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The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is spearheading several campaigns to protect American workers and their right to a safe and healthy workplace.
Responsible Contractors on Public Works Projects
A lot of the people you see doing public works project – paving public roads or laying municipal sewer lines, for example – are not public employees. They work instead for contractors, who were hired through a public bid process that rewards the lowest bidder. All too often, these low bidders manage to obtain contracts because they cut corners on safety, putting workers’ lives and health at risk.
We believe that contractors’ workplace safety and health programs should be considered during the public bid process and we are working throughout the country to urge state and local public officials to consider bidders’ safety records and programs when they award public contracts through a public bid process.
To learn more about this effort and how you can help, contact us by clicking on the email address at the bottom of the page.
Immigrant Workers Campaign
In the United States, immigrant workers constitute a significant proportion of the workforce.
Unfortunately, they also suffer a disproportionate high level of workplace injuries and fatalities. While increased public acknowledgement of this serious and growing problem is an important first step, government agencies must be held accountable to ensure that immigrant workers have meaningful protection under the workplace safety and health laws regardless of immigration status.
The Immigrant Workers Campaign brings worker advocates together to ensure better workplaces for immigrant populations and ensure government entities are protecting those rights. For some of the most recent recommendations developed by the immigrant worker policy group please click here.
Please join our efforts to improve workplace health and safety for immigrant workers! For more information on how you can get involved, contact us by clicking on the email address at the bottom of the page.
An OSHA Prevention Standard for all Workers
Nearly everyone who is affected by OSHA’s rulemaking process agrees that the system is broken—proposed rules affecting a single hazardous substance typically take years, sometimes decades, to make it through the labyrinthine process required for a proposed rule to become law. As a result, millions of workers across the U.S. are left unprotected from many common hazards.
Under current chief David Michaels, OSHA has announced its intention to develop a rule that would help address this problem in a common sense manner. OSHA’s proposed Injury and Illness Prevention Program Standard (or “Prevention Standard” for short) would direct employers to identify hazards in their workplaces and develop and carry out plans for minimizing risks to workers. It wouldn’t tell employers how to do this, but would give them the flexibility to develop solutions that are practical in their workplaces.
Sounds reasonable, right? Unfortunately, OSHA’s proposal has set off a knee-jerk wave of negative response from national business and industry associations, despite the fact that many national companies already have these programs in place and can attest to their usefulness in reducing workplace injuries and illnesses. Many U.S. states with state-run OSHA programs already have similar rules in place and employers in those states generally report few problems in complying.
The National COSH is working with our network of worker health and safety advocates to promote a strong OSHA Prevention Standard that involves workers in health and safety programs and ensures protections for those who report job hazards or injuries.
For more information on how you can get involved, contact us by clicking on the email address at the bottom of the page
Real Protection for Whistleblowers
Workers who report safety and health hazards on the job are supposed to be protected from retaliation under section 11c of the OSH Act. Sadly, the system for protecting “whistleblowers” from retaliation is badly broken and has never effectively functioned to protect workers from retaliation. Several independent government audits have found that very few workers who are fired for reporting hazards ever get their jobs back.
At the National COSH we believe that the OSH Act can never truly protect workers if they don’t have a real right to speak up for their health and safety. That’s why we are working on a national campaign to promote real protections for whistleblowers, both through proposed changes to the OSH Act and through changes in the way that local and regional offices handle whistleblower complaints.
For more information on how you can get involved, contact us by clicking on the email address at the bottom of the page.