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COSH Network News 2014

 

December, 2014

New Jersey Record: Opinion: Time for gubernatorial action on the oil trains -- 12/26/2014

Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey state Senate majority leader,and the Rev. Fletcher Harper, president-elect of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, on the failure of the State Emergency Response Commission to ensure that counties and municipalities provide public access to Emergency Response Plans, as required by law.

OH&S: Senate Confirms NHTSA Administrator, Two Chemical Safety Board Members --12/17/2014

New Jersey Work Environment Council founder and director Richard J. Engler is approved by the U.S. Senate to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. His appointment had languished since January 2014.

The New Jersey Record: Groups concerned about crude oil on railways seek access to emergency plans -- 12/10/2014

Labor and environmental groups on Tuesday called on the Christie administration to ensure that the public can review local emergency management plans, a concern because large quantities of volatile crude oil are being transported on railways through towns in Bergen County and elsewhere in New Jersey.

Without having access to the plans, residents who live close to the railways or plants that store hazardous material do not know if emergency officials have taken into account the latest safety threats such as the increase in oil trains, said Rick Engler, director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, an advocacy group.

NJ Spotlight: State Policy on Emergency Response Puts Resident in Harm's Way, Report Says -- 12/10/2014

The Christie administration is failing to ensure the public has access to up-to-date emergency response plans for nearly a hundred facilities handling extremely hazardous chemicals, according to a labor and environmental organization.

A report issued yesterday by the New Jersey Work Environment Council argued that many local communities and counties fail to allow residents to see emergency response plans that address what to do in the event of a spill or other release from these facilities -- a failure that is in violation of federal law and could be dangerous to them and to emergency responders.

The New Republic: Obama's Immigration Plan Is a Game Changer for Undocumented Construction Workers -- 12/7/2014

...In some ways the rise of the open shop has benefitted undocumented immigrants, who are often the first choice for contractors looking for cheap labor. But employers who hire the cheapest labor available often also try to cut costs by skipping safety training and equipment, explained Charlene Obernauer, director of the advocacy group New York Center for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH).

Staten Island Live: Vigil, rally held for construction worker killed during unpermitted Dana Ford Lincoln demolition -- 12/6/2014

Luzdary Giraldo, a safety and health specialist at the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health, said construction companies routinely exploit immigrant workers doing dangerous jobs.

"They know because of their immigration status that they're afraid to speak up," she said. "They also know Latino workers undertake the most dangerous job without questioning their rights."

October, 2014

USA Today: Nurses face obstacles on front lines against Ebola --10/23/2014

In the fight against Ebola, nurses are on the front lines, risking their own health to care for others. Now they want hospitals to have their backs.

With two U.S. nurses already stricken, several nursing groups and safety advocates argue that the risk at hospitals across the USA is higher than necessary because of widespread problems with preparedness training, infection control gear, workplace culture and nurse staffing levels.

The threat of Ebola lays bare these larger issues while underscoring the overall danger of working in health care.

New York Daily News: NY Committee for Occupational Safety and Health: Set Ebola training standards --10/22/2014

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health has sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo calling for set training and standards to deal with a potential outbreak of the Ebola virus in New York.

The union-backed nonprofit, which is dedicated to workplace safety, said any training needs to include airport workers and educational staff to be truly effective.

Louisville Courier-Journal: Nurses: On the front line against Ebola --10/21/2014

...Still, OSHA inspected only 138 of more than 5,000 U.S. hospitals in 2011, with state safety agencies inspecting an additional 233, according to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, a Massachusetts-based coalition of worker safety advocates.

"In some respects, the Ebola outbreak has highlighted the need to have better safety programs in place in hospitals," said Mary Vogel, executive director for the coalition. "Ebola is one example of where they're falling short."

Politico: OSHA Budget Hurts Ebola Response -- 10/17/2014

...In FY 2011, federal-level OSHA inspected only 138 hospitals, and state-level OSHA agencies inspected only 233 hospitals. “Ebola is just one example of an infectious disease that a health care worker can contract,” says National Council for Occupational and Safety Health Executive Director Mary Vogel. “This is always a risk in the healthcare industry.”

EHS Today: Ebola Outbreak Shows Need for Stronger Protection for Health Care Workers -- 10/17/2014

Reports that a second Dallas hospital worker has been infected with the Ebola virus show the need for stronger and more comprehensive on-the-job protections for health care workers, says Mary Vogel, executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health..

NBC News 4, New York: What Tri-State Agencies Are Doing to Prepare for Ebola -- 10/17/2014

...The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health along with state nursing unions and organizations issued two fact sheets about the virus and are urging employers to educate workers on Ebola.

The Nation: If Airport Ebola Screening Makes You Feel Safer, You Should Know What Workers Are Saying -- 10/12/2014

...The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) recently surveyed workers at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports and found that workers suffered regular exposure to toxic chemicals, unsafe working conditions and insufficient protective equipment and training. Airline terminal and cabin cleaners, along with wheelchair attendants who aid passengers with disabilities, often come into direct contact with bodily fluids and waste and chemical irritants, without adequate safety protection or training.

New York Times: Injury Statistics by Race Go Uncollected -- 10/9/2014

A February 2013 study by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in recent years, Hispanics have been more likely to die on the job than other racial groups. Foreign-born workers, who are less familiar with English and American safety guidelines, are particularly vulnerable, the study found.

“We certainly believe that Hispanics and Latinos suffer injuries at higher rates than white workers,” said Mary Vogel, executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. (This article concurrently appeared in The Texas Tribune.)

Huffington Post: Airplane Cleaners Strike At LaGuardia Airport Over Ebola Fears -- 10/9/2014

...The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, a worker advocacy group, recently released a report that was critical of working conditions at LaGuardia and JFK airports. An SEIU release Thursday said Air Serv cabin cleaners have filed complaints with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

New York Amsterdam News: Airport workers to address Ebola concerns -- 10/9/2014

...There are more than 8,600 subcontracted service workers at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health conducted interviews with subcontracted ground crew workers, and according to a new report released by the Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, hazardous exposure to bodily fluids, blood borne pathogens, unlabeled chemical cleaners, diesel emissions, temperature extremes and loud noises have all put contracted airport workers at risk.

Washington Post: Why are more Latinos dying on the job again? - 10/7/2014

...Injuries often go under-reported, especially among Latinos...

Instead, safety wonks focus on deaths, which are gathered through news reports and investigations, and are believed to be more or less comprehensive. “Plainly put,” says Mary Vogel, executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, a coalition of non-profit groups that work on worker safety, “it’s harder to hide a dead worker.”

ISHN: National COSH recognizes Health and Safety award winners -- 10/7/2014

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) says the the winners of its 2014 health and safety awards are “extraordinary people” who are helping to make workplaces safer by empowering workers and building coalitions.

ISHN: Report: NY airport workers face serious health, safety hazards -- 10/6/2014

Hazardous exposure to bodily fluids, bloodborne pathogens, unlabeled chemical cleaners, diesel emissions, temperature extremes and ear-splitting noise has put contracted airport workers at risk, according to a report by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH). The report confirmed the many dangerous, yet preventable, working conditions that workers at JFK and LaGuardia airports have complained about for years.

"In our interviews with contracted out airport workers we found that unsafe working conditions are pervasive at JFK and LaGuardia airports," said Charlene Obernauer, NYCOSH Executive Director. "These hazardous conditions are preventable, and contractors, airlines and airports should make it a priority to eliminate these risks for workers and passengers alike."

September, 2014

CBS 2 News, New York: City Official Joins Public Advocate Letitia James In Call For Better Safety For Nail Salon Workers -- 9/20/2014

...Charlene Obernauer, who heads the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, said the state’s 5,000 nail salons use a toxic cocktail of chemicals, including “Formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen…and toluene, which causes reproductive and nervous system problems.”

AllGov: Fewer Workers Die on the Job…Except Latinos - 9/16/2014

“It’s a growing problem that temporary workers have injuries and fatalities higher than the rest of the population,” said Mary Vogel, executive director of the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health, told The Center for Public Integrity (CPI). “That’s one reason we have to be really concerned about contract workers: they’re continually changing jobs, so they’re more apt to be exposed to hazards that they’re not trained for. That’s a big piece of the problem: they don’t get the training.”

Occupational Health & Safety Magazine: National COSH Wins Harwood Grant - 9/12/2014

Funded entirely by the grant, the initiative will enable the national network of local committees on occupational safety and health to offer new and expanded training, provide technical assistance, and build capacity to reach at-risk workers. "Our goal is to reach out to America's most vulnerable workers," National COSH Executive Director Mary Vogel said. "OSHA has recognized the specific health and safety challenges faced by immigrant workers, low-literacy workers, young workers, temporary workers, and minorities. Our outreach will focus on overcoming barriers so that these workers have better access to the kind of training that saves lives and prevents injuries by creating healthy workplaces."

The Center for Public Integrity: Contractor, Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013, BLS says - 9/11/2014

“It’s a growing problem that temporary workers have injuries and fatalities higher than the rest of the population,” said Mary Vogel, executive director of the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health, a coalition of local and state worker safety groups. “That’s one reason we have to be really concerned about contract workers: they’re continually changing jobs, so they’re more apt to be exposed to hazards that they’re not trained for. That’s a big piece of the problem: they don’t get the training.”

Vogel also called for the BLS to release more detailed data on workplace fatalities, including the names of employers and the manner of death for the deceased workers. Having access to more comprehensive fatality information would help employers develop strategies to prevent workplace fatalities, she said.

August, 2014

Tonawanda News: Clean Air targets DuPont - 8/20/14

 TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Two local organizations called on the DuPont Yerkes plant in the town to improve its environmental controls and reduce its air emissions at a press conference Tuesday. 

 “Simply put, this is about protecting the health and well-being of Western New Yorkers,” said Liz Smith, of the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health. “We believe the investment to protect workers and the public from unnecessary exposure is worth it.”

WGAU-AM, Athens, Georgia: Mary Vogel interview on "NewsMakers with Tim Bryant" - 8/19/14

Tim Bryant interviews National COSH Executive Director Mary Vogel on the recently announced OSHA fine for the producers of the film "Midnight Rider," in the wake of the preventable death of cinematographer Sarah Jones. Interview on our Soundcloud page, and full program at WGAU.

ISHN: Georgia film tragedy shows need for tougher penalties, says group -- 8/18/14 

Last week’s decision by OSHA to cite the producers of “Midnight Rider” for willful and serious violations shows that tougher penalties are needed to prevent workplace deaths, according to the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH).

The Boston Globe: Temp workers, advocates lobby for better safeguards -- 8/7/14

...Marcy Goldstein Gelb, executive director of MassCOSH, a workers advocacy group, said her organization has suggested requiring temp agencies that transport workers to post information about their rights inside the vans.

“This is a very common and a growing thing,” Goldstein-Gelb said of workers unable to identify their employers. “In order for this law to fully work, we need to have those rights posted.”

Roll Call: The McDonald's Case: Matching Labor Law to Workplace Reality --8/6/14

National COSH Executive Director Mary Vogel writes in an opinion piece, "McDonald’s is now responsible for labor law violations committed in its restaurants — even if the store is owned by a franchisee."

July, 2014

San Jose Mercury News: Milpitas temps ask: Who's their real boss --7/15/14

National COSH Executive Director Mary Vogel writes in an opinion piece, "Who's your boss? For an increasing number of American workers, it's a hard question to answer. To cut costs and avoid liability, more companies are hiring workers on a temporary or contract basis. More than 17 million people, 12 percent of the U.S. workforce, are now employed as temps, contract or freelance workers." 

KPCC (89.3): 'Midnight Rider' indictment: Sarah Jones' death highlights safety on the set challenges --7/3/14

"The entertainment industry is very similar to a lot of other kinds of jobs — like construction jobs — that are moving from one place to another," said Dooley, who serves on a national advisory board to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Dooley’s nonprofit, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, highlighted the death of Sarah Jones in its most recent annual report as an example of how common — and preventable — workplace fatalities are.

June, 2014

Newsworks: After recent wave of violence, Philly program aims to reduce workplace risks for teens --6/23/14

...{Damon} Walker, with the Philadelphia project on Occupational Safety and Health or PhilaPOSH, wonders what safety protocols were in place for checking deliveries and badges before any employee would unlock the station. He worries teen workers might not speak up.

"Teens are particularly vulnerable because, by nature, they're going to obey the people that are over them, whether it's a parent, teacher at school or supervisor on the job," said Walker.

The Boston Globe: Other states could learn from Mass. action to prevent hazards for floor workers --6/18/14

Letter to the editor from Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, Executive Director, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safetey and Health.

New Jersey Star-Ledger: NJ Supreme Court must protect employee whistleblower law, labor and consumer groups say  --6/10/14

TRENTON — New Jersey's "whistleblower" law enacted nearly 30 years ago to protect workers who have reported employer wrongdoing is under attack by corporations, according to a coalition of labor, consumer and community group leaders that have asked the state Supreme Court to strengthen it.

The Conscientious Employee Protection Act suffered a blow when a 2008 appellate court decision involving an employee from NJ Transit found that workers whose jobs require they act as compliance officers or "watchdogs" did not have protection against retaliation under the law, members of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, made up of 27 civic, union and consumer organizations, said today.

May, 2014

ProPublica and The Boston Globe: Hummus Maker Warned of ‘Extreme Safety Risk’ Before Temp Worker’s Death --5/21/14

...Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, a workers' advocacy group, said some employers view the risk of workplace- safety penalties as "just a cost of doing business."

"We know there are employers out there doing this cost-benefit analysis," Goldstein-Gelb said. "If you're having an employee do life-threatening work, risking being killed, to not ensure that essential life-saving measures are in place is effectively negligent. And it is reckless and unconscionable."

The Pump Handle (on ScienceBlogs): Is California keeping people safe at work? Labor advocates say no -- 5/14/14

...“We have great laws on the books that get completely ignored,” said Worksafe executive director Gail Bateson. For example, Bateson explained, California’s limits for occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals – many of which are more protective than federal regulations – are not being monitored or enforced. According to Worksafe’s Dying at Work in California report, an estimated 451,500 people were injured or became sick on the job in California in 2012, an increase of more than 10,000 since 2011.

April, 2014

The Daily Free Press (Boston University): Workers rights groups strive for safer workplaces after workplace death report - 4/30/14

"'None of the fatalities were a random never-happened-before, never-happen-again event,' said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director of MassCOSH. 'We’re seeing enough similarities between the fatalities that we know there are things that must be done to prevent them.'”

Huffington Post: From Shirtwaist to Bangladesh, What's Next? - 4/29/14

"...These disturbing incidents illustrate just how vulnerable our workers are to serious occupational hazards that result in injuries and death. A report by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that 'over 50,000 workers a year lose their lives to illnesses they contracted at work.' That adds up to 150 work-related deaths a day, costing the US economy an estimated $45.5 billion dollars a year. The same reports cites that '5,000 more [employees] die on their job site,' never again getting the chance to clock out and go home to their families.

GoLocalWorcester: Worcester Fire Fighters Dying at an Alarming Rate, Not From Fires - 4/29/14

"According to a report entitled 'Dying for Work in Massachusetts: The Loss of Life and Limb in Massachusetts Workplaces,' all three of Worcester’s reported deaths in 2013 were firefighters. Even more striking is that all three firefighters – as well as the nine total firefighters that died throughout Massachusetts – died because of work-related illnesses such as heart disease or cancer."

Casper Star-Tribune: Safety advocates call for increased fines, more inspectors as workplace safety deaths hit five-year high - 4/29/14

"...Dan Neal, executive director of the Equality State Policy Center, said higher fines and more inspectors are needed for Wyoming's numbers to improve. While the state has added inspectors, it still has only 13 people checking safety standards.  Seven of those are 'courtesy inspectors,' who are invited by employers to inspect their job sites and point out violations. Employers are not fined for being out of compliance in such instances and are instead required to correct the problem.

Higher fines are needed if real change is to be made in companies' behavior, Neal said. He likened the situation to a speeding ticket. Just as a person ticketed for speeding slows down afterward, higher fines change companies' behavior. Sinclair's refinery near Rawlins is an example, he said, noting that the Utah-based company has started working with the state after several hefty fines. The Equality State Policy Center released a report on the issue Monday to coincide with events in Cheyenne. 

Boston Herald: New union report claims deaths at work preventable - 4/28/14

“'Many of these fatalities could have been prevented with safety measures that are well known and essential,' said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, which published the report with the Massachusetts AFL-CIO."

The Patriot Ledger: Service, report to highlight workplace deaths - 4/28/14

"'This report looks at both the human element about those who lost their lives and also looks beyond the headlines, which often view fatalities on the job as freak accidents,' said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director for MassCOSH."

Univision Boston: Abogan por mayor seguridad y salud en lugares de trabajo - 4/28/14

La manifestación convocada por la organización MassCosh pretende llamar la atención legislativa sobre el número de accidente laborales relacionados con trabajadores.

Annenberg TV News: Workers Memorial Week - 4/28/14

"The Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) remembered workers who have died due to unsafe working conditions. This event Monday was part of Workers' Memorial Day, an international reminder of the deadly consequences of hazardous work conditions. Local residents held up photographs of loved ones who have been hurt or injured on the job."

The MetroWest Daily News: Memorial service shines light on workplace deaths - 4/28/14

"According to the “Dying for Work” report the AFL-CIO and MassCOSH released Sunday, the average fine imposed on a Massachusetts employer with OSHA violations resulting in a workplace death was $6,577 in 2013...

“'We need to pledge to redouble our efforts'” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director of MassCOSH, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health."

WBFO 88.7 (Buffalo NPR): Memorial event renews call for additional workplace safety guidelines - 4/28/14

"Laborers, community members and local officials commemorated the lives of workers who have died on the job from injury or illness Monday. Workers Memorial Day aims to shed light on existing on the job hazards.

"The event also calls upon elected officials and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to renew its promise of protecting workers. Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health or WNYCOSH Executive Director Germain Harnden says roughly 4,000 people die while on the job each year across the country. She says those death could have been prevented."

Wyoming Public Media: Workers Killed or Injured are Remembered - 4/28/14

"Worker safety advocates and family members gathered in Cheyenne Monday morning to commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day. The day remembers those who have been killed or injured while on the job. 

"Dan Neal with the Equality State Policy Center organized the event."

KGAB-AM 650: Workers Memorial Event Held Monday in Cheyenne - 4/28/14

A recent report issued by the Wyoming Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health recommends expanding OSHA’S enforcement capacity in Wyoming, adopting stricter rules to protect workers in the Oil and Gas industry and in construction from exposure to Silica dust, and jailing repeat violators of safety law. The report also calls on industry leaders to speak out for safer operations and to assure middle managers and all workers that safety comes first.

Public News Service: 35 Wyoming Workers Who Died on the Job Remembered Today - 4/28/14

A report released by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health makes the case that almost every death and illness could be prevented. Council deputy director Jessica Martinez said there are more than 50,000 fatalities, when long-term occupational illnesses are included.

"In workplaces across this country, workers continue to be exposed to well-known hazards that are poorly regulated and inadequately controlled - hazards like silica and explosion hazards, like combustible dust," Martinez warned. - See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-04-28/livable-wages-working-families/35-wyo-workers-who-died-on-the-job-remembered-today/a38932-1#sthash.2URg0eeU.dpuf

"...A report released by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health makes the case that almost every death and illness could be prevented. Council deputy director Jessica Martinez said there are more than 50,000 fatalities, when long-term occupational illnesses are included.

"'In workplaces across this country, workers continue to be exposed to well-known hazards that are poorly regulated and inadequately controlled - hazards like silica and explosion hazards, like combustible dust,' Martinez warned."

A recent report issued by the Wyoming Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health recommends expanding OSHA’S enforcement capacity in Wyoming, adopting stricter rules to protect workers in the Oil and Gas industry and in construction from exposure to Silica dust, and jailing repeat violators of safety law. The report also calls on industry leaders to speak out for safer operations and to assure middle managers and all workers that safety comes first.

Read More: Third Annual Worker's Memorial Event Held Monday | http://kgab.com/workers-memorial-event-held-monday-in-cheyenne/?trackback=tsmclip
A recent report issued by the Wyoming Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health recommends expanding OSHA’S enforcement capacity in Wyoming, adopting stricter rules to protect workers in the Oil and Gas industry and in construction from exposure to Silica dust, and jailing repeat violators of safety law. The report also calls on industry leaders to speak out for safer operations and to assure middle managers and all workers that safety comes first.

Read More: Third Annual Worker's Memorial Event Held Monday | http://kgab.com/workers-memorial-event-held-monday-in-cheyenne/?trackback=tsmclip

WAER 88.3, Syracuse Public Media: Limited Pay Just One Problem Facing Low-Wage Workers - 4/28/14

For low-wage workers in Syracuse… dangerous working conditions, high turnover and the inability to raise any concerns are part of their day-to-day life. SUNY Upstate's Occupational Health Clinical Center released a study Monday entitled 'Low-Wage Work in Syracuse: Worker Health in the New Economy.'"

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Film accident exposes safety weaknesses on the set -4/27/14

"Peter Dooley, a consultant for the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health, said OSHA tries but they are chronically understaffed and struggle to issue fines substantial enough to alter behavior.

"'At the day to day level, there is so much more that needs to be done to send a message,' Dooley said."

New York Daily News: Construction workers and their advocates say New York's Scaffold Law keeps jobsites safe and they want to see it preserved - 4/27/14

"Monday , just in time for International Workers Day, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) will release a report on construction workplace deaths in New York State. It analyzes the 196 occupational fatalities in 2012. The report’s purpose is to make the case for the preservation of the Scaffold Law as it exists."

The Boston Globe: Mass. jobs report urges tougher safety rules - 4/27/14

"Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, said many workplace deaths are preventable. She called for more stringent regulations.

“'When a worker dies, it’s often called a freak accident, meaning it has never happened before and is unlikely to happen again, so there’s no reason to investigate,' she said. 'But our report shows that there are patterns.'”

Knoxville News-Sentinel: Ceremony honors Knox area's fallen workers - 4/26/14

Report on Workers' Memorial Day Ceremony and release of "Tennessee Workers: Dying for a Job."

Philadelphia Inquirer: At memorial for workers, victims of building collapse recalled - 4/26/14

"Barbara Rahke, director of PHILAPOSH, an umbrella labor organization that focuses on workplace safety issues, said the thrift-store tragedy was the 'center stone' connecting occupational issues with protecting the safety of the public."

South Coast Today: Fish worker advocates push for 'code of conduct' for SouthCoast companies - 4/25/14

"The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health will soon release its annual survey looking at workers killed on the job in Massachusetts in 2013. Nineteen percent of workers killed were immigrants, or nine of 48 total deaths. The average fine for an employer with OSHA violations resulting in a worker death was $6,577."

The Union Edge, Labor's Talk Radio: National COSH Deputy Director Jessica Martinez speaks to host Charles Showalter - 4/25/14

Discussion of Workers' Memorial Week and worker safety.

CNN en Español: Juan Carlos Lopez interviews National COSH Deputy Director Jessica Martinez - 4/24/14

Discussion of new National COSH "Preventable Deaths 2014" report, and the high fatality rate among Latino workers.

The Rick Smith Show: Interview with National COSH Consultant Peter Dooley - 4/24/14

Discussion of new National COSH "Preventable Deaths 2014" report, and how we can avoid deaths from falls, combustible dust, and other workplace hazards.

Arizona Daily Star: Higher penalties needed for unsafe workplaces, report says - 4/24/14

On the heels of revisions to Arizona’s occupational fall-protection standards, a national workplace safety report is calling for higher penalties for irresponsible employers and greater support for workers.

The report, released Wednesday by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, highlights the disproportionate fatality rate for Hispanic workers, with 4.2 deaths per 100,000 Hispanic workers, compared with 3.7 deaths per 100,000 for all U.S. workers...

InsideOSHAOnline: Advocacy group: Worker death estimates show need for action - 4/24/14

A major safety and health advocacy group is coming out this week with a report that estimates more than 50,000 U.S. workers die each year from occupational injuries and illnesses, saying it shows an urgency to take further action on protecting workers. The National Council on Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) says the report, "Preventable Death 2014," which was released in advance of Workers' Memorial Week, will combine data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on fatal workplace injuries with projections from peer-reviewed data on fatalities resulting from workplace illnesses such as cancer, respiratory, cardiovascular and renal disease...

The Hollywood Reporter: 'Midnight Rider': Sarah Jones' Death Was Preventable, Hairstylist Says - 4/23/14

Midnight Rider hairstylist Joyce Gilliard, who was injured by the same train that struck and killed camera assistant Sarah Jones, says she thinks the tragedy, which also left several other staffers injured, could have been prevented.

"This tragedy could have been prevented if safety preventions and protocols were met and people who were in charge made conscious decisions to ensure we were safe," she said, speaking as a safety advocate on a conference call to mark the release of a report about workplace deaths and how they can be prevented...

The Hollywood Reporter: 'Midnight Rider' Accident Highlighted in 'Preventable Deaths' Workplace Study - 4/23/14

Midnight Rider camera assistant Sarah Jones was just one of the more than 50,000 U.S. workers who died last year due to occupational injuries and illnesses, according to a report from the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health.

Jones' death is listed as one of seven case studies in the report "Preventable Deaths 2014," which argues that all of these fatalities could have been prevented, combining data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on fatal workplace injuries with protections from peer-reviewed data on fatalities resulting from workplace illnesses...

Safety + Health: National COSH: Workplace deaths 'a wake-up call' - 4/23/14

Most U.S. workplace deaths are preventable, and several approaches can be taken to reduce exposures to hazardous conditions, suggests a new report from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

Released April 23 in conjunction with Workers Memorial Week of Action, the report includes case studies of workers who died on the job during the past two years; an overview of the dangers of crystalline silica; and recommendations geared toward employers, federal OSHA and Congress on actions to help reduce workplace hazards...

WyoFile: Wyoming will remember its fallen workers - 4/22/14

"The ESPC’s Wyoming Coalition on Safety and Health (WYCOSH), which includes the AFL-CIO and other unions, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association and the Wyoming Association of Churches, recommends the Legislature increase state fines for serious safety violations and provide funds to hire more inspectors."

January, 2014

The Boston Globe: Worker centers pose a threat only to exploitative employers - 1/24/14

Letter to the Editor by Josefina Luna, President, MassCOSH Worker Center

AS PRESIDENT of a worker center in Boston, I was thrilled to see a reporter recognize the growing role that these centers play in protecting workers from wage theft, dangerous jobs, and other forms of labor abuse (“Worker advocacy groups gain clout, clash with businesses,” Business, Jan. 17). However, I was surprised to see that the reporter only quoted large business associations that criticized worker centers.

I’d like to offer another perspective. Helping workers to achieve their hard-earned wages and employment free from injuries and abuse is a threat to no one but an exploitative employer. As the state’s task force on the underground economy noted, stopping wage theft and workers’ compensation fraud levels the playing field for law-abiding employers and ensures that the state and federal government receives the taxes needed for essential services.

Counter to the claims of business associations, worker centers are nonprofit organizations and are required to keep diligent financial records, be independently audited, and report financial statements to the federal government.

The success of a business in a well-developed society doesn’t have to come at the cost of poverty caused by stolen wages and corrupt and exploitative practices.

In These Times: Mistakes of West, Texas Repeated In West Virginia - 1/16/14

“Nobody likes to hear, ‘I told you so,’ but in the case of last week’s chemical leak in West Virginia—responsible for hundreds of thousands of residents being left for days without access to clean water—it is impossible not to point fingers,” Tom O’Connor, executive director of the nonprofit National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, wrote in an email to Working In These Times as news of the chemical spill unfolded.

Safety + Health Magazine: Response workers need more protection from the next 9/11, report says - 1/2/14

The nation is not prepared to protect emergency response workers’ safety and health should another 9/11-scale disaster occur, according to a report from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.

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