Archives for July, 2008

When was the last time the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO agreed on a matter related to workers’ health and safety?  That’s exactly what has happened since the formal announcement about CDC Director Julie Gerberding’s decision not to reappoint NIOSH Director John Howard.  Members of Congress are demanding meetings, stakeholders are sending letters, and the NYTimes Editorial Board called…

Starting in August, roughly 17,000 employees of the state of Utah will switch from five-day to four-day workweeks. Essential services like police and public schools won’t be affected, but an estimated 1,000 of the state’s 3,000 buildings will be closed on Fridays. The state expects to save $3 million, and affected workers will pay for…

Friday Blog Roundup

Bloggers consider the disappointing results from the G8 summit: Kate Sheppard at Gristmill explains why the G8 climate agreement is not so great (especially when considered in light of goals set in 1992). Richard Littlemore at DeSmogBlog lays the blame for the G8’s climate standstill on three men. Angelique van Engelen at Triple Pundit takes…

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Congressman George Miller (D-CA) are demanding answers from Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on her mysterious proposed rule on risk assessment.  I reported earlier this week that the Secretary’s office sent a proposed rule to OMB on July 7 entitled “Requirements for DOL Agencies’ Assessment of Occupational Health Risks.”  Although this proposal might sound…

PhRMA Nixes Pens for Docs

Pens, pads, and other trinkets bearing prescription-drug logos have come to symbolize the extensive presence of pharmaceutical marketing in healthcare settings, but they may be on their way out. Pharmaceutical-industry trade association The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is announcing a new voluntary code of conduct that bans drug reps from distributing these…

Occupational Health News Roundup

In the New York Times, David Tuller describes the on-the-job violence nurses face, and efforts to make their workplaces safer:  Three years ago, an enraged patient — 6 feet 4 inches and 275 pounds — smacked another patient, bit a health aide, threatened to kill [psychiatric nurse Karen] Coughlin and lunged forward to strike her.…

Secret rule on OSHA risk assessment?

I found the most curious item on OMB OIRA’s webpage today, and my paranoia about end-of-the-term mischief by the Bush Administration kicked into high gear.  The item is listed as a proposed rule submitted to OIRA for review on July 7 titled: “Requirements for DOL Agencies’ Assessment of Occupational Health Risks” (RIN: 1290-AA23)  (Link here, select…

Seeking Government Scientists for Study

I’m repeating myself here, but it’s for a good cause. At the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy at George Washington University School of Public Health, we’ve launched a multi-part study to understand the current policies surrounding scientists’ work at government agencies and to create recommendations for policies that support strong science and the…

Thanks to the Framingham Volunteers

It might be hard to recall a time when we didn’t know that exercise is good for your heart, and smoking is bad for it – but, back in 1948, researchers and clinicians knew little about the causes of cardiovascular disease. That year, the National Heart Institute (now the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute,…

Friday Blog Roundup

The big healthcare news this week was the scheduled 10% cut to Medicare physician fees, which Congress almost managed to avert. Instead, implementation of the cuts has been put on hold for two more weeks. Bloggers have more: Sarah Rubenstein at WSJ’s Health Blog gives a quick summary of the situation and explains the implications…