Archives for August, 2007

Did They All Die in Vain?

The Mountain Eagle’s Tom Bethell pulls no punches in today’s editorial with an  in-your-face critique of the coal industry and their investment (not!) in safety technology.  He writes: “Name five U.S. coal companies that have generously supported research to develop a two-way PED, hardened wireless two-way phone systems, and a tracking system capable of instantly locating…

Cross-posted by Revere at Effect Measure You wonder when they will ever learn — or IF they will ever learn. In the wake of yesterday’s announcement that the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Dr. David Schwartz, will step aside while NIH does an inquiry into allegations of turmoil at the institute…

Mr. Eleazar Torres-Gomez, 46, was killed at an Oklahoma Cintas laundry plant on March 6, 2007, when he was dragged into an industrial dryer because of an unguarded conveyor.  Federal OSHA investigated the fatality and, this week, proposed a $2.78 million penalty for, among other things, 42 willful violations of its lockout/tagout standard. OSHA’s Asst. Secretary…

A Familiar Problem at CPSC

In a McClatchy Newspapers article, Kevin G. Hall shows how China and the Bush administration have both undermined efforts to keep lead out of children’s products by opposing efforts to police Chinese imports. This description of the Bush administration’s role will sound familiar to regular readers of this blog (emphasis added): Consumer advocates say the Bush administration…

MSHA, OSHA, and “Compliance Assistance”

By Liz Borkowski  Although work has begun on a fifth borehole into the Crandall Canyon mine, officials acknowledged yesterday that the six miners may not be found. This LA Times article describes the anguishing choice between leaving the miners underground – a notion “akin to soldiers leaving comrades on the battlefield” – and risking more…

When MSHA’s Gary Jensen, 53, died last week in a rockburst at the Crandall Canyon mine, it had been 26 years since a federal mine inspector had died in the line of duty.  Mr. Jensen joined MSHA in 2001 as an inspector.  He had worked for nearly 30 years as a coal miner, and was especially skilled in roof…

Cross-posted by Revere at Effect Measure In an email letter sent internally to all National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) personnel, its Director, Dr. David Schwartz, has announced he is temporarily stepping aside while the NIH Director, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, conducts an internal review of NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program (NATP), both of…

For the first year on the job, a new underground coal miner wears a red-colored hardhat to signal to everyone on the crew that he (or she) is a rookie.  These so-called “red hats” receive 40 hours of safety training before they are allowed to take on any mining duties, on topics ranging roof control,  mine gases, evacuation procedures,…

Friday Blog Roundup

Apparently, there’s something about a study involving cats and flame retardants that makes it irresistible blogging fodder. Lisa Stiffler at Dateline Earth was the first to alert us to the study, reporting that it linked cats’ PBDE exposure and hyperthyroidism. (PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are flame retardants that have been banned in Washington state…

MSHA reports: “At approximately 8:39 pm (EDT) Thursday night, a significant bounce occurred at the mine.  Three rescue workers are confirmed dead, including one MSHA inspector.  Six others remain hospitalized.  At this time, all rescue efforts have been suspended.” The MSHA inspector who was fatally injured in this latest coal-pillar rockburst was Mr. Gary Jensen,…