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health and safety

New Miner Safety Initiative from MSHA

What Happened with the Rail Deal?

How to FIGHT for Cleaner Air in the Workplace

Bosses Fined for KILLING an Alabama Worker

By Union Jake and Adam Keller - Valley Labor Report, July 14, 2023

Shades of Fortunado Reyes and Louisiana-Pacific.

Biological hazards in the working environment

By staff - International Labour Organization, July 13, 2023

The ILO released a report Biological Hazards in the Working Environment in 2022. The report contains a survey which calls on governments to respond and to ensure that employers and trade unions in their countries also respond. The ILO is now circulating the survey directly to trade unions and employers to ensure that it gets more response.

The promotion of safe and healthy working environments has been a constant objective of the International Labour Organization (ILO) since it was founded in 1919. The ILO has adopted a significant body of international instruments and guidance documents to promote the safety and health of workers and assist constituents in strengthening their capacities to prevent and manage workplace hazards and risks.

An important step forward in this respect was taken during the 110th Session (2022) of the International Labour Conference when the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155), and the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187), were recognized as fundamental Conventions within the meaning of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. 1 Accordingly, all ILO Members, even if they have not ratified the Conventions in question, have now an obligation, arising from the very fact of membership in the Organization, to respect, to promote and to realize, in good faith and in accordance with the Constitution, the principles concerning the fundamental rights which are the subject of those Conventions.

Download a copy of this publication here (link).

Black Lung is Killing Miners Again, and Government is FINALLY Responding

Chemicals and climate change in the world of work: Impacts for occupational safety and health

By staff - International Labour Organization, July 5, 2023

Climate change has profound impacts on, and synergies with the world of work, especially regarding the sound management of chemicals. Many chemicals that are produced and utilized in the workplace can have impacts on the environment and climate, with climate change in turn impacting the ability to safely store, transport and use chemicals.Appropriate climate change adaptation and mitigation measures are needed as a matter of urgency.

The inclusion of a ‘safe and healthy working environment’ as an ILO fundamental principle and right atwork (FPRW) provides a framework for action to tackle emerging risks to workers from climate change,through a systems approach to managing occupational safety and health (OSH). Addressing harmful chemical exposures in the working environment through effective OSH policies and practices are a top priority for advancing climate change agendas and ensuring decent working conditions.

Download a copy of this publication here (link).

Texas Takes Away WATER BREAKS Amid Record Heat Wave

TCU National Representative Jason Cox at NTSB’s Investigative Hearing in East Palestine

Northeast Ohio Protestors Demand Justice for East Palestine

By x409232 - Industrial Worker, June 20, 2023

At about one o’clock on Saturday, March 11, at least 40 local residents and activists gathered in Lisbon, Ohio to demand justice for East Palestine. They focused their protest on rail giant Norfolk Southern and its role in the derailing of the train on Feb. 3, 2023.

The seat of Columbiana County, Lisbon is less than 20 miles from the now infamous East Palestine. The afternoon air was cold but not biting – typical March weather here in the Mahoning Valley. But the atmosphere was tense. 

People had joined together to show their anger at Norfolk Southern and determination to make them pay for damages. They held signs and distributed info about community actions to get more people involved. They also gave testimony for the news cameras.

I made my way from my home in Salem, just a 10 minute drive down State Route 45. The derailed train had first passed through our town, already on fire, on its way to its eventual wreckage site. It easily could have been my own family evacuating in February–a thought that has kept me up many nights since.

I parked and shuffled from my spot near Fox’s Pizza Den into the town square. There, protesters had already gathered, holding signs for passing traffic. “Make Norfolk Pay,” read one. “You break it, you buy it,” read another.

Railroad Workers United didn’t attend for fear of company retaliation, but sent a solidarity statement read by a DSA member. “Put power back in the hands of the workers!” cried one speaker. “Workers make the world run.”

Now often called Ohio’s Chernobyl, East Palestine previously led a quiet existence. But the town of 4,800 was thrown into disarray, and then despair, by February 3’s 150-railcar “mega-train” derailment. This industrial catastrophe doused the surrounding area with extremely hazardous chemicals. 20 railcars contained deadly compounds, including one million pounds of vinyl chloride.

Residents around the town testified (and still do) of headaches, nose bleeds, dizzy spells, nausea, rashes, difficulty breathing, sore throats, and more. Norfolk Southern and the government specified a one mile hazard zone, but people 30 to 50 miles out–or more–are being affected. According to testimonies at the solidarity action in Lisbon, Norfolk Southern’s “clinic” staff and state officials have told sick residents that these symptoms are “all in their heads.” (Yet CDC inspectors have also fallen sick with the same symptoms. So much for that!)

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