Worksafe works to protect people from job-related hazards and empower them to advocate for the right to a safe and healthy workplace.

Featured Updates From Worksafe



Building Community and Power with Oakland Day Laborers

Posted on Nov 23, 2016
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by Nicole Marquez, Staff Attorney

At a time when marginalized communities are increasingly under attack, Worksafe and its partners, Centro Legal de la Raza and Street Level Health Project (collectively known as the Collaborative), are proud to share how immigrant Day Laborers in the Fruitvale district of Oakland are rising up and becoming leaders in their community. This last year, Worksafe was the only organization that received a grant from the California State Bar Trust Fund for a worker-oriented project around community redevelopment. The funding for this project, Safe, Secure and Sustainable jobs for Day Laborers, results from legal settlements with banks charged with predatory lending and other unlawful practices.

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Protecting Workers under the New Administration

Posted on Nov 23, 2016
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by Douglas Parker, Executive Director

I’m not going to play political scientist and give you my analysis of the election, as tempting as that might be. Nor am I going to write about what I think this election and its outcome are doing to this country. There are people far more eloquent, and who face potential consequences much more personally than I do, and I encourage you to give your attention to those voices.

What I want to write about is what a Trump Administration could mean for the health and safety of workers. The Obama Administration deserves tremendous credit for new worker protections such as the silica and black lung standards, its emphasis on protecting workers who blow the whistle on workplace hazards, and the enhanced use of enforcement powers against chronic violators. While we benefit from some degree of isolation from federal policy because California has a state occupational safety and health plan, federal rollbacks of health and safety protection policies and resources would still significantly impact California workers.

Budget Cuts Could Leave Workers in the Cold

One of the simplest and most damaging ways for the new Administration to make an impact on safety and health is through the budgeting process. The majorities of both houses and the President-Elect believe regulations like worker protections are the primary obstacle to greater economic growth. Despite being chronically underfunded to carry out its mandate already, we can expect this philosophy to lead to efforts to diminish OSHA by strangling it of funding. These efforts could come sooner rather than later, especially if the current Congress is unable to reach some form of a budget agreement this session and leaves it to the next Congress and President to finalize a budget.

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Policy Updates: Fall 2016

Posted on Oct 25, 2016
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Health and Safety Standards

Hotel housekeeper Musculoskeletal Injury and Illness Prevention

Worksafe, in solidarity with UNITE HERE, its members, and all non-unionized hotel housekeepers, has been working to push the Musculoskeletal Injury and Illness Prevention Standard. We are optimistic DOSH will propose a standard that includes specialized training for hotel housekeeping employees and supervisors, an increased role for employee representatives, protocols and procedures for early identification of musculoskeletal injury, and record keeping. We have been generally encouraged by the work of the Standards Board, DOSH staff, and the advisory committee so far. Unfortunately, at the last Standards Board meeting, DOSH moved back its estimate for proposing language for this standard from the end of October by “three or four” months.

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Historic Standard on Workplace Violence Prevention

Posted on Oct 24, 2016
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by Nicole Marquez, Staff Attorney

Last Thursday in Oakland, California, we celebrated a major victory for worker health and safety: our state became the first in the nation to pass a regulation preventing workplace violence. As a leader in progressive health and safety laws, our state will set the example for other states to follow - and hopefully, the entire country.

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Will California Take a Step Backwards on Silica?

Posted on Oct 24, 2016
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In March, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule on exposure to respirable crystalline silica. Federal efforts to protect workers against silica date back to the Great Depression, when Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins mounted a campaign to eliminate harmful exposures. For 20 years now, OSHA’s regulatory agenda has included updating its outdated rule to catch up to the long-established science on harmful exposure levels. The final rule on silica, which goes into effect in June 2017, does just that. The rule is expected to save 600 lives each year, and prevent 900 new cases of debilitating diseases resulting from silica exposure.

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