We are now at an important crossroad in the long term struggle for sustainable electronics. It is clear that Apple and Samsung are the global kingpins and both have been severely challenged by mismanagement and human tragedy in their manufacturing supply chains. The future of technology development hangs in the balance.
Center for Public Integrity
Who's to blame for thousands of work-related deaths and illnesses each year? Big Business, Congress, the White House and federal agencies. Decades of concerted efforts to weaken the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s authority have jammed the regulatory gears to the point that they hardly turn. Most of the agency’s exposure limits are more than 40 years old, and tens of thousands of chemicals, including many known to be hazardous, have no limits at all.
In its expansive report, the AFL-CIO reports 4,585 U.S. workers were killed on the job and 50,000 died from occupational diseases in 2013. U.S. workers suffer from 7.6 million to 11.4 million injuries each year. Workplace violence continues to be the second leading cause of job fatalities, with women workers suffering 70% of the lost-time injuries related to workplace violence. Latino workers continue to be at increased risk of job fatalities.
National Public Radio
A joint investigation by National Public Radio and Mine Safety and Health News found thousands of mine operators fail to pay safety penalties while they continue to manage dangerous — and sometimes deadly — mining operations. Most unpaid penalties are between two and 10 years overdue; some go back two decades. And federal regulators seem unable or unwilling to make mine owners pay or improve working conditions.
The national association of electrical engineers said the disaster represented "murder, not an accident". It accused the mine operators of neglect and using obsolete equipment. Inadequate ventilation systems meant carbon monoxide and other toxic gases could spread more quickly, it said.