A Labor Day look back at the year in worker health and safety

Our Labor Day tradition continues with the third edition of “The Year in US Occupational Health & Safety: Fall 2013 – Summer 2014.” Section I of the report recaps happenings over the last 12 months at the federal level.

Disappointing summer for progress by OSHA on new worker safety regulations

Around Memorial Day, OSHA set expectations in its regulatory agenda of what it would accomplish over the summer months. Now Labor Day is upon us and OSHA is 0 for 7 on the progress it said it would make on new worker safety regulations.

The San Jose Mercury News has begun publishing a multi-part series on the alarming use of psychotropic medications among youth in California’s foster-care system. Among the findings: 60% of foster children have been prescribed an antipsychotic, and 12% of those who received a psychotropic drug were prescribed two to four psychotropic medications at a time.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Texas workers face higher workplace fatality risks; Washington state court ruling holds parent company liable for wage violations; rail workers dismayed by union deal that threatens safety; and transgender workers receive new workplace protections.

Not an “accident”: Elbert C. Woods, 45, suffers fatal work-related injury at Cleveland, Ohio company

This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the U.S. This one occurred on August 21 at Cleveland Track Material in Cleveland, Ohio.

After nearly a decade of hoping state legislators would pass an earned paid sick time law, advocates in Massachusetts decided it was time to put the question to voters. Now, in November, voters will have the chance to help improve the lives of nearly 1 million workers who can’t earn one, single hour of sick leave and are often left to choose between caring for themselves or a loved one, paying the bills or losing a job.

If the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) give their approval to a new herbicide called Enlist Duo and to corn and soybean seeds genetically engineered (GE) to resist that chemical, the United States could see a significant increase in what is already one of the country’s most widely used herbicides.…

Previous research has documented a link between downturns in the economy and suicide among adults. But how do those downturns ripple throughout families and communities, and in particular, how do massive job losses affect the mental health of teens? A new study has found that, sadly, many teens are not immune to the stress of a struggling economy.

Some men think it’s okay to rape if they do it by getting their victims too drunk to offer much resistance. Can their peers change such behavior by speaking up?

Next time someone asks you what exactly public health does, repeat this number: 4.3 million. That’s the number of women — mothers, sisters, wives, aunts, grandmothers, daughters and friends — who might have otherwise gone without timely breast and cervical cancer screenings if it weren’t for public health and its commitment to prevention.