Archives for January, 2007

Political Attacks on Climate Science

Yesterday, the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on “Allegations of Political interference with the Work of Government Climate Change Scientists.” As committee chair Henry Waxman noted in his opening statement, the committee had been investigating this matter for several months, and had good reason to be concerned:

“Don’t Worry, It’s Only Dust”

Les Skramstad was a good, decent man.  He died earlier this month at 70-years young, from damage inflicted years earlier by greedy and reckless employers. 

Occupational Health News

When workplace disasters make headlines, worker health and safety advocates have an opportunity to push for better legislation and enforcement. Recent news stories follow up on the response to last year’s mining disasters and the 2005 explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery. (As always, Jordan Barab’s Confined Space has comprehensive back stories to these disasters.)…

by Les Boden Yesterday’s Washington Post has a long story about Mercury Morris, star running back of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only undefeated team in modern NFL history. Morris’ neck was broken in a 1973 game on national television, and he has had significant physical and emotional problems ever since. He also has been…

Say No to EHP Changes

One of the best ways that mothers, fathers, grandparents, and caregivers can find out about hazardous agents in their homes, communities, and workplaces is by reading the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).  EHP is published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), an agency created in 1966 by the Surgeon General as part of…

Small Fines for Fatal Mistakes

Some of you may recall Mike Casey’s compelling exposé in the Kansas City Star (Wayback Machine version here) regarding OSHA’s outrageously low fines for safety violations– even those directly responsible for serious injuries to or even deaths of unsuspecting workers. While OSHA is supposedly committed to levy fines “sufficient to serve as an effective deterrent…

Friday Blog Roundup

The pharmaceutical industry was a hot topic in the blogosphere this week: Cervantes at Stayin’ Alive advocates for a ban on direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising (as opposed to the proposed legislation likely to come from the pharma industry). Orac at Respectful Insolence has a different take on the “DCA is a miracle cancer drug Big Pharma…

By David Michaels Yesterday’s post by Les Boden on workers’ compensation fraud by employers brings up an important question: How much fraud is there in the comp system and who is responsible? Insurers and employers have worked diligently to convince the public that the workers’ compensation rolls are filled with malingerers, intent on ripping off…

Massey Wins Award for Safety??

Massey Energy, a major US coal mine operator, is boasting that its safety program has won the “highly coveted” Golden Pyramid Award.  Isn’t it a bit peculiar that a mining company where three workers were killed in 2006 would be recognized for its workplace safety and health program?  And, we wonder what kind of organization would give…

by Les Boden Today, The New York Times reports on an important study that shows us the tip of the iceberg of employer workers’ compensation fraud.