From the Executive Director's Desk

As a state affiliate of the National Council on Occupational Safety & Health, WEC remains committed to ensuring safety and health for both workers and community members. Unfortunately, we seem to be moving in the wrong direction with several rules at risk in OSHA's 2017 Update, as noted in this excellent, though disheartening analysis from the Center for Progressive Reform.

Meanwhile, we know violence is a growing issue in our workplaces and the threat of workplace injury, or even fatality, remains all too prevalent. 

On Tuesday, August 15, WEC will offer our first webinar, Preventing Workplace Violence, to address this issue. We hope you will register to join us.

Meanwhile, we're working with our allies in Jersey Renews to address the greatest health and safety issue of all: climate change. In the coming weeks, we're helping to organize a series of events highlighting steps New Jersey can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase clean energy generation, and put people to work. Please join us at the first event, a panel and press conference in Atlantic City, on Wednesday, August 16. 
In Solidarity,

Christie Conditionally Vetoes the Oil Train Safety Bill

Gov. Christie has conditionally vetoed the Oil Train Safety bill (S806/A2463). This conditional veto continues to put fence line communities and first responders at risk by continuing to deny them access to information on routing and volume of crude oil trains that other states have made available. Christie’s veto continues the status quo of secrecy.

Right to Know is not just a phrase. It is a call for action. In this case, giving community members the right to know about rail car hazards would give them an opportunity to work with emergency responders and have a plan in place in case of a derailment. It could lead to more community engagement and oversight to ensure everything is being done by the railroads to protect the communities they pass through.

“At the end of the day, we don’t know what is moving through our communities. We don’t know that rail companies have plans or financial ability to deal with disasters,” said Dan Fatton, WEC Executive Director.


Demand that NJ Act Now:
Sign the Respect Our Right to Know
Campaign Petition

Welcome, Norah Langweiler, Campaign Organizer!
Don’t Cut Job Safety

4,800+ workers die each year on the job.  Yet, first the President and now some members of Congress are calling for the elimination of the OSHA Susan Harwood program. The program provides training and education for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces.

Since 2004, because of the Harwood program, WEC has trained 5,797 employers and workers on various safety and health topics from process safety management to preventing workplace violence to effective injury illness and prevention programs to help prevent injuries.  

Tell your Representative to put American workers' safety and health before profit and fund the Susan Harwood program. A workers’ life may depend on it.
Remembering Jamie Hoyt

At the 2016 Worker Memorial Day event, organized by New Labor and WEC, we had the opportunity to sit down with the Hoyt family who lost their brother Jamie in a workplace tragedy. You can watch clips of the video interview here on our website.
Trump Administration Challenged in Court for Delaying Chemical Rule

A coalition of groups representing workers, scientists and community members near chemical facilities filed a motion seeking emergency relief from the D.C. Circuit Court to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from delaying needed updates to the agency’s Risk Management Program, also known as the Chemical Disaster Rule. EPA published a final rule putting these commonsense protections against chemical disasters on hold for an unprecedented period of time—until February 2019. 

About 177 million Americans live in the worst-case scenario zones for a chemical disaster.  At least one in three schoolchildren in America attends a school within the vulnerability zone of a hazardous facility. Black, Latino and low-income communities are disproportionately at-risk.

“EPA’s sudden delay irresponsibly endangers workers, first responders, and communities living near chemical facilities. It also represents a shocking disregard for the rule of law and the process the government is required to follow before it takes away any health and safety protections under the Clean Air Act,” said Gordon Sommers, an attorney with Earthjustice, representing fence-line community groups.

“The RMP rule is an important part of protecting workers from catastrophic accidents. Every day that this rule is delayed is another day that workers, first responders, and communities are at risk,” Kim Nibarger, USW National Oil Bargaining Chair. USW is represented by Santarella + Eckert, LLC.

Need a speaker for an upcoming event, meeting, or training conference on workplace, environmental, or school safety issues? WEC staff would love to help. Contact Cecelia Gilligan Leto for more information.
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Take Action

Webinar on Preventing Workplace Violence
Tuesday, August 15

Offshore Wind Panel
Wednesday, August 16

HSN Quarterly Meeting
Wednesday, September 27

Banking on NJ Conference
Saturday, September 16

NJ Climate Adaptation Statewide Conference
Wednesday, September 27

WEC Awards Dinner
Thursday, November 30
Individuals and organizations can join WEC & you may 
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If you aren't yet a member, please join today!
Workplace Violence PSA
A nurse tells her personal and compelling story of workplace violence.
Newsletter July 27, 2017
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