Will President Obama's new regulatory czar make good on his promise to conduct reviews of agency rules in a timely manner? The 90-day deadline will expire this week for the office's review of the Labor Department's final rule to protect coal miners from black lung disease.
Reporters were shut out during the shutdown of access to agency information. That situation didn't stop two of them from continuing to report on deaths of workers in the U.S. mining industry.
Last year, Caitlin O'Dell's 27 year-old husband was crushed between two pieces of mobile mining equipment. A proximity detection device could have saved his life, but the coal industry insists the devices need more study before mine operators are required to install them.
While OSHA has never been the most robustly funded federal agency, its efforts and regulatory authority have helped prevent countless deaths, injuries and illnesses on the job. However, recent budget cuts and future budget cut proposals threaten those gains, and it's no stretch to say that worker health and safety hang in the balance.
The federal government shutdown has put a halt on most workplace safety inspections. It's another important public health program adversely affected by the spending showdown.
The long-time residents of Iron County, Wisconsin who make up [...]
The Labor Department took the first major step this month to protect the health of many U.S. workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica. Workers in the mining industry, however, are not addressed by the Department's action.
Agrochemical bans have passed or are under consideration in some countries where young, previously healthy agricultural workers are developing chronic kidney disease at alarming rates; a study of cleanup workers who worked on Gulf of Mexico beaches and marshes following the 2010 BP oil spill finds "significantly altered blood profiles" associated with higher risk of some cancers; and OSHA cites a waste company and its temp labor provider following a workers' death from heat stress.
A fourth official formerly associated with Massey Energy was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for conspiring to thwart federal mine safety laws. Massey Energy was the operator in 2010 of the site where the worst coal mine disaster in 40 years occurred.
The second annual report on US worker health and safety offers a review of activities and new policies at the federal scene, and a recap on the best reporting about it by the nation's journalists.