Last week, more than 30 citations were issued by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) to a waste recycling company called American Reclamation, Inc., its subsidiaries and a temporary employment agency. The citations dealt with serious violations at a material recovery facility in Los Angeles, which is where trash is sorted by hand to remove recyclables from other waste.
Cal/OSHA cited the company for violations of health and safety standards,
failure to train workers properly and a host of other unlawful practices. I’m happy that our state health and safety enforcers caught these violations, but I fear that the lack of enforcement resources in California means many other violations at other facilities are slipping through the cracks.
Coming off a thrilling victory on banning plastic bags, the City of L.A.’s next waste discussion centers on taming the currently out-of-control open permit system that governs how waste is collected for business and large apartment buildings.
(The following news announcement was issued by the Harvard Business School.)
Research published today in Science sheds light on a hot-button political issue: the role and effectiveness of government regulation. Does it kill jobs or protect the public?
The new study, co-authored by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Toffel, Professor David Levine of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and Boston University doctoral student Matthew Johnson, examines workplace safety inspections conducted by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). The authors carried out the first evaluation of a “clinical trial” of the state’s mandated randomized inspections to discern their effect on both worker safety and companies’ bottom lines.
The results overturn conventional wisdom: Workplace inspections do reduce on-the-job injuries and their associated costs, and the researchers could not detect any harm to companies’
Solid waste company American Reclamation, Inc. which for months has come under heavy fire over alleged safety violations and poor treatment of its employees, was cited by Cal/OSHA this week following an investigation by the agency into conditions at its Atwater recycling facility.
Cal/OSHA issued 36 citations to the company, its recycling subsidiary, South Coast Fibers, Inc. and their staffing agency totaling nearly $40,000 in penalties.
The investigation stemmed from complaints filed by Karla Campos, a 25-year-old Glendale resident and former American Reclamation worker. “American Reclamation treats us worse than the trash we sort,” said Campos, who has charged that she was fired by the company after falling on trash and breaking her tailbone.
The citations come as the L.A. City Council considers adopting a new exclusive franchise system for commercial and multifamily waste. The system would mitigate many of the problems found in the current system —