workplace safety

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Soon-to-Be-Dad Dies in Molasses Vat at Work

Robert Herweyer had just married and was expecting his first child

(Newser) - Robert Herweyer had much to look forward to. The 23-year-old had married in November, just moved into a new home with wife Joy, and was expecting his first child with her any day now. But a tragic accident cut all that short when the Michigan man died in a molasses... More »

US Poultry Workers Wear Diapers: Report

Denial of bathroom breaks a serious safety issue, affront to human dignity: Oxfam

(Newser) - On the Pilgrim's Pride website , "prioritize the team over yourself" is one of the poultry producer's core values. But in something out of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle , Bloomberg notes, an Oxfam America report suggests that "value" is really a humiliating issue for already marginalized workers... More »

Worker Dies in Bakery's Huge Mixer

Police say she may have gotten caught on machine

(Newser) - A Utah grocery store worker is dead after what appears to be a gruesome workplace accident. Carmen "Jackie" Lindhardt, 45, was working at the bakery of a Ream's Food Store in Sandy, outside Salt Lake City, around 10am Wednesday when police say she was dragged into an industrial-sized... More »

Teen Dies in Wood Chipper on First Day at Work

His boss had a heart attack at the scene

(Newser) - A North Carolina teenager died one of the most horrific workplace deaths imaginable on his first day on the job. Mason Cox, 19, died on Saturday after being pulled feet-first into a wood chipper, police in Kings Mountain say. WSOC reports that co-workers who had been cutting down trees in... More »

Bumble Bee Forced to Pay $6M for Worker Cooked Alive

Worker Jose Melena died a horrific death

(Newser) - Bumble Bee Foods will fork out $6 million for the horrific death of an employee cooked alive in 12,000 pounds of tuna fish, NBC News reports. Announced Wednesday by prosecutors, the plea agreement is California's biggest ever for a workplace safety violation. It consists of $3 million to... More »

Tuna Plant Charged After Worker Cooked to Death

Colleagues at Calif. plant turned on oven while Jose Melena was inside

(Newser) - Felony charges have been filed more than two years after the horrific death of a worker at a California tuna plant. Bumble Bee Foods and two of its employees have been charged with willfully violating safety rules in the death of 62-year-old Jose Melena, who was cooked to death inside... More »

Workers: McDonald's Told Us to Put Mustard on Burns

Condiments replaced first-aid kits, safety complaints say

(Newser) - Instead of being offered burn cream, McDonald's workers who suffered severe burns on the job were asked if they wanted mustard or ketchup on that, according to recently filed safety complaints. In some of the 28 safety complaints filed in 19 states over the last couple of weeks with... More »

Senator Seeks Answers on Man's Sugar-Plant Death

Bob Casey tells OSHA number of incidents is unacceptable

(Newser) - The chief the Senate's workplace safety subcommittee says he is concerned about the rising number of deaths involving temp workers—and he is "particularly troubled" by the death of Janio Salinas, who was buried alive in sugar last year after a plant removed a safety device that was... More »

Worker Buried Alive After Sugar Plant Pulls Safety Device

Anti-accident screen was 'slowing down production'

(Newser) - A worker at a Pennsylvania sugar plant died buried alive in sugar in an accident that could have been prevented by a safety device removed just 13 days earlier, a ProPublica investigation finds. Janio Salinas—a 50-year-old who, like every other employee in the CSC Sugar warehouse in Fairless Hills,... More »

EPA to Workers: Stop Pooping in the Hall

Agency hires consultant after phantom pooper strikes

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency has a pretty basic tip for EPA employees who want to protect the environment they work in: Stop pooping in the hallway. The agency's Denver branch found it necessary to tell workers to cease "inappropriate bathroom behavior," citing incidents including toilets clogged with... More »

Happiest State Is Also Deadliest, for Workers

That would be North Dakota, with 17.7 deaths per 100K

(Newser) - With the nation's fastest-growing economy and lowest unemployment rate, it's no wonder North Dakota is the happiest state in the country—but it's also the deadliest for workers. According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, oil and gas workers are six times more likely to die... More »

Families Rage Over China Plant Inferno

Building where 119 died had no fire exits

(Newser) - The 119 workers killed in a poultry plant fire in China died because of greed and corruption, furious relatives say. The disaster—believed to be the worst factory fire in Chinese history—has sparked huge protests in northeast China, the South China Morning Post reports. Survivors say five of the... More »

119 Trapped Workers Die in Poultry Plant Inferno

China plant's gate was locked when fire broke out

(Newser) - At least 119 workers were killed and dozens more injured when fire swept through a poultry plant in northeast China early today, trapping workers inside a slaughterhouse, the AP reports. Surviving workers say the gate was locked when the fire broke out. A loud bang was heard before the fire... More »

Hustler Fined $14K for Condom-Free Porn

California safety officials slap Larry Flynt's porn house with citation

(Newser) - Larry Flynt's Hustler Video and another porn production company have been fined by California workplace safety officials for filming unsafe sex. Hustler was fined $14,175 for three violations, including failure to provide condoms or other equipment to protect performers from assorted bodily fluids, AP reports. Activists have targeted the... More »

Farms See Record Number of Grain Bin Deaths

OSHA has increased inspections

(Newser) - Grain bins are innocuous-seeming, necessary parts of big agriculture—but they're proving deadly for a record number of farm workers, and OSHA is taking notice. A worker trying to clear damp clots of corn or soy beans can quickly find himself in a sinkhole, his chest compressed by hundreds of... More »

Congratulations: You're Worth Millions

... at least according to federal safety regulators

(Newser) - What's a human life worth? Quite a bit, according to the Obama administration. The New York Times rounds up some examples:
  • The EPA values the cost of a life at $9.1 million, up from $6.8 million under Bush.
  • The FDA comes in at $7.9 million, up from
... More »

Teacher Wins $225K After Losing Voice

Vocal chords damaged after working in noisy classroom

(Newser) - A British teacher ruined her voice while struggling to make herself heard in a noisy classroom—and has been awarded $225,000 in compensation. Joyce Walters developed nodules on her vocal chords and had to give up teaching after working in an adult education center that placed her in a... More »

AIDS Activists Hammer Larry Flynt Over Unsafe Porn

Group demands Flynt's stars start using condoms

(Newser) - Activists demanding that porn industry actors use condoms have targeted the world's most famous pornographer. The AIDS Health Foundation has filed a workplace safety complaint against Flynt, accusing him of endangering his performers, AP reports. Protesters gathered outside the Beverly Hills headquarters of Flynt's company and delivered 100 porn DVDs... More »

Dozens of iPhone Factory Workers Seriously Ill

Chinese workers hospitalized with nerve damage

(Newser) - Dozens of Chinese workers have spent close to a year in hospital after sustaining nerve damage in a factory making iPhone components. The workers, mostly young women, were exposed to a toxic solvent they used to clean iPhone and iTouch screens, GlobalPost finds in part of a series of investigations... More »

Models Boycott High-Heel 'Stilts'

It's an issue of workplace safety, say top catwalkers

(Newser) - Three top models are refusing to teeter on limb-threatening 12-inch spike heels in catwalk shows. The models refused to appear in Alexander McQueen's latest show because of his impossible-to-wear "armadillo" shoes and "workplace safety" concerns. A British shoe designer sympathized with the models. "It'd be like walking... More »

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