Black lung disease surges to highs not seen since the '70s, research shows

By Chris Hamby

The likely culprit: a failure by coal mining companies to use readily available tools to control the dust that lodges in miners' lungs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coal":

"… Coal dust to improve miners’ health.” Back in 1969, the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act limited the amount of dust allowed in mine …"

Contractor, Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013, BLS says

By Talia Buford

The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Occupational Safety and Health Administration":

"… slightly from 2012. The new tranche of data came on the same day that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a final revised rule requiring employers to notify OSHA with …"

Leadership at Chemical Safety Board questioned amid investigation backlog

By Rosalind Adams

Evidence of ongoing management failures and a toxic work environment at the Chemical Safety Board was presented at a hearing Thursday.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"…  ability to fulfill its mission. After this report was released, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. opened a new investigation into the CSB after disco …"

CPI-NPR collaboration wins Edward R. Murrow Award

A 2013 investigation of worker deaths in grain bins has won an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association

Deadly Texas fertilizer plant explosion blamed on regulatory failures

A 2013 blast at West Fertilizer that killed 14 "never should have occurred," Chemical Safety Board chairman says.

EPA to regulate coal ash amid court settlement

By Kristen Lombardi

Facing a legal challenge from Earthjustice and others, the EPA agrees to set a plan by year's end to regulate coal ash.

Delay of long-awaited refinery accident report signals divisions at Chemical Safety Board

By Chris Hamby

A last-minute change to a public meeting on a 2010 explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Washington State has board members "embarrassed."

Excerpts from this story referencing "state regulatory agency":

"… um Institute, the industry trade association, were inadequate and that the state regulatory agency didn’t have enough qualified experts and had failed to detect problems i …"

A small step towards food aid reform

By Sasha Chavkin

Buried in Congress' spending agreement: a small but notable step to reform a controversial program.

West Virginia chemical spill probe falls to overburdened Chemical Safety Board

By Chris Hamby and Ronnie Greene

Massive chemical spill in W.Va. adds to a growing backlog for the troubled Chemical Safety Board.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Deepwater Horizon oil spill":

"… a steady stream of serious accidents kept the small agency busy, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 to the fire at Chevron’s refinery in Richmond, Calif., in 2012 a …"

A century of denial on black lung

By Chris Hamby

A congressman's words 44 years ago, citing the coal industry's efforts to limit its liability for black lung, resonate anew.

EPA under the gun to regulate coal ash

By Kristen Lombardi

Environmental Protection Agency faces new pressure to regulate disposal of the toxic waste for the first time after a judge's decision.

Chemical board's unfinished investigations hinder agency mission, IG finds

By Chris Hamby

A backlog of Chemical Safety Board investigations hinders the agency's ability to help prevent future accidents, a new IG report concludes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… rt released this week by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General concluded. A recent Center for Public Integrity story examined the causes …"

"… Congress and family members of those who died. “I’m encouraged by the Inspector General’s recommendations, but this report doesn’t change the fact that after …"

Tornado shelter firm lobbies up for federal tax relief

By Adam Wollner

Tornado shelter firm hires a lobbyist to press federal government for tax relief.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chief of staff":

"… d several other lobbying outfits around Washington, Eynon served as deputy chief of staff to former Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., from 1999 to 2002, and as counsel to …"

'Retail exemption' shields some fertilizer facilities from stringent safety inspections, rules

By Chris Hamby

An exemption carved out two decades ago allows some fertilizer and other chemical facilities to skirt stricter rules and inspections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Process Safety Management":

"… the eyes, skin and respiratory system — to require it to follow OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard, issued more than two decades ago. But the standard contains wha …"

OSHA strengthens protections for temp workers

By Jim Morris

Amid reports of high injury rates for temporary workers, OSHA announces new measures aimed at training and safety.

Workplace deaths up slightly in 2011

By Jim Morris

Worker deaths rose slightly in 2011, though the jobsite fatality rate fell, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Occupational Safety and Health Act":

"… , Democrats in Congress introduced legislation this year to strengthen the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, whose criminal and civil penalties for employer misconduct are co …"

Why strong regulatory agencies matter

By Bill Buzenberg

If the Center is doing its job right, then our work should anticipate the news. Unfortunately, that happened with an explosion in Texas.

As critics press for action, Chemical Safety Board investigations languish

By Jim Morris and Chris Hamby

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which probes chemical accidents, is under attack for its slow investigative pace.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Transport":

"… afety Board — an independent agency modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board — launched investigations. Like the NTSB, the Chemical …"

Report urges phaseout of deadly acid

By Chris Hamby

A survey of refinery workers found deep concern about the handling of hydrofluoric acid and recommends safer alternatives

House bill targets deadly dust explosions

By Chris Hamby

House Democrats are pushing a bill requiring safety steps to curb combustible dust explosions -- a hazard examined in a 2012 Center report.

Meteor strikes on lobbyists' minds

By Dave Levinthal

Special interests have prodded U.S. government to fund tracking of killer space rocks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Russia":

"… rs — could now accelerate, as a meteor explosion today over central Russia injured hundreds of people and has already reopened debate about governmen …"

Defense officials call Air Force F-22 probe sloppy and inadequate

By Douglas Birch

Critics of the Air Force's decision to blame a costly F-22 crash on its pilot have some ammunition

Excerpts from this story referencing "oxygen systems":

"… , according to the Air Force Times. The crash focused new concerns on the oxygen systems originally installed in the Air Force’s state-of-the-art F-22’s, which …"

Labor secretary leaves legacy of worker protections and unfinished business

By Chris Hamby

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis leaves behind a department advocates say increased enforcement but left worker safety rules unfinished.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mine Safety and Health Administration":

"… ring her tenure, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration expanded initiatives to crack down on repeat violators of safety and healt …"

IMPACT: Federal inspectors step up enforcement of rules to prevent black lung

By Chris Hamby

In a recent enforcement blitz, federal inspectors cited more than a dozen mines for problems that could expose workers to the disease.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Carol Raulston":

"… Rates of the most severe form of the disease have tripled since the 1980s.Carol Raulston, a spokesperson for the National Mining Association, on Wednesday reiterat …"

Center environmental investigations honored nationally

By The Center for Public Integrity

Three separate Center environmental investigations have received national reporting prizes in recent weeks.

As Clean Air Act sentencing nears, Justice cites violations at Texas Citgo refinery

By Jim Morris

Justice Department alleges environmental and worker safety violations continue to plague Citgo's Texas refinery.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… g for criminal Clean Air Act violations at its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, a Justice Department court filing alleges that a “wide range” of envi …"

Fishing deaths mount, but government slow to cast safety net for deadliest industry

By Ronnie Greene

Commercial fishing is the deadliest industry in the U.S., but with federal reform moving slowly, some fishermen are stepping in.

Excerpts from this story referencing "airline safety":

"… d the panel how they had lost friends to the seas. “If we had regulated airline safety the same way we have regulated fishing vessel safety, all passengers on an …"

IMPACT: OSHA's 'model workplace' program needs reform, report finds

By Chris Hamby

Companies exempt from some inspections under a special OSHA program should face tighter scrutiny, a report finds, echoing a Center series.

Landmark worker death case continues against UCLA chemistry professor

By Jim Morris

UCLA Professor Patrick Harran stands accused of a felony in the death of research associate Sheri Sangji after a lab fire.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Laboratory":

"… ays James Kaufman, a former Dow Chemical researcher who runs the nonprofit Laboratory Safety Institute, a training organization near Boston. “The dog sled can …"

"… ave strong safety skills.” UCLA, for its part, has created a Center for Laboratory Safety which, Chancellor Block said in his January statement, will “iden …"

Federal produce-testing program spared — for now

By The Associated Press

Federal food program that screens produce for contamination spared until end of 2012

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