workplace safety

workplace safety

Congress News Top Story

Bernie Sanders at U.S. Senate hearing rips Amazon over union opposition

WASHINGTON — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took Amazon to task Thursday at a congressional hearing, bashing the online giant’s leadership for fighting union drives and questioning whether the federal government should continue contracting with the multibillion-dollar company. Amazon executives didn’t attend the hearing but U.S. senators did hear from labor unions and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

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Congress Health News Top Story

Nine rare cancers tied to burn pit exposure added to VA benefits list

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is adding nine rare respiratory cancers linked to burn pit exposure to the list of illnesses eligible for disability and health benefits. President Joe Biden, who has said his son Beau Biden’s exposure to toxic fumes from the pits could have led to his death, announced the policy change Monday, saying in a statement he hopes to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.

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Environment Top Story

Winston-Salem fertilizer fire reveals regulatory loopholes, spurs hard questions about building and workplace safety

Owners of the Weaver Fertilizer plant in Winston-Salem failed to submit a required chemical inventory to the NC Department of Public Safety in 2020, a key piece of information for state and local emergency officials.  Nearly 600 tons of ammonium nitrate caught fire at the Weaver plant on Jan. 31 and burned for four days. The risk of explosion was so great that Winston-Salem officials asked people to evacuate within a mile radius, temporarily displacing 6,000 residents.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

NC Department of Labor continues to resist workplace safety rules for COVID-19

Department is now required to adopt workplace standards for COVID for healthcare workers – whether others will be covered remains in question The U.S. Department of Labor is adopting new emergency standards to protect healthcare workers from COVID, while its North Carolina counterpart has gone to court to defend its position that the potentially fatal disease is not a workplace hazard.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

COVID infections and deaths shine a light of NC’s lax workplace safety oversight

When COVID-19 hit North Carolina in 2020, complaints about the safety of workers flooded the state agency charged with their protection. Yet, state Department of Labor officials didn’t have enforceable standards to widely issue citations and conduct inspections and then-Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry determined that no new standards for COVID were needed.

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