Occupational Health News Roundup

A new UK law now in force should make it easier to prosecute companies accused of causing death because of negligence. BBC News explains:

Under the new offence of corporate manslaughter, employers may face large fines if it is proved they failed to take proper safety precautions.

The old law was criticised for making it too hard to bring prosecutions.

Proof is no longer needed that a single senior official was to blame, only that senior management played a role.

It also lifts government bodies’ immunity to prosecution. Some worker advocates say it doesn’t go far enough, though, and predict that individual senior managers will still not be held responsible for health and safety failings that result in deaths.

In other news:

New York Times: Army leaders fear for the mental health of soldiers undergoing repeated tours in Iraq under plans that call for continued high troop levels there.

Wall Street Journal: The practice of contracting out government-facility jobs contributes to high rates of employee uninsurance.

Louisville Courier-Journal: A new GAO report finds that nearly two years after Congress heightened mine safety requirements, the nation’s coal mines still lack the necessary protections for trapped miners.

Guardian: A study published in BMC Neurology provides further evidence of a link between Parkinson’s disease and long-term pesticide exposure.

Financial Times: A global coalition of pilots and flight attendants’ unions is calling for an inquiry into contaminated air in British aircraft.