Archives for October, 2007

UK Moves to Protect Health Care Workers

The United Kingdom’s Department of Health announced last week that it was providing an additional £97 million ($198 million US) to its National Health Service for programs to protect healthcare workers from violence and abuse.  The Health Secretary noted: “Over 58,000 NHS staff were physically assaulted by patients and relatives in England in 2005-06. This is completely…

By Liz Borkowski  Reports of toys and other products containing dangerous levels of lead continue to pour in, with Curious George dolls and lipstick being the latest items to come under scrutiny. Companies and health officials have to decide what to do about products currently on the market, and lawmakers are proposing ways to keep…

How Dangerous is Manganese in Drinking Water?

Occupational exposure to manganese has been in the news lately, with law suits by welders who claim neurological disease caused by manganese exposure. Now two scientists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute have written a paper in which they argue that current guidelines for safe levels of manganese in drinking water are based on a misinterpretation of…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Why do people assault those who are trying to help them (or their family members)? Alcohol, drugs, and dementia are among the causes, and the result is that health care workers and social workers face a high risk of on-the-job injury. The Edmonton Journal reports that nearly 20 percent of the Workers Compensation Board of…

OSHA Official’s Alternate Reality

Are the political appointees who run OSHA delusional or merely mendacious? In her column in today’s Washington Post, Cindy Skrzycki reviews the efforts by members of Congress to require OSHA to issue standards protecting workers from diacetyl, the artificial butter flavor chemical that causes irreversible lung disease. One statement jumped out: “I would characterize us…

Widows Honored for Justice-Seeking Efforts

What do three women made widows by three fatal Kentucky coal mining accidents have in common with two others left behind in the 2006 airline crash? “I am a widow.  I am a single parent.  I’m an advocate for anyone suffering because they were robbed of their spouse due to ineptitude and/or negligence,”

New Weekly Toll Posted

Tammy has posted another edition of the Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace at her Weekly Toll blog. It gives short writeups of 134 workplace deaths, including the following: Fernando Jimenez Gonzalez, 18, drowned in a vat of sulfuric acid at the Redwood City, California circuit board manufacturing facility where he worked; he is…

Protecting Healthcare Workers

At the request of the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (which is part of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health), an Institute of Medicine committee studied personal protective equipment that healthcare workers would need in the event of an influenza pandemic. They conclude that we’re not adequately prepared. But they have some ideas…

“I’m only 31 and I’m a widow”

Carolynn Dejaynes had visited the tunnel at the Xcel Energy’s Cabin Creek hydro-electric plant the day before it claimed her husband’s life and that of four other employees of Robison-Prezioso Inc. (RPI).  Mrs. Dejaynes says: “It shouldn’t have happened.  There were things that could have been done to prevent it.”

MSHA announces ‘100 percent’ plan From The Onion? No.  MSHA (seriously) just announced “a new initiative to complete 100 percent of mandated regular inspections of all coal mines in the country.”  Huh?  A “new initiative” to do something that you are already required by statute to do?