The 7th edition of The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety profiles more than a dozen new laws and policies to advance protections for workers. These state and local victories are described in section two of the OHS Yearbook 2018 which was released on Labor Day. The improvements include:
- a new law in Massachusetts to extend OSHA protections to the state’s 400,000 public sector employees;
- a new Cal/OSHA regulation to better protect hotel housekeepers from musculoskeletal injuries;
- a new law in Chicago that requires hotel operators to provide staff with panic buttons to stave off assaults;
- a new law in Illinois to address the problem of temp workers who are “perma-temps”; and
- changes to workers compensation laws, such as one in Florida to ensure coverage for firefighters who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and another for firefighters in New Hampshire to ensure that cancer diagnoses are presumed to be work-related.
The second section of the OHS Yearbook 2018 also offers brief reports by local COSH groups on their activities over the last 12 months. It also reminds readers of the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Maria and the programs coordinated by National COSH to address the safety training needs of workers in Houston and Puerto Rico who were doing clean-up and recovery. Finally, this section of the yearbook offers more than a dozen photos from Worker Memorial Week events. They inspire us and we think you will have a similar reaction.