Committee on Education and Labor - U.S. House of Representatives

Protecting Workers'
Safety & Health

The Committee on Education and Labor is committed to improving workplace safety. A safe workplace is a basic necessity for all Americans. In the 110th Congress, the Committee has been working on:

    Crandall Canyon Mine Investigation »

    On August 6, 2007, the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah became the site of the worst coal mining tragedy of 2007. The Committee launched an investigation immediately after the disaster, finding it likely that the tragedy was the result of a flawed plan for conducting retreat mining in the area of the mine where the deaths occurred.

    Mine Safety »

    On January 16, 2008, the House passed the S-MINER Act -- mine safety and health legislation that would help prevent mining disasters, improve emergency response when disasters do occur, and reduce long-term health risks, such as black lung disease, facing miners.

    Combustible Dust »

    In February 2008, 12 workers were killed and 11 others were critically injured in an explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia. The Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire Prevention Act, introduced by Chairman Miller and Rep. John Barrow in March 2008, would force OSHA to issue rules regulating combustible industrial dusts, like sugar dust, that can build up to hazardous levels and explode.

    Diacetyl/Popcorn Lung »

    By a vote of 260 to 154, the U.S. House of Representatives on September 26, 2007 approved legislation intended to prevent workers in food processing plants from getting a debilitating, irreversible lung disease that has already sickened and killed a number of workers nationwide.

    Fatal Explosion at T2 Laboratories »

    Chairman George Miller and Rep. Lynn Woolsey called on OSHA to take immediate steps to improve the control of reactive chemical hazards as recommended by the Chemical Safety Board in 2002. Chairman Miller and Rep. Woolsey wrote that “compliance with the standard might have prevented the fatal explosion” at T2 Laboratories that killed four and injured dozens.

    BP Texas City Disaster »

    In March 2005, 15 workers were killed and 180 others were injured in an explosion at BP's Texas City, TX facility. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a final investigative report blaming BP for cost-cutting that led to malfunctioning equipment and overworked and undertrained employees, and OSHA for failing in its investigative responsibilities.

    Protecting Workers Act »

    Rep. Lynn Woolsey and Rep. Phil Hare and Sen. Edward Kennedy and Sen. Patty Murray introduced legislation to cut down on the number of American workers killed or injured on the job each year.

    Cintas »

    In March 2007, Mr. Eleazar Torres-Gomez, a 46-year old Cintas washroom employee, died in an accident at Cintas' Tulsa, Oklahoma, plant when, according to press reports, he was caught by a large robotic conveyor used to transfer uniforms from washers to dryers, and died inside the dryer as it operated for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. 

    World Trade Center Rescue Workers »

    In a September 2007 hearing, the Committee explored lessons learned after the failure to protect World Trade Center rescue workers. Witnesses testified that OSHA failed to protect the long-term health of rescue workers, and that a coherent national strategy is needed to protect workers in future emergencies.

    2007 Workplace Fatality Map »