Is California Keeping People Safe at Work? Labor Advocates Say No

by Elizabeth Grossman (originally posted on The Pump Handle on May 14, 2014)

In 2012, the most recent year for which US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures are available, 375 people died on the job in California  – an average occupational fatality rate of more than one person every day. At the same time, research by Worksafe and other California labor advocates shows that while California’s workforce has grown by about 22 percent in the last 20 years, the number of safety inspectors for the 17 million people employed in the state’s 1.34 million workplaces has decreased by about 11 percent. 

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Cruise Ship Passengers Deserve Safety Information

Cruise ships are among the most popular vacation destinations for American travelers, with an estimated 22 million passengers embarking this year. But a series of high-profile cruise ship incidents, at home and abroad, have heightened safety concerns among the public. 

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Court Rejects Industry's Legal Attack on EPA Soot Standard

In a victory for public health, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today rejected an industry challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2012 decision to strengthen the national air quality standard for particulate matter (PM), also known as soot.

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Supreme Court Upholds EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

In a 6-2 decision on April 29, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority under the Clean Air Act to implement a rule targeting air pollution that crosses state lines.

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In Remembrance: Workers Memorial Day 2014

April 28 is Worker’s Memorial Day, an international day for remembering workers who have been injured or killed as a result of on-the-job incidents or long-term occupational illnesses. On this day, we also celebrate the substantial progress made in protecting workers over the forty-plus years since the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was enacted and remember how critical it is to continue the important work of ensuring our workers' health and safety. 

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FDA to Regulate E-Cigarettes

Three years after first announcing plans to do so, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicated on April 24 that it would use the authority provided by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to regulate electronic cigarettes.

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Department of Labor Strengthens Mine Worker Protections in Fight Against Black Lung

On April 23, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced new rules limiting the amount of coal dust that miners can be exposed to. The new standards, effective Aug. 1, are aimed at eliminating black lung disease caused by exposure to high amounts of coal dust.

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Interactive Map: Students, Others at Risk from Hazardous Chemical Facilities

One in ten American schoolchildren study within one mile of a potentially dangerous chemical facility, according to the Center for Effective Government's latest interactive map, which we released yesterday. A year ago, the fertilizer facility explosion in West, TX, which destroyed one school and irreparably damaged two others, demonstrated the very real risk these facilities pose, especially to schools and students. Parents and community members need to better understand the risks these facilities pose and demand that facilities be as safe as possible.

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One Year after the West, Texas Explosion: Has Safety Improved?

A year ago today, 15 Americans were killed and 200 injured in a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas that also destroyed surrounding schools, a nursing home, and residential buildings. The disaster raised serious questions about managing the risks that facilities can pose to local communities. A year later, we ask ourselves, are we any safer?

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OIRA Makes Much-Needed Improvements to Online Meetings Database

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), within the White House Office of Management and Budget, recently updated its online database for disclosing meetings with non-government officials, such as lobbyists, trade associations, public interest groups, and other private stakeholders. 

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