April has seen two major industrial accidents that have captured the national eye. Explosions at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia and the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana claimed the lives of forty workers and injured thirty-eight. Much of the media attention
on these tragedies has focused on the culpability of employers and enforcement capacity at federal agencies responsible for regulating mine and offshore
drilling safety. However, there are proactive steps states can take to address occupational safety hazards and ensure people do not have to sacrifice their personal safety in exchange for a paycheck.
The 2007 to 2008 legislative sessions are shaping up to be ones
where work and family issues take center stage, as voters increasingly
demand that legislatures make giving people the time to care for their
families the priority it is every day at the kitchen table. Below are a
few of those key issues and the organizations active in different