Acosta gets confirmed, workers who died on the job get remembered and the top “Dirty Dozen” safety violators get named. These were among the top stories featured on this week.

Acosta in as DOL secretary

The U.S. Senate yesterday confirmed Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary on a 60-38 vote. Acosta has served on the National Labor Relations Board and has been a federal assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice and a U.S. attorney in Florida.


Workers’ Memorial Day focuses attention on safety

Today is Workers' Memorial Day, established to honor the memory of those workers who have died on the job and those who have become ill due to their work. The events taking place today in the U.S. and around the world will also acknowledge the terrible impact those deaths have on the families of the fallen and the communities in which they lived.


Diet drinks may be linked to stroke, dementia

Drinking at least one artificially sweetened beverage daily was associated with almost three times the risk of developing stroke or dementia compared to those who drank artificially-sweetened beverages less than once a week, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.


A Confined Space blog post

Short stuff: News you might want to know

♦ From Mitch to Donald, with Love: Looks like we may have a Secretary of Labor by Thursday. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing a gift for the President making sure he has a full cabinet before his 100 Day anniversary.


Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, 2017

This 2017 edition of “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect” shows that the rate of workplace deaths and injuries remains much too high, according to the AFL-CIO, which compiled the annual report on the state of safety and health protections for America’s workers.


Poor decisions, company culture, cause fatal crash of sightseeing plane

A pilot’s decision to continue flying under visual flight rules in weather conditions warranting instrument flight rules, coupled with a company’s culture and lack of a formal safety program, caused a 2015, Ketchikan, Alaska, plane crash, according to a determination made Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).


AIHA conducts first-ever “State of the EH&S Industry” survey

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) is collecting information from its members for what will be its first-ever "State of the EH&S Industry" survey. The association has partnered with EH&S software provider Enviance , for the survey, which it says will help develop a greater understanding of the issues impacting a company's ability to keep employees healthy, safe and productive.


CDC: Restaurants don’t do enough to prevent food allergy incidents

Most restaurants in the U.S. have ingredient lists available for its patrons, but many of them do not take other steps that could reduce the risk of food allergic reactions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Feds fine companies more than $200,000 in building collapse

The construction company that was remodeling the former Copper Lounge building when it collapsed and killed a worker on Dec. 2 will be fined nearly $100,000 by the federal government for a host of violations related to the construction site.


A Confined Space blog post

Foxes, Henhouses and our Health

 Jordan Barab

Earlier this week I reviewed a New York Times article on conflicts of interest among Trump political appointees that highlighted a new Labor Department Special Assistant, Geoffrey Burr. Burr is a former lobbyist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, and his federal disclosure form notes that he lobbied DOL against the silica standard and the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces regulation that would have required federal contractors to disclose federal labor law violations.


AIHA, CIHC want a CIH on California’s Toxic Substances Board

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) and the California Industrial Hygiene Council (CIHC) are asking lawmakers in California's State Legislature to ensure that Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) have a seat at the table by requiring their membership on the California Toxic Substances Board, which would be created by Senate Bill 774. As currently written, the bill restricts membership on the Board to only one person from any of the following diverse professions: toxicology, chemistry, geology, industrial hygiene, or engineering specific to the statutory responsibilities of the Board.


“Preventable” fall kills NYC construction worker

A 59-year-old construction worker died earlier this month after falling 18 feet from site at New York City’s Times Square. The victim was identified in news reports as Jose Cruz. The accident occurred when Cruz fell from an I-beam near the second floor of the building while helping to remove part of a steel deck from a slab.


A Confined Space blog post

Hit the fu**ing Road Jack: Why we need a strong OSHA enforcement program

 Jordan Barab

This is not generally how a good company wants a supervisor to respond to a worker who reports unsafe conditions: “Next time you have a problem with safety, talk to me. Then get in your car and hit the f***ing road.” Then you write him up, don’t renew his contract — and, for good measure, fire his son for “talking on the job.”


How to avoid electrical shock in the home

ESFI helps decode the code

Just in time for National Electrical Safety Month – May -- the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is launching its annual effort to help reduce electrically-related fatalities, injuries, and property loss. This year’s campaign theme is "Decoding the National Electrical Code® (NEC) to Prevent Shock and Electrocution," which features resources to help protect against common electrical hazards.