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Congressional Hearing on Oil Disaster Worker Safety Next Week

BP Cleanup Workers

BP Cleanup Workers in Grand Isle, Louisiana (Michael Whitney/Firedoglake)

Some good news out of Congress about protecting workers involved in the BP oil disaster, as well as offshore oil workers. Rep. George Miller’s House Committee on Education and Labor will hold a hearing on oil worker and cleanup worker safety on Wednesday.

The House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, June 23 to examine how worker health and safety is regulated and enforced by various parties from oil rigs themselves to post-accident cleanup operations.

Questions have been raised about who is ultimately responsible for worker health and safety in light of the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and exposed cleanup workers to toxic chemicals. Representatives from government health and safety agencies, and industry officials are expected to testify.

Hearing on “Worker Health and Safety from the Oil Rig to the Shoreline”

David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor
Other Witnesses TBA

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
10:00 a.m. EDT
Please check the Committee schedule for potential updates »

House Education and Labor Committee Hearing Room
2175 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

This should be very interesting. David Michaels will be put on the spot for first slamming BP for lack of safety measures, and then protecting BP after two members of Congress cited Michaels’ in their request for respirators for cleanup workers. Other witnesses will be key, obviously; I’m hoping for experts in both safety training, as well as people with experience in the Exxon Valdez cleanup and the lifelong problems resulting from that disaster.

Check back here; I’ll be covering the hearing word for word.

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Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney

My name is Michael Whitney. I'm a progressive online organizer working with FDL Action. Rush Limbaugh called me "clueless" once. He went into rehab two days later.