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On eve of Richmond refinery fire anniversary, Chevron pleads no contest to labor charges

One year ago today, a pipe that was badly thinned by corrosion leaked gas and then burst at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif., igniting a fire that nearly engulfed 19 workers and sent a plume of smoke through the region. An additional 15,000 people went to hospitals complaining of breathing problems. The fire burned for more than a day and could be seen more than 35 miles away.

Cal/OSHA issued a $1 million fine to Chevron in the wake of the explosion, but the company is appealing.

First they came…

First they came for the progressives. But there were lots of progressives, so I said nothing.

Then they came for the unions. And I was not a union, so I said nothing.

Then they came for the worker centers- and it started getting a little close to home.

The anti-worker sentiment from groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is nothing new for us. We have stood against the Chamber before, and we will do it again.

Media Hit: In These Times highlights our call for President Obama to do more on chemical safety

In These Times: Obama Issues Much-Needed Executive Order on Chemical Safety – But Is It Enough?  – 8/1/13

Health care workers suffer most injuries on the job, Public Citizen report finds

When you think of the industry with the highest number of workplace injuries, you may be picturing oil fields, manufacturing plants, or farmlands. You might be surprised to learn that, in fact, health care workers suffer more injuries on the job than workers in any other sector.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board to hold public meeting on recommendations

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is holding a public meeting on July 25 to discuss exclusively whether its recommendations have been successfully implemented, such as with several important recommendations made to OSHA. This is also the first time that the Board will consider selecting issues as “Most Wanted Safety Improvements,” such as an industry standard to prevent combustible dust explosions and fires. In a political atmosphere where movement on new safety standards is slow (to say the least), prioritizing which rules to push for may be a more strategic move.

Retailers are closer to implementing safety plan in Bangladesh’s garment factories

A worker health and safety provision beating its deadline for implementation? That almost never happens.

Workers’ Safety News Roundup: Supreme Court rulings, Chemical Safety Board findings, Bangladesh trade status, Shelanski confirmation

It’s been a big news week when it comes to workers’ rights, health and safety. Here’s a quick roundup.

1. We wrote earlier this week about recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that make it harder for employees to prove on-the-job discrimination. Catch up here.  

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.  


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