Workplace Safety and Health

A Grim Pattern: Presidential Voting and Workplace Deaths

A Grim Pattern: Presidential Voting and Workplace Deaths

More than 4,800 American workers are killed on the job each year. But in states that were carried by Donald Trump, the chances of dying at work are higher than in states that Hillary Clinton won. With a single exception, the states that voted Republican had at least three job-related deaths per 100,000 workers, according…

OSHA's Wall of Shame FairWarining Investigates

OSHA’s Wall of Shame

With Limited Staff, Agency Targets 'Severe Violators'

Soon after beginning their cleanup of a fume-filled tanker car at an Omaha, Neb., rail maintenance yard, Adrian LaPour and Dallas Foulk were dead. An explosion that April 2015 afternoon trapped LaPour in a flash fire inside the car and hurled Foulk out the top to his death. Six months later their employer, Nebraska Railcar…

They're Everywhere! FairWarining Investigates

They’re Everywhere!

Big Companies in Legal Scrapes Turn to Science-for-Hire Giant Exponent

The Fall of Icarus is the Greek myth about a youth who gets a pair of wax-and-feather wings but soars too close to the sun–melting the wings and casting him into the sea. In the 1990s, a consulting firm called Failure Analysis Associates ran tongue-in-cheek ads aimed at corporate lawyers that retold the myth as…

When a Workplace Tragedy is Also a Crime

When a Workplace Tragedy is Also a Crime

When we hear about shootings, bank robberies, or home invasions, we expect the perpetrators to be arrested, tried, and punished appropriately if they are found guilty. When a drunk driver kills an innocent bystander, we treat that death as a criminal act punishable with fines and jail time. When an employer ignores workplace safety and…

Recycling is a Feel Good Activity, But Not for Workers Hurt or Killed on the Job FairWarining Investigates

Recycling is a Feel Good Activity, But Not for Workers Hurt or Killed on the Job

Darkness had enveloped the Newell Recycling yard by the time Erik Hilario climbed into a front-end loader on a cold evening in January 2011. Just 19 years old, Hilario, an undocumented immigrant, had followed his father from Mexico to an industrial park in East Point, Ga., near Atlanta, where they worked as low-skilled laborers amid…

Federal Agency That Protects Whistleblowers Accused of Retaliating Against One of its Own FairWarining Reports

Federal Agency That Protects Whistleblowers Accused of Retaliating Against One of its Own

For nearly five years, Darrell Whitman was a federal investigator who probed whistleblowers’ complaints about being fired or otherwise punished for exposing alleged corporate misconduct. He wanted to help whistleblowers, viewing them as a crucial line of defense against employers who violated health and safety standards or wasted taxpayer dollars. But now Whitman, 70, is…

After Long Delays, Feds Unveil Tougher Rules to Protect Workers From Silica Dust FairWarining Reports

After Long Delays, Feds Unveil Tougher Rules to Protect Workers From Silica Dust

After years of inaction, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration today unveiled tougher standards, widely opposed by industry, to protect workers from exposure to silica dust. Commonly found in sand, concrete and stone, silica has long been recognized as a critical workplace hazard when pulverized into dust. Miners, stonecutters and other laborers who have…

After Long Delays, Feds to Unveil Tougher Rules to Protect Workers From Silica Dust

After Long Delays, Feds to Unveil Tougher Rules to Protect Workers From Silica Dust

After years of inaction, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is expected to unveil tomorrow tougher standards, widely opposed by industry, to protect workers from exposure to silica dust. Commonly found in sand, concrete and stone, silica has long been recognized as a critical workplace hazard when pulverized into dust. Miners, stonecutters and other…

Storefront Crash Suit Against Cumberland Farms Yields $32.4 Million Verdict FairWarining Reports

Storefront Crash Suit Against Cumberland Farms Yields $32.4 Million Verdict

Editor's note: See update at the bottom of this story.

A Massachusetts jury Tuesday awarded $32.4 million, plus interest, to the family of a woman struck and killed by an out-of-control SUV in a case that highlighted the surprisingly common phenomenon of storefront crashes. The verdict was a victory for the husband and daughter of Kimmy Dubuque of Chicopee, Mass. Dubuque was 43 when she…

Report Renews Concern About Asbestos-Like Minerals at Sites in Arid West FairWarining Reports

Report Renews Concern About Asbestos-Like Minerals at Sites in Arid West

Recent research is focusing new attention on an asbestos-like mineral, blamed for staggering rates of a deadly cancer in Turkey, that also is found in the rocks and soil of 13 Western states. The U.S. Geological Survey has identified 95 sites where the mineral, erionite, exists. And a recent hazard assessment at one of the…