to head MSHA is a former coal executive; Cal/OSHA opens more investigations into Goodwill’s safety conditions; and a new memorial honors first responders who became ill after exposures during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
Typically, we like to end the annual “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety” on an uplifting note. But this time around — to be honest — that was a hard sell.
Journalists played an important role last year in bringing attention to the human toll of workplace hazards. One section of “The Year in US Occupational Health & Safety” is devoted to the best reporting from national and regional reporters.
At the federal level, worker safety and health policies swung from high points to low points over the last 12 months. Those highs and lows–from new OSHA protections issued by the Obama administration to proposed rollbacks of funding and regulations by the Trump administration. Many of the highs and lows are described in the sixth edition of The Year in U.S. Occupational Health and Safety.