Blogs

The agencies and offices that make up the Department of Labor (DOL) affect the lives of Americans every day by creating pathways to employment and ensuring safe and healthy workplaces. The DOL blog is one way of sharing the stories of how this work is influencing everyday people. Here are a few blogs that may be of interest to you

 

Safety Rights for Young Workers

by Rebecca Bilbro on June 20, 2013

Summer officially begins tomorrow, and with it, millions of young people will enter the workforce some of them for the first time. Unfortunately, these workers are often among the most vulnerable members of our nations workforce. Workers under the age of 25 are twice as likely to be injured on the job as older workers and are often unaware of their workplace rights. In fact, a U.S. teen worker is injured on the job every nine minutes. In 2011, more than 331 young workers were killed and 106,170 injured on the job.

Many young workers take summer jobs that involve spending hours in the sun, such as working as landscapers, lifeguards, and amusement park attendants. Heat illness is a serious condition and every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat some even die. Read more…



 

DOL App Challenge puts vital information in hands of young workers

by Dr. David Michaels on January 14, 2013

The Department of Labor recently announced the winning entries of its Worker Safety and Health App Challenge. Our goal was to provide vital information on workplace rights and protections to the millions of young people who enter the workforce every year.

We launched the challenge eight months ago to make use of one of our nation’s greatest resources: the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the American public. At the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we were impressed with the response from developers, students and others who put their tech savvy and creativity to the test by creating apps and websites that can help keep all workers safe and healthy on the job.  Read more…



 

YouthBuild: I Transformed a Home, but the Experience Transformed My Life

By Admin on August 16, 2012

My name is Ciera Russum and I’m a member of the Advanced Construction team at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. We worked with the Green Building team to complete a full-gut rehab project on Greene Street.

In the past year, this house was completely transformed. So was my life. Read more…



 

A Letter to Young Workers: Your Right to a Safe and Healthful Workplace

by Dr. David Michaels on May 17, 2011

To celebrate the United Nations' International Year of Youth, we began a series about why young workers are so important to our country's economy, and what the Department of Labor is doing to make sure you have the opportunity to contribute your energy and creativity to the communities where you live and work. One way that DOL does this is by making sure you don't get hurt on the job.

That is the role of DOL's Occupational Safety and Health Administration — protect workers from workplace hazards that can cause a serious injury or illness. Almost always, workplace deaths and injuries are clearly preventable. Workplace hazards are well-known and painstakingly researched, and employers have a responsibility to follow established safety and health laws and common sense safety practices that prevent tragedies. Read more…




Summer Begins, Workers Feel the Heat

By Dr. David Michaels on June 20, 2012

Here in Washington, today is the peak of our first big heat wave of the summer and it's only summer's first day. The National Weather Service alert warns of hot, dry conditions for everyone from Virginia to Maine, with extreme temperatures also visiting the Desert Southwest. The heat index here is expected to reach nearly 108 F.

I can tell you it's one of those days that I'm grateful to be working indoors.

Workers who are outside construction workers, farmworkers, landscapers, roofers, baggage handlers, and others are facing some brutal conditions out there, conditions that can do far more damage than just make us uncomfortable. Read more



OSHA's Heat Campaign: Keeping Cool on the Job

by Dr. David Michaels on June 14, 2011

On May 14, 2008, a young worker named Maria Isavel Vasquez Jimenez arrived for her shift at a California vineyard. She was pregnant, and her job required her to spend long hours tying grapevines in the sun. As the day wore on, the temperature soared, eventually reaching triple digits. After nine hours of work, Maria collapsed from heat exhaustion. Two days later, Maria was dead. She was 17 years old.

Maria's death demonstrates in the saddest way possible the risks of heat illness faced by outdoor workers. It also demonstrates in the most shocking way possible how easily such tragedies can be prevented. When Maria collapsed, the closest water source was a ten-minute walk away. Areas of shade were nowhere in sight. Even if Maria had been allowed a break, she would have had to choose between water and rest. Read more…





Eliminating the Hazards of Texting and Other Distractions While Driving on the Job

by Dr. David Michaels on October 20, 2011

Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States. In 2009, distracted drivers contributed to more than 5,400 traffic fatalities, accounting for 16 percent of all traffic fatalities that year. In response, last October the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in partnership with the Department of Transportation (DOT), launched an initiative to combat this deadly practice.

You might ask: Why OSHA? Why distracted driving?Read more





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To learn more about labor issues, go to the Department of Labor's blog (Work in Progress).




OSHA Is Here to Help!

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the agency of the Department of Labor (DOL) that protects workers from dangers on the job that can cause injuries or illnesses. OSHA is here to help you. Call us on our toll-free number: 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or TTY 1-877-889-5627 to get answers to your questions, or to ask OSHA to inspect your workplace if you think there is a serious hazard. You can also submit a question online. To file a confidential complaint about workplace hazards, visit our How to File a Complaint page for instructions.