Archives for January, 2009

Occupational Health News Roundup

During our holiday hiatus, the Washington Post published an article looking back at OSHA during the Bush years. R. Jeffrey Smith writes: [During the Bush administration], political appointees ordered the withdrawal of dozens of workplace health regulations, slow-rolled others, and altered the reach of its warnings and rules in response to industry pressure. The result…

Senator Edward Kennedy’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP Committee) held a hearing today to consider the nomination of Hilda Solis to be the nation’s 25 Secretary of Labor.  A webcast replay of the proceedings is available (here), as is a copy of Ms. Solis’ written testimony.  Here are a few highlights from her written remarks: “The Labor Department just…

by revere, cross-posted at Effect Measure Many of you were readers here when science bloggers and scienceblogs in particular played a pivotal role in the case of the Tripoli 6, medics under sentence of death in Libya over trumped up charges of infecting children with HIV. Another urgent matter now confronts the worldwide scientific community…

MSHA ignoring MINER Act?

Mr. Martimiano Torres, 37, was finishing up his 12-hour shift at about 5:30 am at the  Hallett Materials aggregate operation on Oct 1, 2008, when his pick-up truck curved off the road into a dredge pond.  He drowned.  The surface mine is located in Porter, Texas, outside of Houston, and owned by the multi-national corporation CRH.    MSHA released…

Reacting to Obama’s Surgeon General Pick

Word is out that Obama will probably nominate Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and television correspondent, for the post of U.S. Surgeon General. Reactions in my office yesterday weren’t very positive, but several bloggers have pointed out that Gupta’s high profile and credibility with the general public can help him advance the administration’s health priorities. First, Revere…

What do the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, the Migrant Clinicians Network, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, and 65 other organizations have in common?  They’ve all endorsed the “Protecting Workers on the Job Agenda”, a collaborative product of the American Public Health Association’s Occupational Health and Safety Section and the National Council for Occupational Safety and…

Why is Black Lung back?

by Carole Bass (posted with permission from the On-Line Journalism Project, New Haven (CT) Independent) Black lung disease used to be nearly as common as dirty fingernails among American coal miners.  Roughly a third of them got the fatal illness.  Starting in the 1970s, a federal law slashed that rate by 90 percent. But now…

Welcome Back Dodger

One of our favorite bloggers, BrooklynDodger, has returned to blogging after an extended break. Dodger is a scientific paper hawk, finding and commenting on important papers in journals we wish we had time to read. We always learn something in Dodger’s posts.  Recently, for example, he had this (and more) to say about a new…

Health in Recession

As the unemployment rate climbs, many of the newly unemployed are losing insurance coverage. Candice Choi of the Associated Press summarizes the options for replacing employer-sponsored health insurance: extending benefits for up to 18 months through COBRA; getting an individual policy; and, for those who qualify, getting coverage under a government program like Medicaid.  As…

Secretary Chao’s legacy, according to her

Like her boss President G.W. Bush, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao is offering her version of Labor Department history over the last 8 years.  She posts prominently on the Department’s homepage her  “accomplishing milestones for American workers” including the claim:  “the current workplace injury and illness rate is at its lowest level in history having dropped 21% since 2002.” I…