Articles by Garrett Brown MPH, CIH

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

July 17, 2014

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

June 2, 2014
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

May 9, 2014

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

May 9, 2013
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
February 1, 2013
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"
December 10, 2012

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?

May 2, 2011

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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I2P2 will not be the end of human civilization

March 29, 2011
I must say that I'm amazed at the near-hysteria of some of your readers about having an OSHA leadership that actually tries to do its job rather than just process VPP applications and praise corporate declarations of their "commitment to excellence."
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"No sweat": In the Dominican Republic

October 1, 2010

The Alta Gracia Project pays more than twice the prevailing wage for garment workers, has a member-controlled trade union, and has made workplace health and safety a priority.

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Corporate Social Responsibility

May 7, 2009
It’s easy to “do the right thing” when times are good. But when times are tough, the truth emerges.
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