Articles by Garrett Brown MPH, CIH

Inside Cal/OSHA – First person narrative

One year after the coup: Who’s running the show at Cal/OSHA?

September 2014 marks the one-year anniversary of the forced resignation of Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess and the start of direct rule by Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker. A year later there is no permanent leadership team, the roster is riddled with vacancies, and policy decisions have lurched between “political spin” crises and administrative diktats in response.


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Inside Cal/OSHA – First Person Narrative

One year after the coup: Who’s running the show at Cal/OSHA?

September 2014 marks the one-year anniversary of the forced resignation of Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess and the start of direct rule by Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker. A year later there is no permanent leadership team, the roster is riddled with vacancies, and policy decisions have lurched between “political spin” crises and administrative diktats in response.


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Potential national implications of Cal/OSHA’s “new direction”

1. You say Cal/OSHA is heading in "new direction" due to the political preferences of Cal/OSHA's overseers. Describe the components of this "new direction." Why do you oppose it? Actually the term “new direction” was used by then-Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern and Department of Industrial Relations Christine Baker in explaining why they were dismissing then Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess via a forced resignation in September 2013.


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Former Cal/OSHA staffer says he witnessed political coup that forced out agency head

Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess was instructed to attend a meeting at 11 am on September3, 2013 – the day after Labor Day – with California Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern and Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker at DIR’s Oakland Headquarters.


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Bangladesh blowback: Hopes for improved garment factory safety

For the first time in any global supply chain, genuinely independent inspections of garment factories are identifying and correcting life safety hazards that have killed hundreds of Bangladesh garment workers in recent years.


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Why you should care about Cal/OSHA’s budget and political troubles

A whistleblower complaint charging the Department of Industrial Relations with misuse of state and federal funds designated for Cal/OSHA, the state workplace health and safety agency, was filed with the California State Auditor on Tuesday, April 1st by a 20-yearveteran of the agency – me -- who retired in January 2014.


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Factory certification schemes pose danger to safety & health profession

The integrity of the occupational health and safety profession is under threat as it is being drawn into “certifying” that sweatshop factories in global supply chains in the developing world are safe and meet international standards for protecting workers on the job.


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Fatal flaws of foreign factory audits

“A spectacular failure” to improve conditions
CSR monitoring has been a spectacular failure at improving working conditions.


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"A global supply chain of death traps"

Tragedies will continue "until workers' health and safety actually come first"

Words fail at times like this – another garment factory fire in Bangladesh; 112 dead and 150 injured; another round of despair and anguish for the workers and their families; another round of denials by international garment brands that they bear any responsibility; another round of promises by the brands and their contractors that they will “do better” while refusing to acknowledge that it is their “profits first and foremost” production system that has led to fire after fire after fire.


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Corporate Social Responsibility: What is it good for?

It happened again in Bangladesh in December 2010 - a fire in a garment factory killed 29 workers and hundreds were injured as they were suffocated, burned alive, trampled in stairwells, or leapt to their deaths from the 9th and 10th floors - because four of seven exit doors were locked.


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Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

11/4/14 2:00 pm EST

Eye Injuries: You rarely see them coming. Practical Solutions for reducing injuries to the eye.

The 3M Eye Injury Reduction webinar will provide an examination of how to help solve eye injuries in the workplace. This issue continues to challenge virtually every industry, and the solution is often times multifaceted. 3M will share some new tools and approaches to help you in solving this issue.

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2014 October

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