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Wrapping up, holiday reads

We at National COSH are busy wrapping up during the end of the year, especially as we sift through photos, edit videos, and read through evaluations from last week's hugely successful National Worker Safety and Health Conference. (We promise an update about the conference and all of the accompanying goodies is coming soon!) But as we're playing catch-up, we realize you might be ready to wind down for the year.

Looking for some health and safety holiday reads? Journalists have been churning out some quality work that is sure to fire you up for another year.

A week away: Remembering last year's National Worker Safety and Health Conference

Can you believe the opening panel for the National Worker Safety and Health Conference is just one week away?! As we put the finishing touches on our workshops, panels, and other logistics, we thought we would remind you what a great time you had at last year's conference. The rest of the blog post below was posted just after last year's conference concluded. What are you most looking forward to this year?

Haven't registered yet? Do it now before space fills up!

National COSH is thankful for its 2013 health and safety awardees

As the time winds down before we break from our conference planning to sit down for a nice Thanksgiving dinner, we want to take the time to share what we at National COSH are thankful for. We are thankful for you – all of our activists, advocates, trainers, leaders, academics, labor folk, and workers – who day after day put the health and safety of workers above all else. You provide a voice to those afraid to speak up; you empower workers to know their rights and stand up for themselves on the job; you fight for workers who have been put in harm’s way or retaliated against. You make it all happen.

In this season of giving thanks, it seems appropriate to announce the winners of the National COSH 2013 Health and Safety Activist Awards. Our decisions were not easy to make: We received more nominations than ever before, highlighting the excellent work of many worker safety and health leaders across the country.

The awardees will be honored during the National Worker Safety and Health Conference next month in Baltimore. Buy your tickets here.

Without further ado, here are our award winners:

Tony Mazzocchi Lifetime Achievement Award: Bill Kojola, AFL-CIO

Trainer/Educator Award: Joyce Sagi, American Federation of Teachers

Health and Safety Activist Award: Christina Iturralde and Tom Fritzsche, Southern Poverty Law Center

Family/Community Award: Adriana Martinez, Houston Area COSH

This Thanksgiving, Remember that Safe Food Begins with Safe Workplaces

Guest Blog by Catherine Singley, Senior Policy Analyst, National Council of La Raza (NCLR)

Walmart's Black Friday troubles and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week

Walmart isn’t having a good week – especially when it comes to news about how the company treats its workers. We aren’t so impressed.

Houston City Council Passes Anti-Wage Theft Ordinance

Cross-posted from the Fe y Justicia Worker Center

Today, the Houston City Council made history passing the first municipal ordinance cracking down on wage theft in Texas and only the second in a major metropolis in the U.S. South. The measure passed unanimously.

In passing the Wage Theft Ordinance, Council sends a clear message that intentionally cheating workers of their pay - especially under city contracts - will not be tolerated in Houston.

OSHA sends strong message in response to fatal Philadelphia building collapse

Last week, OSHA handed down nearly $400,000 in fines against two Philadelphia contractors responsible for the June building collapse that killed six people and injured 14. It was a hefty fine accompanied by a strong message – jeopardizing workers’ safety will not be tolerated.

Public Citizen reports underscore value of protecting workers' safety

Our friends at Public Citizen are keeping us busy today with the release of two new reports touching on workers’ safety and health.

Miners' safety woes in the spotlight: Two very different accounts of miner experiences

Miner photo by Earl DotterIt’s been a rough week in the news for miners and those who care about their health and safety.