One-stop science shop has become a favorite of industry—and Texas

By Rosalind Adams and Lisa Song

The EPA's sluggishness in assessing chemicals has created opportunities for a consulting firm with ties to chemical and tobacco interests.

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

"… m on Regulation and a former director of health standards programs for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He said there is a difference between peer reviewers who closely scrutin …"

Texas weakens chemical exposure guidelines, opens door for polluters

By Lisa Song and Rosalind Adams

Amid a fracking boom, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has quietly weakened air pollution guidelines for toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… lth-protective, than the old one. The decision by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was a boon for oil refineries, petrochemical plants and o …"

"… ott, the state’s governor-elect, has taken legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 19 times since 2010, arguing that overly restrictive r …"

"… e emissions. Ron Melnick, a former scientist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, analyzed the TCEQ’s 139-page description of …"

"… ental community tends to rely on a single expert—Elena Craft of the Environmental Defense Fund—to weigh in on risk assessment science. Air Alliance Hous …"

New battlefront for petrochemical industry: benzene and childhood leukemia

By Kristen Lombardi

Jarrett McElheney grew up near a cluster of petroleum storage tanks. His parents believe benzene in drinking water gave him cancer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Institute":

"… relationship between the chemical and the cancer. Then, in 1977, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Contro …"

Benzene and worker cancers: 'An American tragedy'

By Kristen Lombardi

Previously secret documents illuminate a 10-year effort by petrochemical titans to counteract damning science on the carcinogen benzene.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Chemistry Council":

"… the institute but has gotten $100,000 for a small benzene project from the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main lobby group. Defenders of the Shanghai st …"

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 "Labor":

"… ned, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In all, 4,405 workers died from injuries sustained on the job …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ealth and safety in America.    …"

Saturated with oil money, Texas legislature saved industry from pollution rule

By David Hasemyer, Ben Wieder and Alan Suderman

An effort to impose stricter rules on Texas oil and gas operators in 2011 fizzled after the state legislature got involved.

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

"… year. Over the years, Robinson Drilling has been penalized by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for numerous safety violations. Four Robinson Drilling workers have died s …"

High bladder cancer rate shrouds New York plant, exposing chemical hazards in the workplace

By Jim Morris

A decades-long spate of bladder cancer at a Goodyear plant in Niagara Falls, N.Y. spotlights limits of regulation over dangerous chemicals.

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

"… -toluidine is classified as a probable human carcinogen by OSHA” — the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The raw chemical, he wrote, “is not handled at any of Monsanto’s fac …"

OSHA rule targets worker exposure to silica

By Jim Morris

Citing concerns over the deadly lung disease silicosis and lung cancer, OSHA on Friday proposed a rule to control worker exposure to silica.

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

"… e not being able to live to see his grandchildren?” Monforton asked. …"

IMPACT: OSHA strengthens rules for 'model workplace' program

By Chris Hamby

IMPACT: Companies exempted from some safety inspections under an OSHA program will face automatic removal after work-related deaths.

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

"… deaths or particularly serious violations. The new policy, issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, comes after a 2011 Center for Public Integrity investigation found a sign …"

'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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Carlos Centeno":

"… ity and WBEZ/Chicago Public Media highlighted the case of temporary worker Carlos Centeno, who was badly burned in a Chicago-area factory in November 2011 and died …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… , a dozen contract workers  were injured when a fire broke out at the ExxonMobil refinery in Beaumont, about 300 miles to the southeast; seven suffered sev …"

Thoughts from our board chair, Bruce Finzen

By Bruce Finzen

Chair of Center's Board of Directors will match donations through May 7.

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chemical Safety Board":

"… dnesday. The Center posted an important story early that morning about the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s failure to complete its investigations into chemical accidents in a ti …"

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 "National Transportation Safety Board":

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

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

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

"… ng. The report also recommends stronger oversight by regulators. Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency should better use their authority …"

U.S. asbestos imports condemned by health experts, activists

By Jim Morris

More than 50 countries have banned asbestos, a toxic mineral linked to cancer and other diseases. The United States isn't one of them.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… building materials, insulation, automobile brakes and other products. The United States isn’t one of them. Last year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, 1 …"

"… tied to asbestos exposure, said she’s “appalled and disgusted that the United States still allows the importation of asbestos to meet so-called manufacturing n …"

"… gest asbestos producer, followed by China and Brazil. Asbestos use in the United States has plummeted from its peak of 803,000 metric tons in 1973. Still, attempt …"

New federal scrutiny in wake of Center and NPR grain bin 'drownings' report

By Howard Berkes

The Justice Department might again consider criminal charges in case reported by Center and NPR.

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

"… emorial to Pacas and Whitebread in their favorite city park. …"

Bill aims to strengthen OSHA workplace enforcement

By Chris Hamby

Senators propose tighter workplace safety rules, targeting breakdowns highlighted in Center for Public Integrity reports.

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

"… s did not respond to interview requests Thursday. The bill would give the Occupational Safety and Health Administration more powerful enforcement tools. Currently, an employer whose willful vio …"

Worker suffocations persist as grain storage soars, employers flout safety rules

By Jim Morris and Howard Berkes

The 2010 deaths of a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man in an Illinois grain bin highlight unsafe practices, spotty enforcement.

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

"… in the corn,” Piper told investigators with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Grain storage in the United States is surging, in part because of the bo …"

Rethinking OSHA exemption for farms

By Jim Morris and Howard Berkes

Most farms are exempt from federal workplace safety rules. Given ongoing grain entrapment problems, some say they shouldn't be.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Agriculture":

"… els to a record 10.93 billion bushels, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With growth has come tragedy: worker entrapment deaths in corn or other …"

How industry scientists stalled action on carcinogen

By David Heath

Tens of millions of Americans drink tap water tainted with chromium. But industry pushback has made it hard for the EPA to regulate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… ies, the American Chemistry Council, the industry’s main trade group and lobbyist, hired ToxStrategies Inc., a Texas-based firm with scientists experienced …"

"… in a deposition that she drew up a wish list of panelists and gave it to a lobbyist, Eric Newman. One of her colleagues, Brent Finley, also asked how he could …"

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.

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

"… rs from materials as varied as sugar, coal, wood and plastic. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration began the process of issuing a rule to address the hazard in 2009, but its …"

Report suggests OSHA safeguard contingent workers

By Chris Hamby

Regulators should launch an enforcement blitz of companies using large numbers of contingent workers, a nonprofit group concludes.

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

"… ercent of his body. The company failed to call 911, according to a federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration report obtained by the Center, and more than 98 minutes passed between the …"

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 "Occupational Safety and Health Administration":

"… ringing stronger enforcement of worker safety laws. During her tenure, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration expanded initiatives to crac …"

About the Methodology

Across the U.S., workers die in preventable accidents. Yet often, a Center investigation found, OSHA reduces fines or waives them entirely.

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

"… Integrity’s analysis relies on data from multiple sources, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Treasury Department and the Justice Department. Using the Freedom of …"

Even after workplace deaths, companies avoid OSHA penalties

By Chris Hamby

Following jobsite fatalities, OSHA vows crackdowns -- but sometimes collects nothing, a Center investigation found.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Safety":

"… s later. “We pulled him out, and that was it.”The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Crucible for more than 70 violations and l …"

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.

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

"… ndustry leaders.A report suggesting reforms, from a task force of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, comes more than a year after a Center for Public Integrity series reveale …"

Kentucky death case: Another black eye for state workplace safety enforcement

By Jim Morris

Kentucky's deletion of all violations in worker death case criticized by victim's family, feds.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… ster their own, finding deficiencies such as uncollected penalties in North Carolina and misclassified violations in South Carolina. Kentucky, OSHA found, was …"

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