The most recent annual Federal OSHA evaluation report of Cal/OSHA highlights progress made in some areas, but continuing failure to meet several minimum federal benchmarks as well as requirements of California law. The underlying causes of these ongoing problems are chronic understaffing of field compliance officers and a lack of political will in the agency’s leadership.
Cherry-picked workplace injury statistics hides the toll of injuries, illness and deaths in California
A closer look at the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that injury and illness stats for California show the state has worse, not better, rates of worker injuries and illnesses than national levels or the performance of other major industrial states. The “but we have better stats” response from state officials cannot be used to justify the failure of the Department of Industrial Relations and Cal/OSHA to fill 38 vacant field compliance officer positions that have been fully funded since July 2015.
The fatal work-related injuries that killed Kenneth Schultz could have been prevented had his employer followed worker safety regulations.
One of the nation’s premiere scientific organizations has rejected the selection of UCLA professor Patrick Harran as a fellow. He was responsible for the safety violations in his laboratory which led to the 2009 death of lab technician Sheri Sangji, 23.
California poised to adopt violence prevention standard for health care workers: ‘Violence shouldn’t be part of the job’
In 2010, Donna Gross, a psychiatric technician at Napa State Hospital for more than a decade, was strangled to death at work by a mentally ill patient. While on-the-job violence in the health care sector was certainly nothing new at the time, the shocking and preventable circumstances surrounding Gross’ death helped ignite a new and coordinated movement for change. Now, just a handful of years later, California is set to become the only state with an enforceable occupational standard aimed at preventing workplace violence against health care workers.
This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the US. This one occurred on Tuesday, October 13 in Oceanside, CA
A UCLA chemistry professor's website announces his lab’s award of an NIH grant. I wonder if we'll also see an announcement explaining the settlement of the criminal charges against him for the work-related death of Sheri Sangji?
California’s workforce has grown by about 22 percent in the last 20 years but the number of safety inspectors for the 17 million people employed in the state’s 1.34 million workplaces has decreased by about 11 percent. This leaves California's workforce – the largest of any US state – with the lowest number of inspectors per workers of any state with its own occupational safety and health plan for private-sector workers. California has so few workplace safety inspectors that it would take 173 years to inspect each workplace in the state just once.
Anniversaries of two deadly workplace disasters remind us of the hazards of combustible dust and gas blows; a former Cal/OSHA employee warns that the agency is dangerously understaffed; and CDC uses sugar-industry money to fund studies into the epidemic of chronic kidney disease striking Central American sugarcane workers.
Labor Day review of significant efforts by states and localities to address (or not) workers’ rights and safety protections
Section 3 of the second annual report on US worker health and safety offers a review of activities at the State and local scene, as well as reports from non-profits and investigations by journalists.