Health & Safety at Work

“A lot of people don't get a ventilator when they come to a hospital now, no matter how young they are”

New York City paramedic speaks out about dire conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic

By Clara Weiss, 31 March 2020

New York is now the center of the pandemic. As of Monday night, 1,342 people have died and 67,325 have tested positive. Over 36,000 of the infected are in New York City.

“We cannot abandon the nurses”

Nurse suicides rise in Europe amid stress of COVID-19 pandemic

By Allison Smith, 31 March 2020

Last week, 34-year-old nurse Daniella Trezzi, who worked in the COVID-19 intensive care ward of San Gerardo hospital at Monza, near Milan, committed suicide.

Australian warehouse workers strike over COVID-19 safety demands

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 March 2020

The strike lasted several hours, only ending after management promised to improve social distancing and sanitising.

Support the striking Instacart, Amazon and Whole Foods workers!

By Jerry White, 31 March 2020

With their work becoming ever more essential, grocery and delivery workers are fighting to protect themselves and those they serve from the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Europe’s coronavirus death toll passes 10,000

By Robert Stevens, 24 March 2020

The coronavirus crisis has exposed how Europe’s health and social care services face collapse after decades of being underfunded, privatised and de-staffed.

UK: NHS frontline staff and patients at risk through government negligence over pandemic

By Tony Robson, 24 March 2020

NHS doctors and nurses have been battling against the government’s refusal to provide testing and adequate Personal Protective Equipment.

Germany: Appalling lack of protective equipment in COVID-19 outbreak

By Markus Salzmann, 24 March 2020

It is still virtually impossible to be tested for the life-threatening virus and there is a lack of protective marks and other urgently needed equipment for health care workers.

US soon to pass Italy and China in coronavirus cases

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 March 2020

The total number infected in the United States is approaching 50,000, with nearly 600 dead.

The quiet before the surge: US physicians speak on the COVID-19 pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 March 2020

The WSWS spoke to three physicians as the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate in the United States.

Palestinians face humanitarian catastrophe from coronavirus

By Jean Shaoul, 24 March 2020

This foreseeable and foreseen disaster comes after Israel’s 13-year-long siege that has rendered Gaza almost uninhabitable.

Boeing closes Seattle-area plants after worker’s coronavirus death

By Hector Cordon, 24 March 2020

Two weeks after the first emergence of a coronavirus infection in its Everett, Washington, plant, Boeing has shut down production in the region.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ message to warehouse workers: Keep working despite coronavirus threat

By Nick Barrickman, 24 March 2020

After strikes by US and European Amazon workers over the danger to their health, the company’s billionaire CEO feigned concern while insisting that workers keep pumping out profits.

Under pressure from online protests over coronavirus concerns, GameStop shutters California stores

By Luke Galvin, 24 March 2020

The half-measure concessions, which went into effect Sunday, also included keeping stores in the rest of the United States operating with “delivery-to-door” service.

120 DC hospitals and coronavirus

24 March 2020

Florida residents on COVID-19 pandemic: “There is no way we can go longer than a month at this rate.”

By Matthew MacEgan, 24 March 2020

Workers and students spoke with the WSWS about lack of supplies, limited testing, and growing concerns over the economic, social, and health impact on their families and friends.

COVID-19 hits Nevada: Catastrophic job losses coupled with woefully inadequate health care infrastructure

By Jacob Crosse, 24 March 2020

Hundreds of thousands of workers have been laid off and Nevada’s sparse health care infrastructure is buckling as community spread of coronavirus takes hold.

US officials use economic fallout from pandemic to slash school funding

By Phyllis Steele and Jerry White, 24 March 2020

Even as school districts deliver free meals to millions of low-income students, state governments have already begun slashing school spending and reneging on promised pay raises to teachers.

Risk of wider outbreak of COVID-19 remains high in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 24 March 2020

Workers are being kept on the job, exposing themselves and their communities to greater risks.

New Zealand government warns tens of thousands could die, imposes lockdown

By Tom Peters, 24 March 2020

Medical professionals have warned that the country is unprepared for a significant outbreak of coronavirus and New Zealand “will look like Italy or the US” without extreme measures.

045 European Amazon coronavirus strike

20 March 2020

Drivers shut down Detroit bus system with sick-out over health and safety concerns during coronavirus outbreak

By Kevin Reed, 20 March 2020

Bus drivers took matters into their own hands in Detroit on Tuesday morning and shut down the city’s public transportation system to demand sanitary conditions.

Media blackout of wildcat strikes in US auto industry

By Tom Hall, 20 March 2020

Within hours after wildcat strikes in Fiat Chrysler plants in Michigan and Ohio forced a temporary shutdown of much of the North American auto industry during the coronavirus pandemic, the corporate media entered into full cover-up mode.

Mounting anger as workers demand protection from unsafe conditions

By Tom Hall and Joseph Kishore, 18 March 2020

There is growing outrage among workers in the United States and internationally over the fact that they continue to be kept on the job in nonessential industries and workplaces amidst the spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Workers shut production in auto plants throughout Michigan and Ohio, in defiance of UAW and management

By Tom Hall, 18 March 2020

Workers at Fiat Chrysler’s Sterling Heights (SHAP) and Jefferson North (JNAP) assembly plants in Metro Detroit took matters into their own hands last night and this morning and forced a shutdown of production to halt the spread of coronavirus.

How to fight the COVID-19 pandemic: A program of action for the working class

By the National Committee of the Socialist Equality Party (US), 17 March 2020

The essential principle that must guide the response to the crisis is that the needs of working people must take absolute and unconditional priority over all considerations of corporate profit and private wealth.

As lockdowns mount over COVID-19 worldwide, WHO pleads for more testing

By Bryan Dyne, 17 March 2020

President Trump admitted Monday that the coronavirus pandemic may not be contained in the US until at least July.

Temporary work stoppage at Fiat Chrysler’s Warren Truck plant as wildcat strikes spread in global auto industry

By Jerry White, 17 March 2020

Actions against continued production during the coronavirus pandemic have spread from Italy to Spain, Canada and now the United States.

UK doctors speak out on coronavirus pandemic

By our reporters, 17 March 2020

Reporters for the World Socialist Web Site spoke to two medical doctors on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting Britain’s National Health Service and their concerns for the future.

Amid coronavirus pandemic Nevada gaming commission announces “no plans” to close casinos

By Jacob Crosse, 17 March 2020

Regulators in just six US states—Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and Massachusetts—have ordered casinos shut down in a criminally belated attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Shut down the auto industry to halt the spread of coronavirus!

the Socialist Equality Party, 14 March 2020

At plants across North America, support for a mass walkout is growing. Workers must act now to save their lives and the lives of their families by forming rank-and-file committees.

“It’s like the workers are second rate citizens”

Fiat Chrysler keeps Indiana plant running after worker tests positive for coronavirus

By Jerry White, 13 March 2020

The decision by Fiat Chrysler, which has been backed by the United Auto Workers union, is imperiling the lives of workers.

Massachusetts health care professionals warn of Covid-19 testing shortage and lack of worker protections

By Kate Randall, 13 March 2020

Doctors and nurses are frustrated over the lack of testing kits for the coronavirus as well the lack of protective equipment for health care workers in hospitals.

“There’s been no real discussion at all”

Educators speak out on threat of coronavirus in US schools

By Evan Blake, 11 March 2020

As a result of decades of defunding public education and the criminal negligence of the political establishment, US schools are wholly unprepared for the rapid spread of COVID-19.

WHO warns again of Covid-19 pandemic as Italy imposes nationwide lockdown

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 March 2020

At a press conference yesterday, WHO Director General Tedros raised the concern that governments and authorities are “not taking the deaths of elderly and senior citizens as a serious issue.”

Germany sees rapid increase in coronavirus infections and first deaths

By Markus Salzmann, 10 March 2020

The massive spread of the coronavirus in Germany shows both the government’s indifference towards the dangers for the population and the precarious state of the country’s health care system, which has been systematically run down in recent years.

With 17 confirmed cases of coronavirus, Polish hospitals teeter on the brink of collapse

By Clara Weiss, 10 March 2020

The breakdown of the Polish health care system is a direct result of the restoration of capitalism and decades of social cuts in which all bourgeois parties have been complicit.

The coronavirus pandemic and the failure of capitalism

By Andre Damon and David North, 10 March 2020

The crisis produced by the coronavirus pandemic has delivered a powerful message: the capitalist system and the needs of society are fundamentally incompatible.

New report finds Tesla withheld workplace injury data from government

By Jessica Goldstein, 7 March 2020

A key factor in the dizzying growth of Tesla’s profits is management’s blatant disregard for workers’ safety and health.

First Amazon worker at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters tests positive for coronavirus

By Mike Ingram, 5 March 2020

An Amazon employee, the first at the company’s Seattle headquarters, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Two of the company’s employees in Italy had contracted the virus and are in quarantine.

Lack of preparedness puts US health care workers at greatest risk from coronavirus

By Kate Randall, 3 March 2020

The risks facing health care workers are bound up with the lack of preparedness of US hospitals and other health care facilities, the underfunding of public health and the subordination of medical care to profit.

Japanese government facing growing criticism over Covid-19 outbreak

By Ben McGrath, 3 March 2020

Prime Minister Abe has been accused of inaction will the virus spreads in the hopes of minimizing the impact on the economy.

Governments skimp on funds to fight the coronavirus, open cash spigots for the banks

By Andre Damon, 3 March 2020

While only a pittance is available to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which threatens to kill millions of people, unlimited funds are being made available to bail out the financial elite.

Chinese government defends its response to coronavirus

By Benjamin Mateus, 18 February 2020

Beijing has come under fire from the international community, as well as its citizens, for mishandling the early stages of the outbreak.

Seven workers burned to death in Indian factory fire

By Sakuna Jayawardana, 14 February 2020

The Nanda Denim workers are among the thousands who die or are maimed each year in the brutally exploitative global garment industry.

999 Increase in Coronavirus cases reported

14 February 2020

Ten million workers in Britain toil in “low-quality” jobs

By Margot Miller, 12 February 2020

The Health Foundation report confirms what most workers have long suspected—poor conditions at work make you ill.

Explosion at Illinois silicone manufacturing facility entirely preventable

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 December 2019

The findings of the Chemical Safety Hazard Investigation Board report demonstrate that AB Specialty Silicones is responsible for the deaths by willful negligence.

Russia: At least 15 dead, five missing after illegal dam breaks in Siberia

By Clara Weiss, 22 October 2019

Both the dam and the construction of the shelters for the workers on the Seiba river near the village Shchetikino were in flagrant violation of the law and basic safety measures.

100 Russian Mine collapse

21 October 2019

Workers in stone fabrication industry worldwide at high risk of deadly lung disease, CDC finds

By Jessica Goldstein, 9 October 2019

The CDC investigation highlights the international character of the risk of silicosis, a deadly and incurable occupational lung disease, among stone fabrication workers.

Bone-crushing labor prevails across the American meatpacking industry

By Brian Brown, 7 October 2019

While the meatpacking industry has historically been a dirty and dangerous occupation, taking workers lives and limbs, a dangerous job will become a lot worse with the Trump administration pushing further de-regulation.

Illinois steelworker killed on the job, police launch investigation

By Jacob Crosse, 5 October 2019

Police and government officials are investigating the death Adrian Gomez, 26, husband and father of two, who was killed when he became trapped in machinery.

New York City transit workers exposed to toxic asbestos for decades

By Philip Guelpa, 5 October 2019

Dangerous, antiquated conditions at the East New York bus depot are only one symptom of the severely deteriorated condition of the city’s transit system.

New York City mayor declares end of measles public health emergency

By Gary Joad, 16 September 2019

During a nine-month period, 52 people were hospitalized and 16 individuals placed in intensive care units. Eighty percent of those contracting measles were children.

Two workers crushed to death at Michigan granite supplier

By Kathleen Martin, 14 September 2019

The fire department immediately shut down the Stone Warehouse shop after the accident for multiple safety violations.

US agency warns of lung illness epidemic among young people, attributed to e-cigarettes

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 September 2019

The FDA has issued a public warning of a rapidly developing epidemic of severe lung illnesses associated with “vaping,” with 450 cases confirmed spanning 33 states.

Two utility workers electrocuted on the job in upstate New York

By Leslie Murtagh, 26 August 2019

Two utility workers conducting maintenance on a transmission power line in New York’s Hudson Valley region died this week when they came into contact with a wire that wasn’t supposed to be carrying electricity.

ExxonMobil fire in Harris County, Texas injures 37 workers

By George Kirby, 2 August 2019

The oil industry has proven itself oblivious to the occasional slap on the wrist from federal regulators, continuing to flout health and safety rules in the chase for production and profits.

Australia: Six Queensland mining deaths in 12 months

By Patrick Davies, 30 July 2019

The tragedies are a result of the gutting of full-time jobs and the erosion of working conditions, enforced by the trade unions.

060 Legionella found at Ford Rouge

2 July 2019

Protesting nurses speak out in Long Beach, California

By Rafael Azul and Kimie Saito, 28 June 2019

“Patients are not numbers! Maximum patients + minimum nurses = maximum profits. And the costs are passed on to the consumers and us.”

Union works to sabotage unity of Minnesota nurses’ struggle

By Matt Rigel, 28 June 2019

The Minnesota Nurses Association is working to sell out nurses in Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region by negotiating contracts at some hospitals while others remain unsettled.

New petrochemical complex could create a “cancer alley” on Ohio River

By John Ashbrook, 28 June 2019

The Trump administration is backing a tri-state effort to build a huge fossil fuel processing facility that threatens public health and the environment.

Explosion and fire at Philadelphia refinery as company puts profits over safety

By Samuel Davidson, 25 June 2019

The massive explosion and fire at a Philadelphia oil refinery are the direct result of the criminal drive for profits at the expense of the safety of the workers and the collaboration of the USW with the company.

“Sully” Sullenberger testifies that the 737 Max 8 was “fatally flawed”

By Bryan Dyne, 21 June 2019

The airline captain’s statement to Congress exposed the negligence of Boeing and questioned the relationship between the company and regulatory agencies.

Unreported releases from coal ash ponds may be more widespread in US than previously known

By John Ashbrook, 21 June 2019

Millions of people are potentially exposed to toxic coal ash, which can cause bone cancers, leukemia and nervous system and brain damage.

Suicide rates for doctors and young physicians among highest in the US population

By Alex Johnson, 17 June 2019

Doctors are often hesitant to seek treatment, due to the stigma associated with mental health problems.

US flight attendants speak out over uniforms that cause illness

By Brian Brown and Tom Hall, 12 June 2019

Rashes, burning throats and eyes, and other symptoms have been reported by thousands of flight attendants following the introduction of new uniforms at several US airlines.

Forty hospitalized after toxic chemical leak in Chicago suburb

By Jessica Goldstein, 26 April 2019

Residents of Beach Park, Illinois were ordered to stay inside and 40 people were hospitalized after toxic anhydrous ammonia leaked into the air during a chemical spill.

“Why did Boeing make it like that? Pure negligence and greed. There is simply no other answer.”

Aviation reporter Rytis Beresnevičius speaks to WSWS on Boeing 737 crashes

By Bryan Dyne, 20 April 2019

Rytis Beresnevičius has closely followed the two recent Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes and the engineering, executive and regulatory decisions that led to these disasters.

Office workers killed in building fires in Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 6 April 2019

Hundreds of residents have been killed or injured in recent years by the regularly occurring fires in the city.

Another steelworker killed at ArcelorMittal in Indiana

By Jessica Goldstein, 6 April 2019

Fleming’s death is the 392nd to occur at the mill, which has operated since 1902.

Houston chemical fire: Residents ordered to “shelter-in-place” due to benzene danger

By Jacob Crosse, 22 March 2019

Residents of Deer Park and Galena Park, east of the Texas city, have been the most affected by the fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company.

Lawsuit alleges Amazon caused worker’s death

By Jeff Lusanne, 2 February 2019

The wife of a worker who died at a Joliet, Illinois Amazon warehouse in 2017 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Amazon for the extreme delay of medical treatment that led to his death.

Two construction workers killed in scaffolding collapse near Disney World

By Jessica Goldstein, 31 August 2018

What the official investigations will not expose is that the deaths of Bell and Zavala have a deeper cause: the profit interests of JW Marriott, DCS, and PCL.

060 Texas gas worker death

9 August 2018

Construction accident claims the life of another New York worker

By Mark Witkowski, 20 July 2018

The death of Angel Espinosa is the latest in a growing number of workplace fatalities in the state with fatalities steadily increasing over the last two decades.

Ford contests token fines for death of electrician Ivan Bridgewater

By Jessica Goldstein, 16 July 2018

The Kentucky state OSHA office report found that Ivan Bridgewater "suffered crushed injuries to include rib fractures and hemorrhaging which killed him.”

One worker killed, one injured hours apart at Florida’s Walt Disney World

By Jessica Goldstein, 12 July 2018

Juan Alberto Ojeda, 33, was killed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida in an accident with a Toro utility cart.

Twenty-year-old construction worker killed in Baltimore trench collapse

By Jessica Goldstein, 8 June 2018

Kyle Hancock was killed Tuesday after being crushed by dirt and debris that had collapsed on top of him while working on a backed-up sewage line in Northeast Baltimore’s Clifton Park.

Refinery explosions rock Texas and Wisconsin

By Trévon Austin, 28 April 2018

The two explosions released tons of toxic material into the air, posing serious health risks.

Study finds regular use of common cleaning chemicals decreases lung capacity

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 February 2018

A study conducted by Norwegian scientists confirms earlier findings that common cleaning agents have a detrimental impact on workers’ lung health.

Holidays painful for family of young Ford worker killed in Detroit area plant

By Jerry White, 27 December 2017

December 27 would have been the 22nd birthday of Jacoby Marquis Hennings, who tragically died at Ford’s Woodhaven Stamping Plant on October 20.

“If finding out what happened could save another life at least something good would come from our son’s death”

Family, co-workers want truth about Kentucky Ford worker’s death

By Jerry White, 23 December 2017

Two weeks after the death of 41-year-old electrician Ivan Bridgewater, company, union and government officials have not explained how the fatal accident occurred.

US workplace fatalities rose 7 percent in 2016

By Jerry White, 20 December 2017

The rise in occupational deaths during Obama’s last years in office lifts the lid on record corporate profits and America’s so-called “economic recovery.”

Few facts in horrific death of Canton, Ohio meat packing worker Samuel Martinez

By Shannon Jones, 19 December 2017

As is typical, the media has dealt with this tragedy in a perfunctory manner, seeking to conceal the social implications of the industrial carnage taking place in the United States.

Worker killed at ExxonMobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas

By Trévon Austin, 6 December 2017

The worker’s death highlights deteriorating safety standards in the oil industry, which have only worsened due to the collaboration of the United Steelworkers union.

Forty-two-year-old steelworker dies at US Steel mill in Granite City, Illinois

By Jessica Goldstein, 9 March 2017

A steelworker was killed following the reopening of the US Steel mill in Granite City, Illinois, the third death at the mill since its purchase from National Steel in 2003.

Four workers critically injured in fire at Louisiana refinery

By Tom Hall, 26 November 2016

The fire at ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge refinery, the fourth largest in the country, flows from the betrayal of the 2015 refinery strike by the United Steel Workers union.

Zika virus threatens 2016 Olympics

By David Brown and Julio Patron, 16 May 2016

Plans to hold the Olympics in the middle of Brazil’s Zika epidemic threaten to greatly increase the global reach of the virus.

US safety regulators aided GM in cover-up of deadly defects

By Shannon Jones, 18 September 2014

Although it was in possession of reports linking an ignition defect in GM cars to fatal crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took no action.

Michigan steel worker crushed to death on the job

By Zac Corrigan, 6 June 2014

Thirty-one-year-old Andrew Beckman was crushed by over 3,000 pounds of steel rods at a Saginaw steel plant.

The Jungle in 2010

By Tom Eley and Barry Grey, 26 August 2010

This week’s massive recalls of contaminated eggs and lunch meats have lifted the veil on the source of the US food supply in brutal and unsanitary sweatshops.

Public health crisis looms in Gulf

By Tom Eley and Dwight Stoll, 22 July 2010

Experts warn of a long-term public health crisis on the US Gulf Coast as a result of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

BP cleanup workers report serious health problems

By Hiram Lee, 5 June 2010

BP cleanup workers spending long hours on waters contaminated by oil and chemical dispersants have begun reporting health problems including headaches, nosebleeds, chest pains and dizziness.

The United Mine Workers of America and the resurgence of black lung disease

By Jerry White, 12 January 2010

The return of high levels of black lung disease is, above all, a testament to the treacherous role of the United Mine Workers of America.

Washington, D.C., track worker killed in accident

By Alan Whyte, 19 August 2009

A track repairman, Michael Nash, was struck by a Washington, D.C., Metro train and killed on August 9—the latest in a series of accidents involving the public transportation system of the nation’s capital.

Workers in New Jersey and Michigan die in industrial accidents

By Jack Cody, 11 July 2009

Work place fatalities are rising as businesses hire inexperienced temporary workers and sidestep safety regulations, trying to cut costs and weather the economic crisis.

Explosion at North Carolina plant leaves 3 dead, 41 injured

By Hiram Lee, 11 June 2009

An explosion at the ConAgra Foods plant in Garner, North Carolina has left three workers dead and several more injured.

Scotland: Fatal helicopter crash raises concerns over offshore safety

By David Fisher, 21 April 2009

On April 1 an AS332L2 Super Puma helicopter carrying personnel from BP’s Miller platform crashed into the North Sea with the loss of two crew and 14 passengers.