Archives for February, 2007

Occupational Health News Roundup

As long as the U.S. system has employers bearing the brunt of soaring health insurance costs (or avoiding them by not offering coverage at all), workers, companies, and even charities will be trying out different approaches to affording healthcare. Here are a few approaches that have made the news recently: The new Farmers’ Health Cooperative…

By David Michaels This is how it always works. A leading medical journal publishes a study saying a commercial product may be dangerous, perhaps even killing people. The trade association representing the manufacturers quickly attacks the study (preferably in the same news cycle), accusing the scientists of incompetence or worse. The latest issue of the…

By Liz Borkowski Last week, the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (SKAPP) held a panel discussion on the FDA featuring four former FDA Commissioners. While all of the panelists made a point of saying that there are a lot of wonderful people working at the FDA, they also acknowledged that the agency has some…

The 800 pound gorilla

Mike Hendricks from the Kansas City Star notes in a recent article that all-too-often, trench collapses happen when “work crews take shortcuts because they’re in a hurry or think a trench box interferes with the job they’re doing.” While it may be true that workers are “cutting corners” to finish the job they are assigned…

Message to MSHA: Do More, and Do it Faster

The House Education and Labor Committee, chaired by George Miller (D-CA), issued a progress report on MSHA’s implementation of the MINER Act of 2006.  The report says implementation by the agency and mining industry of certain provisions of the new law are “proceeding too slowly,” including inadequate application of underground communication and tracking devices.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s blog “The Gavel” quickly…

By David Michaels The handcuffs President Bush recently imposed on regulatory agencies continue to be the focus of public attention. (We’ve compiled a listing of posts on the Executive Order and its nefarious implications). Members of Congress, along with public health and environmental advocates, are now considering legislative approaches to overturning these new requirements. Media…

Two Senate Hearings on Worker H&S Issues

This week, two Senate Committees will focus attention on worker safety and health topics.  On Wednesday, February 28, Senator Tom Harkin’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education will receive testimony on “Improving Mine Safety: One Year after Sago and Alma.”  On Thursday, March 1, Senator Patty Murray’s Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety of…

Dr. Tony Robbins recent response to my draft on OSHA at 35 makes the important point that economic developments are often more powerful than public health initiatives as determinants of environmental and occupational illness. I agree with his thought that predictive models of exposure might facilitate anticipatory public health strategies rather than our more typical…

Giving up more than a day off

Christopher Thomas needed to make some extra money. The 51-year old welder—also a husband and father of two—had begun work in the GMD Shipyard in Brooklyn Navy Yard about a week before. It was mid-morning on a Saturday—his day off—but Thomas had come into work anyway.

Friday Blog Roundup

Pharmaceuticals seem to be a big topic in the blogosphere this week. Roy M. Poses MD at Health Care Renewal has more on the Zyprexa memos – which, if you haven’t been following this issue, reportedly show that manufacturer Eli Lilly suppressed information about this schizophrenia drug’s harmful side effects. Abel Pharmboy at Terra Sigillata reports on…