Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Under Her Watch

A few months ago if someone would have ask me if I could see any real change coming I would have probably laughed and thought "yeah they will probably change things all right, by rolling things back a little further and maybe if we spoon feed them with the house and senate decisions.

Well I guess I can eat those thoughts because Labor is Under the Secretary of Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis watch now and I do believe she has the actions to back up her words.

Secretary of Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis attended a Workers memorial day event at the National Workers Memorial at the National Labor College. Secretary of Labor Secretary is a breath of fresh air and hope as she spoke,

"On Workers Memorial Day, we remember a different kind of fallen hero — the worker who leaves for work in the morning and doesn't come home in the evening. The story in the newspaper might be brief — man killed by fall, or worker crushed by machine. But there are stories of pain and loss behind the headlines that go on and on for lifetimes, and their ripple effects are enormous. What about the family member who received the phone call, the empty chair now left at the kitchen table, the empty space in the bedroom or the emptiness a child feels when mom or dad is no longer around? Or the sleepless nights for the co-worker that witnessed the accident, or the gut-wrenching feeling of the person who had to make the phone call to the family?

So, we gather today with these workers' families and friends, we mourn the loss of their loved ones, and we recommit ourselves to honor their memory. We pay tribute to them not only with noble monuments of enduring brick and stone but also with our daily commitment to do all we can to prevent the kind of tragedies that took these cherished souls from us. On this point we can all agree: No one in America should go to work fearful for their health and safety."

The Secretary of Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis says we can expect some real change,

"Under my watch, enforcement of our labor laws will be intensified to provide an effective deterrent to employers who put their workers' lives at risk."

What change:

  • OSHA and MSHA will be about workers — not voluntary programs and alliances.
  • OSHA will begin the rule making on combustible dust.
  • OSHA will focus on is the increase of occupational disease.
  • MSHA will hold mine operators accountable for their responsibilities under the Mine Act and the MINER Act.
  • MSHA will make sure mine operators understand the consequences of abdicating those responsibilities.
  • OSHA will strengthen enforcement by hiring an additional 36 inspectors to provide guidance training and outreach to employers and workers.
  • OSHA will launch a new effort to collect information about injuries and illnesses in the construction industry.
  • OSHA will launch a new website with information in English, Spanish and other languages.
  • OSHA will issue a number of new products for the recipients of Recovery funds, such as: a new QuickCard that emphasizes nail gun safety, guidelines on Controlling Silica Exposures in Construction, guidance for Safely Using Ethylene Oxide in Health Care, and Spanish translations of two important Safety and Health Information Bulletins: Compactor Rollover Hazards and Hazards Associated with Operating Skid-Steer Loaders.
  • OSHA will will be reaching out to our communities through churches, organizations and consulates.

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