Occupational Health News Roundup

Pregnant workers at center of major Supreme Court case; new legislation could help miners with black lung get needed care; thousands of Amazon.com workers in Germany go on strike; and labor advocates oppose changes to the National Labor Relations Board.

That people who work nights have their sleep cycles thrown out of balance has serious consequences but urging a potentially habit-forming, psychoactive drug on an economically stressed, overworked workforce, would seem to be a symptom, at the minimum, of a pharmaceutical industry gone awry. Shouldn’t we instead be figuring out how to reduce the occupational health risks of work schedules?

About one in every 10 U.S. children is living with asthma — that’s closing in on 7 million kids. And while we have a good handle on what triggers asthma attacks and exacerbates respiratory symptoms, exactly what causes asthma in the first place is still somewhat of a mystery. However, new research points to some possible new culprits that are difficult, if not nearly impossible, to avoid.

Not an “accident”: Ernesto Rodriguez, 41, suffers fatal work-related injuries at southern Oklahoma oil rig site

This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the U.S. This one occurred on September 10 at a fracking site near Mannsville, Oklahoma.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that the U.S. poverty rate declined slightly between 2012 and 2013, however the numbers of people living at or below the poverty level in 2013 didn’t represent a real statistical change.

US uninsured rate sinks to new low

New findings from CDC’s National Health Interview Survey show the uninsured rate at its lowest level since the agency started tracking this statistic 17 years ago.

Amputations, hospitalizations the subject of new OSHA reporting rule

Beginning January 1, 2015, employers in the 29 states covered by federal OSHA will have new requirements for reporting work-related hospitalizations and amputations.

For eight years, Dora worked at a frozen pizza factory in Romeoville, Illinois, called Great Kitchens. For eight hours a day — sometimes seven days a week — she assembled pizza boxes or arranged cheese and other toppings on pizzas. The consequences of years of such repetitive work surfaced in October 2012, when her hands would go numb and a painful cyst formed on her left wrist. She told her supervisor about the problem, but he said he couldn’t do anything about it — Dora was a temporary worker hired through a staffing agency and so Great Kitchens wasn’t responsible for addressing her injury.

Perdue Farms announces that it has slashed its use of antibiotics in poultry.

Andrea Kidd-Taylor: Public health leader, worker safety advocate, justice seeker

The public health community is mourning the loss of Andrea Kidd-Taylor, DrPH, MSPH, 59, who died on September 1 from cancer.