Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist Fire commemorated in New York

On March 25, OSHA staff joined community members in New York City to commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which killed 146 garment factory workers in 1911. Frances Perkins was one of the many witnesses to the fire, which drove her efforts on behalf of workers’ rights across the nation and her eventual appointment as the first Secretary of Labor.
The anniversary of the Triangle factory fire serves as a reminder of the many improvements to workplace safety and health made over the last several decades, as well as the considerable work still to be done to ensure that every worker returns home safe at the end of the day. To learn more, visit

EPA celebrates Farmworker Awareness Week, discusses the importance of worker protection

In a new post on the Environmental Protection Agency’s blog, Assistant Administrator Jim Jones discusses his agency’s efforts to ensure farmworkers are better protected with proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard.
Following this year’s 15th annual Farmworker Awareness Week, which concluded with a national day to commemorate the legacy of Cesar Chavez, Jones explained the importance of updating the 20-year old regulation to provide more protections to farmworkers from pesticide exposure.
“Farmworkers continue to toil during insufferable heat and rain and are exposed to dangerous pesticides with very little training on the hazards these pesticides cause,” Jones writes. “Farmworkers grow, tend and harvest our food. They deserve to be protected.” Read his blog to learn more about the EPA’s proposed changes.

National stand- down for fall prevention in construction to take place in June

On June 2-6, OSHA will host a National Safety Stand-Down for Fall Prevention in Construction to raise awareness about the hazards of falls – the leading cause of death in the construction industry. During this week, employers and workers are asked to voluntarily stop work to discuss fall prevention, including topics such as safe work on roofs, ladders and scaffolds.
“Almost 300 construction workers were killed in falls in 2012. Thousands more were seriously injured,” said Secretary of Labor Tom Perez in a recent video statement. “Now is the time to focus on this vital safety issue. The economy is on the rebound, housing starts are on the rise, and the summer construction season is getting underway.”
The Fall Stand-Down Web page offers educational resources for employers and supervisors to use in stand-downs at their worksites, including toolbox talks, training guides, posters and other resources in both English and Spanish. After participating in the stand-down, employers can also visit the page to receive their official certification of participation. For more information about the campaign and the June stand-down, read the press release, view the Secretary’s video and visit