Elana Schor, who’s been doing yeoman’s work on reporting about data in the BP oil disaster, published a new piece with Greenwire and the New York Times in which she reveals that OSHA and NIOSH have access to worker health data from BP and its coverup firm, CTEH, but are so far refusing to release the data.
|By: Michael Whitney Monday July 19, 2010 3:02 pm|
|By: Michael Whitney Monday July 19, 2010 11:38 am|
I want to take a moment here to reflect on the focus of literally hundreds of thousands of people in the country on the health and safety of BP’s recovery workers. Firedoglake has been on this since early June, as was NRDC. We joined with American Rights at Work, and 28,000 of our activists took [...]
|By: Michael Whitney Monday July 19, 2010 11:12 am|
Earlier this month, Rep. Carolyn Maloney – one of the members of Congress who fought to protect 9/11 cleanup workers, and who is continuing that advocacy for workers cleaning up BP’s oil disaster – called on OSHA to explain how it would enforce the government’s respirator guidelines. Maloney also pressed the agency in charge of worker health and safety for more details on how it’s protecting workers in the Gulf.
|By: Bruce H. Vail Monday July 12, 2010 4:45 pm|
Tomorrow afternoon, Congress will once again take up new legislative proposals to improve coal mine safety. After decades of repeated mining disasters, countless unnecessary deaths and injuries, and continual demands for remedial action, can Congress finally get mining safety legislation right? The outward signs are not encouraging.
|By: Michael Whitney Friday July 9, 2010 12:59 pm|
CTEH is the company contracted by BP to monitor air levels as they related to recovery worker safety in the Gulf of Mexico. The firm, which has a sordid history of covering up corporate environmental disasters, just released new data with BP yesterday that shows disturbing levels of toxic dispersants in 20% of offshore recovery workers and 15% of near-shore workers. But these just aren’t any toxic dispersants. It’s the same chemical blamed for chronic health problems in Exxon Valdez recovery workers that is now poisoning at least one-fifth of BP’s offshore recovery workers.
|By: Michael Whitney Thursday July 8, 2010 11:37 am|
Hundreds of workers in the Gulf Coast cleaning up BP’s oil disaster have reported symptoms of nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds, and headaches, but those “almost all have been heat related,” according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab.
Barab – a former worker health and safety blogger at Firedoglake and his blog, Confined Space – says that despite widespread assumptions that workers are sick from exposure to oil, “we haven’t really found that yet.”
|By: Michael Whitney Friday July 2, 2010 3:18 am|
The government command for the BP oil disaster announced last night its “interim guidance” for recovery worker health and safety, including the (limited) use of respirators. The report was actually released by OSHA and NIOSH, the CDC’s workplace safety group, almost one week ago.
These recommendations come after more than 28,000 people signed Firedoglake’s petition to BP & OSHA demanding workers have access to respirators.
|By: Michael Whitney Friday June 25, 2010 1:24 pm|
During Wednesday’s House hearing on health and safety for oil rig and cleanup workers, Doug Slitor, the director of MMS (the incompetent, scandal-plagued agency in charge of offshore drilling) let loose a remarkable piece of information that reveals the true extent to which MMS is bought and sold by Big Oil.
Slitor told Rep. George Miller that the rules that are supposed to protect the health and safety of oil rig workers were designed 15 years ago by the American Petroleum Institute – the industry and lobbying group for major oil and gas companies. The worst part? Even those regulations are considered “voluntary.”
|By: Michael Whitney Tuesday June 22, 2010 1:16 pm|
The Public Welfare Foundation released a poll this week on Americans’ attitudes on paid sick days and other workplace regulations. In the poll was something interesting as we consider the need to protect cleanup workers hired by BP to clean up the oil disaster in the Gulf. The poll showed that when asked which government workplace regulations were “very important,” a full 85% said that “workplace safety” was very important.
|By: Michael Whitney Thursday June 17, 2010 10:20 pm|
Some good news out of Congress about protecting workers involved in the BP oil disaster, as well as offshore oil workers. Rep. George Miller’s House Committee on Education and Labor will hold a hearing on oil worker safety on Wednesday.