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COSH Network in the News

January 2016

Truthout: US Building Boom Fuels Spike in Construction Worker Injury and Death -- 1/20/2016

...Charlene Obernauer, executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), agrees. "Real estate is the domestic product in New York City," she said. "In other places, they have corn or coal, but in New York City it's about the race to build the biggest, most profitable buildings." That said, Obernauer points out that construction workers and their advocates face additional obstacles. OSHA - the federal agency responsible for protecting worker health and safety - is severely understaffed, she told Truthout. In the Empire State alone, she said, "It would take the 113 inspectors employed by the agency 107 years to inspect each workplace one time."

EHS Today: Flint Workers on Safe Ground in Water Crisis -- 1/27/2016

...“We need to get to the bottom of what happened in Flint and find out why tens of thousands of people, including workers, have been exposed to contaminated water,” said Jessica Martinez, acting executive director of National COSH.

WBFO 88.7: Labor study highlights safety issues on construction sites -- 1/26/2016

Worker safety is at risk and there aren't enough inspections of job sites, especially construction job sites. That's the conclusion of a new report from the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health, an organization with strong alliances to local labor groups.

The report "Fatal Falls: The Downside of the Construction Boom" says the inspections which occur find safety problems. In the case of construction sites inspectors found violations in 83 percent of the sites.

Buffalo News: A call to safeguard Scaffold Law --1/25//2016

“OSHA lacks enough inspectors to do its job effectively, and the penalties don’t have enough impact on employers, said Liz Smith-Rossiter, WNYCOSH Worker Center project director.”

Time Warner Cable News: Study Reveals Poor Safety Records at Construction Sites Across Western New York -- 1/25/2016

The Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health released a study Monday, after analyzing visits to construction sites made by OSHA over a period of a year. The report says in 2014, inspectors found a violation in 83 percent of construction inspections in a 10-county area, including Buffalo and Rochester.

BNA Bloomberg: OSHA Poised to Pass on Combustible Dust in 2016  -- 1/11/2016

...Loss of life will continue to happen in the future without a comprehensive combustible dust standard, said Peter Dooley, president of LaborSafe and a safety and health project consultant for the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

Buffalo News: Questions amid mourning in Tonawanda Coke death -- 1/7/2016

...Local workplace safety experts said that there are supposed to be safeguards in place to prevent fatal occupational injuries.

“Most of the time, I would say almost all of the time, these accidents are very preventable,” said Germain R. Harnden, executive director of the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health. “I don’t know the reason why, but if the company took a shortcut or just didn’t have the proper safety precautions, these accidents happen very easily.”