Workplace Safety and Health

Big Trucks, Big Bucks FairWarining Investigates

Big Trucks, Big Bucks

Heavy-Spending Trucking Industry Pushes Congress to Relax Safety Rules

Big rig crashes kill nearly 4,000 Americans each year and injure more than 85,000. Since 2009, fatalities involving large trucks have increased 17 percent. Injuries have gone up 28 percent. Given these numbers, you might expect Congress to be agitating for tighter controls on big rigs. In fact, many members are pushing for the opposite […]

Mike Elliott, a former BNSF employee who sued the railroad for retaliation. (Photo by Michael Dwass) FairWarining Investigates

For Big Railroads, a Carload of Whistleblower Complaints

As both a veteran railroad worker and union official responsible for safety, Mike Elliott became alarmed when he learned of trouble-plagued train signals in his home state of Washington. Signals, he said, at times would inexplicably switch from red to yellow to green – potentially creating confusion that could lead to a crash. Elliott raised […]

iStock photo FairWarining Reports

Watchdog Finds That Nearly 1 in 5 OSHA Whistleblower Probes Are Flawed

Federal officials responsible for protecting whistleblowers and examining their claims of employer retaliation are mishandling nearly one in five of their investigations, a government watchdog reports. A review by the inspector general of the U.S. Labor Department found that 18 percent of the investigations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lack one or more […]

Workplace Deaths in U.S. Rise 2 Percent, Federal Report Shows FairWarining Reports

Workplace Deaths in U.S. Rise 2 Percent, Federal Report Shows

More Americans died on the job last year, with the increase concentrated among older employees as well as self-employed and contract workers. Preliminary federal figures released today for 2014 put the workplace death total at 4,679, up 2 percent from the final count of 4,585 for 2013. The new figures amount to the highest preliminary […]

iStock photo FairWarining Investigates

The Hard Truth About the Softest Mineral

Tougher Testing Sought to Detect Asbestos in Talc

We use talc in many up close and personal ways: to powder babies’ bottoms, as an ingredient in cosmetics, a filler in capsules and pills–even as a food additive. In a world of ominous, unpronounceable chemicals, could anything be less scary than talc? Yet talc, the softest known mineral, is dug from the ground, where […]

Asbestos Found in Imported Crayons and Toy Fingerprint Kits FairWarining Reports

Asbestos Found in Imported Crayons and Toy Fingerprint Kits

Asbestos has been found in several brands of children’s crayons and fingerprint kits made in China and sold in the U.S., according to tests commissioned by an environmental group. The findings are detailed in a report being released today by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund. It marks the third time in 15 years that […]

Study: Cancer Risk High for Firefighters, But Higher for Minority Firefighters FairWarining Reports

Study: Cancer Risk High for Firefighters, But Higher for Minority Firefighters

A new study has found that firefighters have a greater than average risk of developing some types of cancer, and that black and Latino firefighters face the highest risk of all. The findings by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the federal agency that researches work-related hazards, confirm previous research about firefighters and […]

Smoke (Still) Gets in Your Eyes at Many Job Sites FairWarining Reports

Smoke (Still) Gets in Your Eyes at Many Job Sites

Despite the flood of state and local laws since the 1990s to ban indoor smoking, millions of Americans still are exposed to secondhand smoke on the job. As a bulletin last month from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health pointed out, 20.4 percent of nonsmoking workers say they encounter secondhand smoke at least […]

Zach Roberts FairWarining Reports

Latino Workers Dying at Higher Rates in Job Accidents, Report Shows

Note to reader: See update at the bottom of the story. As Latino workers take on more and more of the nation’s toughest and dirtiest jobs, they increasingly are paying for it with their lives. Preliminary federal figures released last week showed that of the 4,405 U.S. workers killed on the job in 2013, 797 were Latinos. […]

A man operating a table saw in a woodworking shop. (iStockphoto) FairWarining Reports

Power Tool Makers Accused in Lawsuit of Thwarting Adoption of Finger-Saving Device

Leading power tool manufacturers have conspired for years to thwart adoption of a safety device that could prevent thousands of finger amputations and other disfiguring injuries in table saw accidents, according to a federal antitrust lawsuit filed by the developer of the safety technology. Using a hot dog as a proxy for a finger, SawStop […]