Category Archives: 2018 USA

USA: Workers’ Memorial Week – Love, support and standing up for safety – report and pictures

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) federation reported events from all over the U.S. and around the globe, 2018 was another amazing Workers’ Memorial Week.

Check out  their  blog at NationalCOSH.org for a wrap-up of just a few of the vigils, memorials, rallies and other events that took place in churches, synagogues, City Council chambers and other locations from Maine to California – and many points in between.

 

Death on the Job USA: 400,000 deaths since 1970, only 93 criminal safety prosecutions

Death on the Job USA: 400,000 deaths since 1970, only 93 criminal safety prosecutions. AFL-CIO 

USA: One California worker is killed every day

 

Worksafe Releases Report for Workers Memorial Day 2018

Link to report: http://bit.ly/DyingAtWork2018

OAKLAND, April 27, 2018 – 376 workers were killed on the job in California in 2016, approximately one per day. This and other findings are included in a report released today by Worksafe, an Oakland-based worker health and safety organization, to commemorate Workers Memorial Day 2018, an international day of remembrance for workers who have been killed and injured at work.

“We need stronger laws, more robust enforcement, and genuine worker participation to reach the goal of zero worker deaths,” says Worksafe Managing Attorney, Jora Trang. “California’s historic role as a worker health and safety innovator is more important than ever given the Trump Administration’s anti-regulation agenda and anti-immigrant policies.”

Dying at Work in California is Worksafe’s 7th annual report on the state of safety and health protections for California workers. The report provides information on fatalities from 2016 and highlights four special issue areas: workplace violence, temporary workers, wildfire response and relief,  and immigrant workers. It also includes a partial list of workers who died at work in 2017 as well as a profiles of several of these workers.

The report shows that while nationally, worker fatalities are higher than they have been in nearly a decade, California has one of the lowest occupational fatality rates in the country.  California’s occupational fatality rate is 2.2 deaths per 100,000 workers, which is below the national average of 3.6 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers. The report cautions, however, that occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities are chronically undercounted due to employer failure to document injuries, workers not reporting injuries due to fear of retaliation, and the failure to include injuries and illnesses that develop over time.

Alarmingly, workplace violence is the second-leading cause of workplace death in California, accounting for 20 percent of all workplace deaths. 46 of these 77 deaths were homicides and 25 were suicides.

The issue of workplace violence will be highlighted at a Workers Memorial Day Event where the report will be launched. The event will be held in downtown Oakland at the Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th Street, Room 4/5 on Friday, April 27th at 12:00pm. Speakers from Cal/OSHA and OSHA, labor organizations, and community groups will share current efforts to protect workers and their families from gun violence and physical assaults, as well as sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Transportation, material moving occupations, and construction and extraction occupations continue to be the most dangerous jobs with more fatalities than other occupations with 109 transportation workers killed and 54 construction workers killed in 2016. Latinx workers continue to be at high risk for workplace death. In 2016, 148 Latinx workers were killed on the job, making up 39 percent of total fatalities.

Nationwide, 14 people are killed on the job each day and worker fatalities are higher than they have been in nearly a decade with an alarming number of Latinx and immigrant worker deaths.

For more information, contact:

Jora Trang, Managing Attorney, Worksafe

jtrang@worksafe.org | 510.922.8719

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Worksafe is a California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting people from job-related hazards and empowering them to advocate for the right to a safe and healthy workplace. For more information, visit www.worksafe.org.

USA: For 28 April National COSH Announces “Dirty Dozen” Employers

National COSH Announces “Dirty Dozen” Employers Who Put Workers and Communities at Risk with Unsafe Practices

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) announced today“The Dirty Dozen” employers of 2018, highlighting companies that put workers and communities at risk due to unsafe practices. The Dirty Dozen 2018 report is released in observance of Workers’ Memorial Week, honoring workers who lost their lives on the job, as well as those who have suffered workplace injuries and illnesses.

“It’s heartbreaking to see workers lose their lives when we know these tragedies could have been prevented,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of National COSH. “Time and again, employers are warned about unsafe conditions. When companies fail to correct safety hazards, it is workers who pay the ultimate price.”

The “Dirty Dozen” for 2018 are:

Amazon – Seattle, Washington: Seven workers killed at Amazon warehouses since 2013 – including three workers within five weeks at three separate locations in 2017.

Case Farms – Troutman, North Carolina: 74 OSHA violations per 1,000 employees – more than four times higher than any other poultry firm.

Dine Brands Global, Inc. (IHOP and Applebee’s) – Glendale, California: Demands for sex, groping, threats of violence against workers. More than 60 complaints about sexual and harassment and abuse.

JK Excavating – Mason, Ohio: 25-year-old Zachary Hess, buried alive in December 2017. The company was previously cited three times by OSHA for failure to protect workers from trench collapse.

Lowe’s Home Improvement – Mooresville, North Carolina: 56 U.S. deaths are linked to exposure to paint strippers containing methylene chloride, including 17 workers who died while refinishing bathtubs. The retail giant still sells products with this deadly substance, despite appeals from workers, consumers and families.

Lynnway Auto Auction – Billerica, Massachusetts: Five dead in preventable auto crash – including a 37-year-old mom working her first day on the job. Lynnway was cited by OSHA and warned of vehicle safety hazards in 2014.

New York and Atlantic Railway – New York, New York: Workers suffer amputation, brain injury and impaired vision. Immigrants workers face racial slurs and other discrimination, and do not have proper safety training or equipment.

Patterson UTI Energy – Houston, Texas: Five workers dead in an explosion in Quinton, Oklahoma. 110 OSHA violations and 13 workers dead in the past decade.

Sarbanand Farms – Sumas, Washington: Farm worker dies after complaining of headaches. 70 co-workers go on strike to protest unsafe conditions and are immediately fired, then evicted from company housing.

Tesla Motors – Fremont, California: Recordable injuries are 31% higher than industry average; serious injuries are 83% higher. Company claims recent improvement in injury rates, but CAL/OSHA now investigating reports that the company failed to report serious injuries.

Verla International – New Windsor, New York: Explosion kills a worker at cosmetics plant. Company previously cited for poor handling of chemicals that led to deadly blaze; safety consultant says disaster was “easily preventable.”

Waste Management – Houston, Texas: 23-year-old worker killed at a recycling facility. Company failed to lockout/tagout machinery during repairs.

“My brother didn’t need to die, and we don’t want to see this kind of tragedy happen to other families,” said Brian Wynne. Brian’s brother Drew, who owned a coffee roasting business, died from exposure to methylene chloride that was contained in a Goof Off paint stripping product he purchased at Lowe’s.

The Wynne family has joined a campaign to convince the giant retailer to stop selling products containing methylene chloride, which is linked to more than 50 deaths and can be toxic in very small doses. “We’ve been meeting with members of Congress, senators and anyone who will listen,” said Brian Wynne. “We will leave no stone unturned.”

“Workers at Tesla have been speaking up about health and safety concerns for over a year,” said Jonathan Galescu, a worker at the company’s Fremont, California assembly plant. “We’re making clean cars – we shouldn’t have to put up with dirty jobs. Too many workers are getting hurt and management seems to be trying to sweep the problem under the rug.”

Reports in May and December 2017 from Worksafe, a National COSH affiliate based in Oakland, documented recordable and serious injury rates at Tesla much higher than average for the automotive industry.  Based on recent reports from RevealNews.org, CAL/OSHA is investigating whether Tesla is failing to record serious injuries that occur inside its manufacturing plant.

Data presented in the National COSH “Dirty Dozen” report show that workplace deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. According to the latest information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,190 deaths from workplace trauma in 2016, an increase of seven percent from 2015 and a 12 percent increase since 2012.

The budget for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has declined by 12 percent since 2012 and the agency has 132 fewer employees.

OSHA and other safety agencies, including the National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), were targeted for further budget cuts in FY 2018, along with the elimination of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and Susan Harwood Training grants. Harwood grants assist unions, COSH groups, employer associations and other non-profits in providing training to vulnerable workers.

Worker and their unions, COSH groups, worker centers and safety advocates carried out a sustained outreach effort to members of Congress and convinced a bipartisan majority to avoid dangerous cutbacks in programs that protect workers and families.

“We need more resources for research, training and enforcement, not less,” said Goldstein-Gelb. “Otherwise, employers like the Dirty Dozen get the message that it’s okay to cut corners on workplace safety. It’s not okay– ever – when a worker doesn’t come home to his or her family.”

The “Dirty Dozen 2018” report is available on the National COSH website here. Workers’ Memorial Week infographics are available in English and Spanish here.

Workers’ Memorial Week is a global event to honor workers who lost their lives on the job and their families, as well as recognize those who suffer from occupational injuries and illnesses. In the United States, dozens of activities in 35 states will remember fallen workers. A listing of events is available on the National COSH website.

USA: AFL-CIO 2018 Death on the Job report and social media kit released – 28 April

The AFL-CIO has released the annual (2018) Death on the Job report was released . https://aflcio.org/dotj The press release is below.

A social media kit with infographics to accompany the report  can be accessed here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       

Contact: Carolyn Bobb, 202-637-5018 or cbobb@aflcio.org                   

“A National Crisis”: New AFL-CIO Report Reveals 150 Daily U.S. Worker Deaths in 2016

View Report here: https://aflcio.org/dotj

(Washington, D.C., April 26, 2018) – According to a report released today by the AFL-CIO, 5,190 American workers died on the job in 2016, an increase from 4,836 deaths the previous year. Another estimated 50,000 to 60,000 died from occupational diseases, meaning approximately 150 workers died on the job each day from preventable, hazardous workplace conditions. Overall, the national job fatality rate increased to 3.6 per 100,000 workers from 3.4 in 2015.

“We deserve to walk out the front door in the morning knowing we’ll return home safe and healthy after a full day’s work,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA). “It’s a travesty that working people continue to lose their lives to corporate greed. The selfish and reckless decisions being made in boardrooms and in Washington are killing the very people who built this country. This is officially a national crisis, and it’s only getting worse.”

The report, titled “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” marks the 27th year the AFL-CIO has produced its findings on the state of safety and health protections for workers within the United States. The report shows the highest workplace fatality rates are in Wyoming (12.3 per 100,000 workers), Alaska (10.6), Montana (7.9), South Dakota (7.5) and North Dakota (7.0).

Startlingly, workplace violence is now the second-leading cause of workplace death, accounting for 866 workplace deaths, including 500 homicides. Yet, even as deadly violence increases in the workplace, the Trump administration has sidelined a proposed OSHA workplace violence standard.

Other report highlights show that the construction, transportation and agriculture industries remain among the most dangerous. In 2016, 991 construction workers were killed—the highest total of any sector. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting was the most dangerous industry sector, with a fatality rate of 23.2 per 100,000 workers.

Despite these alarming findings, OSHA continues to face a desperate dearth of resources. Responsible for regulating 9 million workplaces, the agency’s 764 federal inspectors would need 158 years to visit each site just once. Yet, the administration has continued to enact an aggressive deregulatory agenda, gutting safety rules and proposing deep cuts to worker safety and health training.

In one case, the administration is considering rolling back MSHA’s coal dust rule, even as NIOSH is warning of the largest cluster of black lung in coal miners seen in years. More than 400 cases of advanced progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) were reported from just three Appalachian clinics from 2013 to 2017.

USA: Fe y Justicia Worker Center, Houston – Worker Memorial Week: Day of Action Update

With our wonderful partners from AFL-CIO, Building Trades Union, Workers Defense Project, and LIUNA, we came to the Houston City Council meeting today to remind them of how unsafe conditions end in fatalities.

A couple highlights from the action: (1) As our executive director read the names of the workers who died in 2017, all city council members stood up, and (2) five council members said they were interested in taking action to stop more deaths through the Responsible Bidder Ordinance and further conversation with us.

Marianela Acuña Arreaza (she/her/ella)
Executive Director
1836 Sul Ross St, Suite 1
Houston, TX 77098
USA
marianela@houstonworkers.org
http://houstonworkers.org/

 

USA: Fe y Justicia Worker Center marks 28 April

Fe y Justicia Worker Center, Houston, Texas, USA

Con nuestros maravillosos socios de AFL-CIO, Building Trades Union, Workers Defense Project y LIUNA, asistimos a la reunión del Concejo Municipal de Houston hoy para recordarles cómo las condiciones inseguras acaban en muertes. 

Un par de momentos destacados de la acción: (1) Cuando nuestro director ejecutivo leyó los nombres de los trabajadores fallecidos en 2017, todos los concejales se pusieron de pie y (2) cinco consejales dijeron que estaban interesados en tomar medidas para detener más muertes a través de la Ordenanza del Ofertante Responsable y una conversación adicional con nosotros.

Marianela Acuña Arreaza (she/her/ella)
Executive Director
1836 Sul Ross St, Suite 1
Houston, TX 77098
marianela@houstonworkers.org
http://houstonworkers.org/

USA: Workers’ Memorial Day Toolkit is Available

Forwarded, from Peg Seminario, AFL-CIO, USA

Friends,

Workers Memorial Day, April 28, is just around the corner.  Events will be held in communities and workplaces across the country.  In addition, trade unionists around the globe are also observing Workers Memorial Day.

The theme of this year’s Workers Memorial Day is “Safe Jobs. Every Worker’s Right.” We are highlighting the progress made, the need to protect hard-won protections from threats and rollbacks and work still to be done.

To assist you with your planned events or activities, we have prepared a Workers Memorial Day Toolkit. It includes talking points, sample materials for media outreach, worker safety and health facts, state-by-state safety and health data and other information. It can be downloaded at:

https://aflcio.org/sites/default/files/2018-04/WMD%20Toolkit_2018_nobug.pdf.

Please take a minute to share your plans for Workers Memorial Day events, by going to the AFL-CIO website and posting your event.
https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/workers-memorial-day-2018?source=website.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at 202-637-5366 if you have questions or need further information.

Thank you!

​Peg Seminario​
Safety and Health Director
AFL-CIO
pseminario@aflcio.org
+1 202-637-5366

USA: USMWF plans series of 28 April billboards

April 28, 2018 is Workers’ Memorial Day and this year USMWF would like to honor and remember our fallen workers in a special way. But, USMWF cannot do this without your help! They are looking for multiple Sponsors to help rent billboards for one month being displayed in the following City/States. Omaha, Nebraska; Lincoln, Nebraska; Scottsbluff, Nebraska; Cadillac, Michigan; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Fort Worth, Texas; Lexington, KY; Akron, Indiana; Las Vegas, Nevada;

Please contact Tonya Ford at 402.326.3107 for availability and more information on how you can sponsor a billboard near you.  USMWF