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Signs of change in Obama’s State of the Union address

Now safely in his second term, the whole country – National COSH included – seems to be studying President Barack Obama to see signs of whether he’s changed and what that means for the remainder of his tenure. And tonight, during his State of the Union address, we’ll get a peek at Obama’s post-election priorities. 

As we hit two years of silica rule at OIRA, what will you do?

There are a couple more great stories and blog posts to highlight today on the silica rule.

The AFL-CIO's Peg Seminario was featured in an NPR story this morning about the delay in the silica rule and the countless workers who are affected in the meantime.

New findings show us how to reduce silica exposure as we wait for White House to act

Photo by www.EarlDotter.comAs we wait for the Obama administration to issue a standard to protect American workers from exposure to dangerous levels of silica dust on the job (

20th anniversary of FMLA

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which gives workers time off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, sick relative, or their own illness. At the time, FMLA was a groundbreaking provision that protected workers who needed to attend to family or medical needs from losing their jobs. Today, it's time for an update. 

We, the People need to stop on-the-job silica exposure

Silica dust. You may not have heard from it, but you likely know someone affected by exposure to it, which can lead to silicosis, lung cancer, and other debilitating diseases.

Workers can be exposed to dangerous levels of silica dust through cutting, drilling, grinding, or otherwise disturbing material that might contain silica, such as during construction jobs.

Record fines for Chevron's refinery fire at the same time company brings in record profits

Money has been slipping through Chevron’s fingers, it seems, as it continues to pay for an August fire in Richmond, Calif., that sent hydrocarbons and black smoke through surrounding cities and jeopardized the lives of workers and community members alike.

Massachusetts grants temp workers unprecedented "right to know" in new law

Yesterday, I wrote about a number of ways to improve health and safety for temp workers, but I omitted an important -- and timely -- one. 

A new Massachusetts law, the "Temporary Worker’s Right to Know Law," goes into effect today. 

How to improve health and safety for contingent workers

A couple of great stories are out this week highlighting health and safety concerns of contingent workers, citing the Center for Progressive Reform’s excellent white paper, “At the Company’s Mercy: Protecting Contingent Workers from Unsafe Working Conditions.”

Kentucky miner faces a new low for employer retaliation

It was bad enough that Kentucky miner Reuben Shemwell was so concerned about safety at his worksite that he filed a safety discrimination complaint with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). But he quickly saw things go from bad to worse when his employer, an affiliate of Armstrong Coal, reached a new low in retaliation – the company sued the employee to intimidate him and future employees for reporting hazards.

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