Archives for August, 2008

WSAV News in Savannah, Georgia reports today that Mr. Malcolm Frazier, 47, succumbed to the severe burns he sustained in the February explosion of combustible dust at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, GA. WSAV reports: After a long courageous battle, Malcolm Frazier, 47, succumbed to his burn injuries and passed away in the Joseph M.…

How Product Defense Hurts Workers

Hazards magazine, a UK-based publication dedicated to occupational health, has just published a piece by David Michaels about how product defense tactics harm workers. Much of David’s book, Doubt is Their Product, focuses on substances whose dangers are particularly evident in the workplace, including asbestos, benzene lead, aromatic amines (dyes and rubber chemicals that cause…

Behind the Latest Worker Fatality Figures

Earlier today, NPR’s Morning Edition dedicated a segment to the latest figure on workplace deaths: 5,488 workers died from fatal work injuries last year. That’s the lowest number since the government started keeping statistics in 1992. Libby Lewis interviewed David Michaels about the drop; he noted that some of the reduction is due to improvements…

World Water Week: Doing More With Less

It’s World Water Week, and officials from around the world are meeting in Stockholm to discuss how to get adequate water and sanitation to the world’s population – even as drought and other environmental problems threaten the global water supply. The conference organizers explain the problem and what WWW intends to do about it:

First, the good news: A federal appeals court has struck down a 2006 EPA rule that prohibited state and local governments from strengthening efforts to monitor pollution from power plants, factories, and refineries. Under the Clean Air Act, state and local governments are tasked with issuing pollution permits to power plants, factories, and other polluters.…

Occupational Health News Roundup

With growing rates of public transit usage nationwide, it’s a good time to see if transit systems are providing workplaces that will keep employees healthy. In this week’s news, the DC area’s transit agency has unveiled seats with more back support and better seat belts for its bus drivers; the improved seats will initially appear…

Doing too Little to Save the Bees

We’ve written before about the alarming rate of bee death (or colony collapse disorder) around the world, and last week the British Beekeepers’ Association revealed that one in three of the UK’s honeybee hives failed to survive the winter and spring. Now, the Natural Resources Defense Council says that a new class of pesticides might…

I recently started helping track worker fatalities over at The Weekly Toll, and it has been quite a harrowing couple of weeks.  There’s something about waiting to get news of another fatality– a fatality that more than likely could have been prevented– that leaves me feeling a little edgy, maybe even a little sick. Which…

Washington Post Decries “A Toxic Proposal”

Today, the Washington Post editorial page weighs in on the Department of Labor’s attempt to erect more hurdles to worker protection. (For more details on the proposed rule, see this case study or this blog post.) Like the New York Times editorial published two weeks ago, this one begins by noting that the Department has…

Friday Blog Roundup

Bloggers have a lot to say about the Bush Administration’s proposed new rules for the Endangered Species Act: Andrew Wetzler at NRDC’s Switchboard points out that the Fish & Wildlife Service doesn’t seem very interested in listening to the public’s thoughts on the changes. Jeff Dubbin at Oh My Gov! considers the history of the…