At the top of Worksafe’s legislative agenda this year was tackling the dangers of indoor heat. After years of work on the issue with our allies, including the California Labor Federation and the Warehouse Worker Resource Center (WWRC), Worksafe is proud to celebrate with California workers a new law that will save lives!
On September 29th, Governor Brown signed SB 1167, a law that will put rules in place to protect workers from indoor heat exposure. Workers in warehouses and factories – often non-ventilated, even in the peak of summer – or in heat-intensive industries like laundry facilities are routinely expected to work for hours in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. The new law requires the Cal/OSHA Standards Board (OSHSB) to create and implement new rules to protect workers from the hazards of working in indoor heat.Read more...
At a Nov. 19th legislative hearing in Los Angeles, Worksafe Staff Attorney Nicole Marquez provided a detailed set of recommendations to improve protections for Latino workers.
The hearing, convened by Roger Hernández (D-Los Angeles), Chair of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, explored recent evidence that Latino workers in California suffer a disproportionately high rate of workplace injuries and fatalities. A big spike in the number of Latinos killed on the job in Los Angeles in 2013 (the last year with complete data) drew national attention, although preliminary data for 2014 shows a decline.
Testimony by researchers, union leaders, and Latino workers focused on the scope of the problem. In the final panel exploring policy options, Ms. Marquez outlined a set of solutions that would give Latino workers a stronger voice on the job and ensure that Cal/OSHA and other state agencies have enough staff and resources to enforce health and safety laws. Click here for Worksafe's testimony.
Four years after Domingo Blancas’ brush with death on the job, the California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (Board) has upheld citations issued to his employers for failing to have an effective IIPP (Injury and Illness Prevention Program) that addressed the hazard of indoor heat.
Worksafe – along with Alexander Community Law Center at SCU, and Warehouse Worker Resource Center – represented Domingo before the Board, and together we succeeded in getting justice for him and all the other workers exposed to this preventable hazard.
Domingo worked in an Inland Empire warehouse that serves retail giants such as Walmart. He was employed by a temporary staffing agency, Tri-State Staffing (TSI), and hired to work for the warehouse operator, National Distribution Center (NDC).
17 Recent Fatalities; Workers Injured at Twice the Average Rate
East Bay Workers Take Action to Make Jobs Safer
OAKLAND, CA - A new report, released Tuesday, June 23 by environmental, occupational safety, and community benefits experts, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, finds that recycling work is unnecessarily hazardous to workers’ health and safety.
Seventeen American recycling workers died on the job from 2011 to 2013, including at least three in California. Recycling workers are more than twice as likely to be injured at work as the average worker.Read more...
OSH Anti-Retaliation Statewide Summit
June 29, 2015
10 AM - 4:30 PM
IFPTE Local 20, 810 Clay Street, Oakland
There is no cost to attend this event, but registration is required; please email Jora Trang at jtrang at worksafe dot org.
In 2014 and 2015, Worksafe convened four regional meetings across California with stakeholders to discuss occupational health and safety (“OSH”) based retaliation. During this process we learned about possible remedies, Safety Disincentive Programs, and worker campaigns around OSH retaliation.Read more...