November 14, 2007 The Pump Handle

OSHA’s long-awaited rule on “who pays for personal protective equipment” has finally seen the light of day.  Assistant Secretary of Labor Edwin Foulke made the announcement today in a telephone press conference; workers and employers should be able to read the rule in the Federal Register on November 15.  The Agency proposed this rule more than 8 years […]

November 9, 2007 The Pump Handle 4Comment

Tyler Kahle, 19, (photo) and Craig Bagley, 27 (photo) were killed four months ago at the NovaGold Resources’ Rock Creek mine near Nome, Alaska.  MSHA is completing its investigation; so far, all the Kahle family has been told is that the lift basket was 90 feet off the ground and “it tipped over.”  Sadly, what the Kahle family has learned, is that […]

November 8, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Earlier this week, the Washington Post’s Elizabeth Williamson reported on industry-financed trips that Consumer Product Safety Commission chairs had taken. Today, she writes about other CPSC staff members (from both the Clinton and Bush administrations) who took such trips, and about proposed legislation spurred by the CPSC travel revelations. Meanwhile, eight new toy recalls have […]

November 2, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Workers dying from asphyxiation in a confined space is a senseless tragedy.  When four men lose their lives in this way, with three of them dying in an attempt to rescue the other, it is a genuine disaster.  Yesterday, four men died inside a 12-foot deep sewer line at the Lakehead Blacktop Demolition Landfill in the Village of Superior, Wisconsin.  County Sheriff […]

November 1, 2007 The Pump Handle 3Comment

Three young widows of Harlan County are taking a stand against incumbent Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher (R).  An op-ed by Claudia Cole, Stella Morris, and Melissa Lee appeared in the Lexington Herald Leader, with harsh words about the Governor’s record on mine safety and rights for victims’ families. “Gov. Ernie Fletcher has disrespected our families and has not […]

October 30, 2007 The Pump Handle 4Comment

Working a weekend shift has been particularly dangerous for West Virginia coal miners this year.  All seven coal-mining related fatalities in the State have occurred on weekend shifts.  The latest victim was Mr. Charles Jason Keeney, 34, who died on Sunday while working underground at the  Long Branch Energy’s Mine No. 23 in Boone County, WV.  The […]

October 30, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

We’ve been following the crescendo of stories illustrating the severe limitations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (here, here, and here): CPSC lacks the resources to test products adequately, it can’t levy hefty enough fines to deter corporate wrongdoing, and it can announce a recall only through a news release that it negotiates with the […]

October 22, 2007 The Pump Handle

Shawn Boone was only 33 years old in 2003 when he was fatally burned from several violent explosions at the Hayes Lemmerz plant in Huntington, Indiana.  The plant manufactured cast aluminum automotive wheels.  These firey blasts, which also severely burned two other workers, were fueled by aluminum dust which had accumulated in the plant.  That same year, chemical dust-fueled explosions at CTA Acoustics in […]

October 9, 2007 The Pump Handle

What do three women made widows by three fatal Kentucky coal mining accidents have in common with two others left behind in the 2006 airline crash? “I am a widow.  I am a single parent.  I’m an advocate for anyone suffering because they were robbed of their spouse due to ineptitude and/or negligence,”