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Another NYC Sanitation Worker Dies on the Job

Stephen Dixon, a 61 year old sanitation worker in Queens, died of a heart attack on the job this morning, according to the New York Times. He is the eighth NYC sanitation worker to die on the job in the past six years.

Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, Local 831 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was quoted in the Times as pointing to several sanitation workers who had been killed in job accidents in recent years:

Fall Hazards=Big Fines

OSHA has hit two construction employers with big fines in the last couple days for fall hazards. A case in Miami of a roofer who fell 40 feet to his death resulted in a fine of $54,100 levied against Southern Certified, Inc. Roofer Jose Espinales reportedly tripped and fell over a ledge to his death. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that, unbelievably, "after Espinales' death, the company continued to let other employees work on the same roof without proper fall protection, according to OSHA's report." (!) What were they thinking???

Carwash Workers Win Health and Safety Battle

A group of carwash workers who had received training and assistance with workplace health and safety issues from Southern California COSH and other members of the Community-Labor-Environmental Action Network, succeeded in getting CAL-OSHA's attention to their concerns. The agency issued issued $18,890 in citations for health and safety violations against the owners of Auto Spa Express Car Wash. The case proves the value of community-based worker training on workers' rights to OSHA protections.

Read more here.

Former Inspectors Allege Fraud at MN OSHA

Former Inspectors Allege Fraudulent Actions by MN OSHA Program: Citations against "Star" Companies Discouraged

Whistleblowers Win Cases

Advocates for worker health and safety have been arguing for years that workers' rights to file OSHA complaints without fear of retaliation need strengthening. "Whistleblower" complaints from workers who have been fired, demoted, or harassed after filing OSHA complaints often lead to years-long investigations without resolution or restitution for the victim. But a former employee of Able Linen Service in Auburn, NY and a welder employed by Union Pacific Railroad Co. proved that it's not impossible to get justice under the whistleblower law.

Two big OSHA fines for Trenching Violations

In the 5th century B.C., Herodotus described methods for preventing deaths due to trench collapses in the Persian Wars, yet American workers continue to die every year as a result of inadequately protected trenches and excavations. OSHA put employers recently that it is taking this problem very seriously.

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