Occupational Health News Roundup

New investigative series examines the toll of occupational illness and the lack of federal protections; OSHA steps up its efforts to protect nurses; women janitors face sexual assault and rape risks on the night shift; and IKEA reports that raising wages worked so well, the company is set to raise them again.

Workers and safety advocates delivered petitions with 25,000 signatures to Hyundai’s headquarters demanding better working conditions at companies in the automaker’s supply chain. Exposure to isocyanates in the manufacturing of automobile seats is a particular concern.

A common hurdle in the field of occupational health and safety is delivering what can sometimes be life-saving information to the people who need it most. After all, not all employers are amenable to workplace health and safety education. But what if safety advocates could find and connect with the most at-risk workers out in the community? Perhaps even reach vulnerable workers with safety education before they experience an injury at work?

Analyzing online searches and social media activity has often been suggested as a way to track and maybe even predict the spread of diseases. And it’s a great idea — if it’s done right, it could offer public health workers real-time surveillance and a jumpstart at containing dangerous outbreaks. But there’s a hitch. How can we attempt to decipher between online activity triggered by the possibility of actual disease symptoms and online activity triggered by simple curiosity?

Best headline on SCOTUS ACA decision: “Six million sighs of relief”

A few of my favorite quotes from health groups in response to the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

Hospitals have improved heart-attack care and reduced central-line infections by adopting relatively simple evidence-based procedures.

Crippled hands, strained bladders: OSHA cites Delaware poultry company

For the just the second time in 10 years, OSHA issued citations to a poultry company for repetitive motion hazards that cause musculoskeletal injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

It seems simple enough – a proliferation of donors in global health means more money to solve some of the world’s most pressing health issues. Right? Not exactly. A lot of new evidence is coming out that suggests that the lack of coordination of different funding sources can be a burden and perhaps a detriment…

Even though farmworkers face serious hazards on the job and work in one of the most dangerous industries in the country, most young farmworkers in a recent study rated their work safety climate as “poor.” In fact, more than a third of those surveyed said their managers were only interested in getting the job done as quickly as possible.

Perspective on TPP in an unlikely place—a medical journal

A new take on TPP, which appears in the New England Journal of Medicine, gives me another reason to give the TPP a thumbs down.