View stunning SlideShares in full-screen with the new iOS app!Introducing SlideShare for AndroidExplore all your favorite topics in the SlideShare appGet the SlideShare app to Save for Later — even offline
View stunning SlideShares in full-screen with the new Android app!View stunning SlideShares in full-screen with the new iOS app!
“ He considered himself one of the lucky ones. ‘I’m not worried about my health. I’ve been fine so far. I’m fortunate to have this face mask from a previous job [about 5 weeks earlier]. I wound up keeping the mask.’ He used it because there was a lot of mold in the walls of the houses he was cleaning and gutting. ‘Sometimes,’ he said, ‘we are issued suits, you know, the white suits.’ When I asked Miguel if he knew why it was important to have the proper safety equipment, he wasn’t too sure.”
Aguilar T, Podolsky L. Risk Amid Recovery. 2006 Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program.
Workers and residents continued to be exposed to high levels of heavy metals (arsenic, zinc, barium, cadmium), diesel range organics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (benzo[a]pyrene and benzo[b]fluoranthene).
Katrina contractor preferred to hire day laborers to avoid “providing them safety equipment or handle any administrative costs. He saw it as a ‘win-win’ situation. He said that it ‘was understood’ that the workers, since they were ‘independent contractors,’ would provide their own ‘tools and anything else, including safety gear like goggles, gloves.’ However, given that most workers in Lee Circle that morning did not have any such protective gear, this didn’t appear to be a shared understanding.”
1970s: excess leukemia documented with low levels of exposure
1987: standard set based on “economic feasibility”
delay in setting standard extra 198 deaths from leukaemia, 77 from multiple myeloma
Infante PF. Benzene: an historical perspective on the American and European occupational setting. 38-51 in Harremöes et al eds., Late lessons from early warnings: the precautionary principle 1896–2000, 2001, European Environment Agency.
Fear of job loss, blacklisting, retaliation common barrier to reporting hazards and injuries, especially for vulnerable workers
“ They say if I get sick, they will take it out of my pay. One time I did take a day off because of feeling sick due to the [floor stripping] chemicals. Sometimes these chemicals make me get nose bleeds and sick to my stomach and my vision gets blurry. I try to work anyway but one day I was too sick and I couldn’t come into work. My supervisor threatened to fire me if I stayed home again.” Janitor
Lashuay N and Harrison R. Barriers to Occupational Health Services for Low-Wage Workers in California. University of California 2006.