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 "Kentucky":

"… y hard in a triangular region encompassing southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southwestern Virginia. In these areas, thick deposits of coal largely …"

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 "Jerry Brown":

"… ety violations. Employee advocates herald the bill, which is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, as a blueprint for worker protection laws around the countr …"

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 "House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform":

"… ;June 5, also was four years in the making. Testimony Thursday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform blamed the backlog on poor leadership by Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso, …"

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 "equipment":

"… safety culture, saying the company failed to identify and fix the damaged equipment that led to the explosion, even after repeated leaks and small fires. It a …"

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.

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 "Texas City":

"… , in 2009, and a 2008 explosion that killed a worker at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas — the site of a 2005 blast that killed 15 workers and injured at …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… bying income through the first three months of this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The firm has wide range of clients, including the pharmaceutical company …"

'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.

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.

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 "John Vorderbrueggen":

"… stantial blow in 2011, when four investigators quit. Two of them, Hall and John Vorderbrueggen, had been team leaders; both, now with the NTSB, declined comment. Asked …"

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.

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 "F-22":

"… work be done by the end of this month. …"

"… oxygen systems originally installed in the Air Force’s state-of-the-art F-22’s, which have been criticized by some as models of costly, goldplated we …"

"… eport states that the Air Force has records of at least 25 incidents where F-22 pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms in flight, possibly due to oxygen de …"

"… with its oxygen system are not the only ones it has faced. Since the first F-22 rolled off the assembly line in 2003, it has suffered at least six acciden …"

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.

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.

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 "Citgo":

"… wever, whether the residents will speak at next week's hearing. …"

"… of environmental and worker safety violations continue to plague the plant.Citgo was convicted in June 2007 of two criminal counts stemming from 10 years o …"

"… its filing this week, the Justice Department asks a federal judge to fine Citgo $2,090,000, the maximum allowed under the statute, and put the company on …"

"… says the refinery made almost $1.16 billion in profits during that period.Citgo’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin Monday in U.S. District Court …"

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.

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 "California":

"… Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Harran and the University of California’s Board of Regents will be prosecuted for the fire in Room 4221. Harran …"

"… , “he would be going to jail.” At the time of Sheri Sangji’s death, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Cal/OSHA, already had begu …"

"… ngji was raised in Karachi, Pakistan, and graduated from Pomona College in California in May 2008. A superior student and athlete, she earned a degree in chemis …"

Federal produce-testing program spared — for now

By The Associated Press

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