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Grain bin operators' failure to protect workers is unconscionable

Looking back, 2013 may be known as the year of grain bin. First, NPR and the Center for Public Integrity launched an investigation into the grain bin industry and its high rates of fatalities. It found that OSHA fines resulting from employee deaths were often reduced and employers were rarely held accountable. 

Supreme Court makes it harder for employees to prove job discrimination

If the decks weren’t stacked enough against employees suffering from job discrimination, the U.S. Supreme Court just added insult to injury.

The high court weighed in yesterday on two cases regarding employer discrimination, and in both cases, the justices further shifted the burden onto the employee.

We agree: Red tape sure beats bloody bandages

The U.S. isn’t the only place facing a war on regulations and workers’ rights. Our friends across the pond in the U.K. are suffering an unprecedented assault on union and employment rights. And again, like in the States, it isn’t just big businesses decrying job-killing regulations; the U.K. government has made workplace health and safety the public target of its (so far pretty successful) attempt to erode basic protections, according to our ally, Rory O’Neill.

Nominee for Obama's regulatory czar grilled about life-saving protections, their costs

Howard Shelanski, the man tapped to be Obama's next regulatory czar -- or more formally, the head of the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) -- appeared before the U.S. Senate's Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

The agency is tasked with reviewing many regulations that would protect public health and safety. To our dismay, many of these critical rules, including a proposed rule that would protect workers from exposure to dangerous levels of silica dust on the job, have faced cumbersome delays.

Shelanski's views on regulations are largely unknown, and the Senate committee -- not to mention several advocacy groups -- wanted to find out where he stands. National COSH helped to live-tweet the Senate hearing (check out our Twitter feed for the latest). Below, check out blog posts recapping the events from our partners at the Center for Effective Government, Public Citizen, and the Center for Progressive Reform.

New report highlights governmental delays in issuing critical public protections

The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards today released a new report, “Down the Regulatory Rabbit Hole: How Corporate Influence, Judicial Review and a Lack of Transparency Delay Crucial Rules and Harm the Public,” which details how the failure to finalize rules harms the American people by compromising the safety of food, automobiles, workplaces and protections for investors.

So-called Victim of Government should look elsewhere for pity; business cited for unsafe working conditions

As part of his ongoing “Victims of Government” series, which spotlights ways that the big bad government spends money to keep its citizens safe, Sen. Ron Johnson last week introduced us to Catherine Engelbrecht, a wife, mother, community volunteer, and small business owner.

After another factory fire, Asian workers could use an injury and illness prevention standard. So could we

Another Asian factory made headlines this week as a fire at a Chinese poultry plant on Monday killed at least 119 people. Of course, this comes on the heels of the collapse of the garment factory in Rana Plaza, which killed 1,127 workers, as well as a fire at another Bangladeshi garment factory a week later, which took the lives of at least another eight workers. 

Obama administration must pressure Bangladeshi government to enact stronger worker protections immediately

As some retailers in the U.S. are calling for better working conditions in Bangladesh garment factories (and others opting out of aligned factory safety plans), government officials in the U.S. and Bangladesh alike are weighing their options.

Officials in the Bangladeshi Parliament have stated that they will work to improve safety in the country’s garment factories. But as U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) noted today on a telephone press conference, so far, no concrete actions have been taken to step up safety procedures. Instead, we have heard only lofty statements.

Young worker killed on third day on the job; we must demand adequate safety training at work

A 22-year-old man -- Christopher Michael Cantu -- was killed on the job yesterday in Corpus Christi, Texas, when a 2,600-pound metal tank fell on him. It was only his third day on the job.

Though the incident is still under investigation, we know that OSHA has fined Cantu’s employer, Coastal Plating Company, in the past few years.

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