Archives for March, 2008

Deaths on the Strip

The breakneck pace of high-rise construction on Las Vegas’ famed Strip comes at a terrible price: Since the end of 2006, nine construction workers have died in workplace accidents. In a special two-part series, the Las Vegas Sun’s Alexandra Berzon explores why these deaths are happening and what the state OSHA’s response has been. Berzon’s…

“Greening” of Ellis Island

By Vera Toulokhonova  Over spring break, my family and I traveled to spend a weekend in New York City.  One of our expeditions included a visit to the Statue of Liberty and, naturally, to the large restroom located on Ellis Island.  The first thing I noticed about this notably modern facility is the proliferation of green signs all…

MSHA Releases Data on 40 More Deaths

In response to a recommendation from the Department of Labor’s Inspector General, MSHA released data on 40 additional deaths which occurred (mostly) in 2007 at U.S. mining operations but were deemed not “chargeable” to the mining industry.  The information, which includes 5 deaths in late 2006 and 35 in 2007, involved miners, contract workers, a…

Friday Blog Roundup

Bloggers had a lot to say about food this week: Tom Philpott at Gristmill contrasts the U.S. and Canadian approaches to regulating the use of ethanol distillers grains in cattle feed. Guess which country’s regulators think the important thing is leaving cattle owners free to feed their animals whatever they please, even if the substance in…

Former OSHA Chief at Senate Hearing Next Week

The Senate HELP Committee’s Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety announced that former OSHA Assistant Secretary, Mr. Gerard Scannell, will testify at next week’s hearing on workplace safety.  He was the OSHA chief during the George H.W. Bush administration, and a long-time officer with the National Safety Council.  The hearing (previous post here) about serious and repeat violators…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Workers repairing the Qarmat Ali water injection plant in Iraq were told that the orange substance strewn around the facility was only a mild irritant – but after two-and-a-half months of exposure to it, many workers felt ill. Farah Stockman reports in the Boston Globe: But the chemical turned out to be sodium dichromate, a…

Immokalee Babies and Birth Defects

The Palm Beach (Florida) Post is reporting that Ag-Mart has settled a civil suit filed by a migrant farmworker family who alleged their son’s serious birth defects were associated with the company’s improper handling of pesticides.  Earlier reporting in March 2005 by the PB Post exposed the working and living conditions of this family and other farmworkers, and birth defects among some…

I recently started a new job, and since I don’t know the surrounding neighborhood well yet, I’ve been taking different routes through it every morning on my way to the office. Yesterday, steps from the White House, I approached a small construction site, shuffling to escape the unmistakable roar of a jackhammer on concrete. But…

On World TB Day, Still a Long Way to Go

Rachel Nugent at Global Health Policy reminds us that it’s World TB Day. She’s got good news and bad news about tuberculosis around the globe. On the plus side, tuberculosis control funding has reached an all-time high, and the number of TB cases per capita has dropped. On the minus side, the number of cases is…

Senate Hearing on Workplace Safety Bad Actors

The Senate HELP Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, chaired by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), will hold a hearing on Tuesday, April 1, 2008 entitled “Serious OSHA Violations: Strategies for Breaking Dangerous Patterns.”  The subcomittee has not yet released a witness list, but I’d expect to hear something about some of the bad actors profiled in the “Dirty Dozen” report,…