Tag Archives: USA

USA: Worker health is public health

In the Covid-19 pandemic, worker health is public health – but worker safety and health is in crisis, a top US safety law expert has said. Debbie Berkowitz of the National Employment Law Project (NELP) said the US federal government “is failing to ensure the safety and health of workers – including those most at risk, health care workers. The government has also abandoned its role in keeping all other essential workers safe – those in supermarkets, delivery, warehouses, factories, public transportation and sanitation.”

But she added: “As the federal government walks away from its responsibility to protect workers in this crisis, unions and worker activism are helping to fill the vacuum.” Berkowitz noted that dangerous shortages of protective gear were being compounded by a lack of official oversight of working conditions. She criticised the lack of action by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “the government agency responsible for protecting worker’s health and safety on the job. In a sharp departure from previous pandemics and crises, OSHA is not conducting any Covid-19 enforcement—even for health care workers at risk.

This kind of ‘dereliction’ is unprecedented, she wrote, adding: “It’s the unions and an amazing exercise of worker power and activism that have come to the rescue.” The safety law expert concluded: “It is stunning for most of us to realise the weakness of the legal protections for worker safety and health. It is amazing to see the incredible efforts of the unions and rank and file workers – both unorganised and organised – to stand up and demand protections from employers.”

USA: USMWF will hold a Facebook live event to mark 28 April

The organisation Union Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF) has taken a creative approach to marking International Workers’ Memorial Day in the time of the Covid-19 outbreak.

On April 28, 2020 at 7pm cst  USMWF will host a Facebook LIVE event that you can watch from the safety of your own home.

The event will mark the USMWF’s First National Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremony.

USA: Workers’ Memorial Week resources from NationalCOSH

On February 26 the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health ( National COSH) hosted an informative webinar outlining resources available to ensure an engaging and powerful Workers’ Memorial Week (WMW). WMW webinar and PPT slides

National COSH has also produced a very comprehensive WMW Resource page.

You can submit  your own WMW event info via this link and National COSH will list your events and help you promote it.

National COSH Team
Jessica E. Martinez, MPH
Co-Executive Director
National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH)
www.coshnetwork.org
jessica@nationalcosh.org

USA: USW on The Leslie Marshall Show – Safety is every worker’s right

Ashlee Fitch from the USW’s Health, Safety and Environment department joined The Leslie Marshall Show to talk about Workers’ Memorial Day, as well as the rolling back of many critical Obama-era worker protections and the risk that places on America’s work force.

“A lot of workers’ rights have been coming under the microscope and coming under attack, and health and safety is no different,” Fitch said regarding the Trump administration’s slashing of OSHA staff and regulations.

“We fought for almost 40 years to even get a beryllium standard pushed through,” she said, “and once we did, the [Trump] administration quickly rolled back those protections for workers who are in the construction industry and in the maritime industry.”

Each year, 11,500 shipyard and construction workers, including Steelworkers at Newport News, Va., are exposed to beryllium, a toxic element laced through the coal waste often used in abrasive blasting grits. Beryllium inhalation has long been known to cause lung cancer and berylliosis, a debilitating and often fatal respiratory illness.

Workplace violence is also a major health and safety issue for all working people, but particularly health care workers, and the union is currently working in Washington to urge Congress to pass the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. The vital bill would issue an occupational safety and health standard that requires covered employers within the health care and social service industries to develop and implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan.

“When you look at the rates of violence against health care workers, the rates are 12 times higher than the overall work force,” Fitch said. “We saw this and recognized that we have a lot of things going on in our workplaces that don’t align with the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”

One of the hopes for the bill is that it will strengthen workers’ ability to report acts of violence they experience on the job, especially immigrant workers, who often fear punishment via harassment and even deportation.

Listen to the full Leslie Marshall interview on Soundcloud

https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2019/usw-on-the-leslie-marshall-show-safety-is-every-workers-right

USA: AFL-CIO releases yearly worker safety report – Death on the job

In recognition of Workers Memorial Day, the AFL-CIO has released its 2019 edition of “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” a national and state-by-state profile of worker safety and health in the United States.

In 2017, 5,147 workers lost their lives on the job as a result of traumatic injuries, according to fatality data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each day in this country, an average of 14 workers die because of job injuries—women and men who go to work, never to return home to their families and loved ones. This does not include those workers who die from occupational diseases, estimated to be 95,000 each year.

Violence is also a growing threat to workers’ safety, especially in the health care industry. Rates of violence against health care workers are reported to be up to 12 times higher than rates for the overall workforce.

The cost of these injuries and illnesses is enormous—estimated at $250 billion to $330 billion a year, according to the AFL-CIO report.

To access the entire report, click here.

2019 Death on the Jobs Report release video, AFL-CIO Latino

USW News release

USA: Laborers’ International Union of North American (Northwest region) 28 April message

Laborers’ International Union of North American North West Region has issued a video message to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day.  Facebook page

 

USA: MassCOSH – multiple activities to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day

MassCOSH has provided details of the multiple actions for International Workers’ Memorial Day activities held in Massachusetts.

No photo description available.

USA: Remembering the American workplace’s victims

Writing in Jacobin, Joe Allen says ” on Workers Memorial Day, we should remember that thousands die on the job every year — deaths made all the more tragic because they could have been prevented by bosses who valued workers’ lives.” Read the full story here

USA: The Dirty Dozen 2019 – Employers who put workers and communities at risk

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health  (National COSH) has published its Dirty Dozen 2019 report, which shines a spotlight on companies that egregiously put workers’ in harm’s way.

It is released in honor of Workers’ Memorial Week – joining countless others in remembering workers who have suffered injury, illness or death on the job.

National COSH has asked for help spreading the message and have asked reader to:

Further details National Council for Occupational Safety and Health

@NationalCOSH

USA: National COSH “¿Están los empleadores haciendo lo suficiente para prevenir las muertes en el lugar de trabajo?”

Semana de lxs Trabajadores Fallecidxs es un buen momento para preguntar: “¿Están los empleadores haciendo lo suficiente para prevenir las muertes en el lugar de trabajo?” La mayoría de las lesiones y muertes en el trabajo se pueden prevenir cuando los trabajadores pueden hablar sobre los peligros sin castigo. Podemos hacer más de 5,100 muertes por trauma y más de 95,000 muertes por enfermedad ocupacional.

http://coshnetwork.org/workers-memorial-week-events-2019

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