When Your Safety Cuts Into Industry’s Bottom Line You Lose…Your Fingers

By: Saturday May 18, 2013 12:00 pm

I just read a really amazing story about a product that stops table saws from cutting off people’s fingers. You might think that manufacturers would race to incorporate this feature into their products. Yet the opposite happened. A coalition of table saw makers have taken multiple steps over years to suppress this technology.

If you wonder, “Why would manufacturers fight against a product that saves customers’ fingers?” you haven’t been paying attention to the power of association lobbying money.

 

America’s Killer Jobs

By: Wednesday May 15, 2013 3:56 pm

The horrific collapse last month of a Bangladeshi garment factory, which claimed the lives of 1,127 people, has sparked appropriate global outrage, with advocates, pundits and politicians calling for tougher laws to protect exploited workers in Third World countries.

While this tragedy, like many before it, seems far removed from the reality of the American workplace, it isn’t nearly as remote as we might think — a fact eerily underscored by the deadly fertilizer plant fire in Texas that preceded the Bangladeshi catastrophe.

A Little Speechwriting Help for the State of the Union

By: Saturday January 22, 2011 9:00 am

Next week is the State of the Union address, and I thought I’d offer a little last minute, unsolicited advice to the president and the White House speechwriters. Some may think it presumptuous, but as one of “we, the people,” I think it’s allowable. It’s not like they have to take the advice, after all . . . but it sure would be nice to see and hear something like this.

Can Congress (Finally) Get Coal Mine Safety Right?

By: Monday July 12, 2010 6:30 pm

Tomorrow afternoon, Congress will once again take up new legislative proposals to improve coal mine safety. After decades of repeated mining disasters, countless unnecessary deaths and injuries, and continual demands for remedial action, can Congress finally get mining safety legislation right? The outward signs are not encouraging.

85% of Americans Say Workplace Safety Regulations are “Very Important”

By: Tuesday June 22, 2010 4:40 pm

The Public Welfare Foundation released a poll this week on Americans’ attitudes on paid sick days and other workplace regulations. In the poll was something interesting as we consider the need to protect cleanup workers hired by BP to clean up the oil disaster in the Gulf. The poll showed that when asked which government workplace regulations were “very important,” a full 85% said that “workplace safety” was very important.

A truly terrible event

By: Tuesday April 6, 2010 1:30 am

Overnight the mine disaster in West Virginia has become even worse. Rescue teams planned to search again for four workers missing in a coal mine where a massive explosion killed 25 in the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than two decades, though officials said Tuesday that the chances were slim that the miners survived. [...]

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