As the UAW fights for fair pay and benefits for the workers who literally sacrifice their bodies through the repetitive motion of factory work—so the Big Three automakers can make record profits—the threats to worker health and safety are all around us. With climate change leading to record heat, and big companies like Amazon forcing its warehouse workers to work at a breakneck pace, there is a clear need for stronger protections. But the ability of workers and their advocates to enforce health and safety protections on their own is limited, and OSHA is underfunded and must pick its battles.
Nonetheless we need federal leadership on critical issues. That’s why the National Institute for Workers’ Rights joined several other organizations, led by Governing for Impact, to urge OSHA to issue guidance for employers outlining workplace mental health hazards that could constitute violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, such as infrequent rest breaks, long work hours, unsafe work conditions, and many others. Work-related stress has increased in recent years, and this takes both a medical and economic toll on workers. Check out our letter and join us in the fight for better protection against mental health hazards at work.