June 5, 2008 The Pump Handle

Set your wristwatch alarms or your VCR for this Sunday (June 7) at 7:00 pm (EST) to watch CBS’s 60 Minutes and a hard-hitting story on OSHA and its failure to protect workers and communities from combustible dust explosions.  CBS’s correspondent Scott Pelley  interviews Carolyn Merritt (former Member of the US Chemical Safety Board), Tammy Miser (whose brother Shawn was killed […]

March 7, 2008 The Pump Handle 9Comment

The scene was an icy morning in western Maryland, along the Garrett County and Allegany County lines.  Mr. Dwight Samuel Colmer, 41, a truck driver with Western Maryland Lumber Company was hauling a load of coal just before 11:00 AM when his truck began to slide.  The State of Maryland’s “Motor Vehicle Accident Report” says: […]

March 3, 2008 The Pump Handle 2Comment

OSHA’s Assistant Secretary Edwin Foulke is expected to travel to Port Wentworth, Georgia today, more than 3 weeks after a horrific combustible dust explosion at Imperial Sugar took 12 workers’ lives.  Another 11 workers remain in critical condition at a burn treatment center in Augusta.  Apparently, pressure from Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Senator Johnny Isakson […]

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 […]

September 11, 2007 The Pump Handle 2Comment

By David Michaels It is time for Congress to enlist the nation’s science and policy experts to help develop a federal workers’ compensation program for 9/11 rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers. The inadequacy of state worker programs led Congress to legislate special compensation programs for uranium miners, and civilian workers in nuclear weapons facilities. We […]

July 10, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

If you have a job, do you know who your employer is? The answer isn’t always straightforward, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández points out in a recent Boston College Third World Law Journal article, and the implications can be profound. In “Feeble, Circular, and Unpredictable: OSHA’s Failure to Protect Temporary Workers,” García details the disadvantages temporary […]

May 21, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

The sub-headline in Andrew Wolfson’s story tells it all about the perils of workers’ compensation for injured and ill workers: “It’s either meager benefits or nearly impossible suit.”  The Louisville-Courier Journal reporter’s May 19 article describes both the physical and economic challenges faced by William D. “Billy” Parker, who lost both arms four months ago in a drywall shedding […]

March 8, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

by Les Boden For the past several years, Nevada employers and insurers could avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits to workers who had positive drug tests. According to an article in Occupational Hazards, this led to the denial of 10%-12% of claims filed in Nevada. But there’s a loophole that the Nevada legislature is considering closing. […]