Archives for June, 2009

Views of a CalOSHA Inspector

As we learned this week, Cal/OSHA and the OSH Appeals Board are in a state of disarray.  A daring group of state employees have raised their voices in protest (see “CalOSHA inspectors demand change”) reminding us that dysfunction in their agency can translate into more injuries and illnesses for California’s workers.  The collective action of these inspectors and staff is vital.  So too is the sole voice of…

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure Swine flu infection of health care workers (or as CDC refers to them, health care personnel or HCP) was of interest early in the pre-pandemic phase for at last two reasons. One was the obvious goal of estimating the risk to front line workers and devising best practices for…

It might seem obvious that having an entire town heavily contaminated with asbestos and hundreds of residents sickened by asbestos-related illnesses would constitute a public health emergency. Getting the federal government – specifically, the EPA – to actually declare a public health emergency in Libby, Montana took years of effort, though. Yesterday, EPA Administrator Lisa…

We wrote last month about the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Control’s withdrawal of a report that omitted important information about the contamination of the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina – a move that seemed to indicate better prospects for the hundreds of former base residents who used contaminated water and are…

CalOSHA inspectors demand change

A group of 47 H&S inspectors, supervisors and managers from California OSHA (Cal/OSHA) sent a pointed letter to the three-person OSH Appeals Board demanding they “cease and desist” their destructive practices.  This Appeals Board is equivalent to the OSH and MSH Review Commissions; it exists because California is one of the 23 States that operates…

Identifying Lead-poisoned Adults

The 1,050 State public health experts who make up the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) is urging the States and CDC to adopt a new case definition for adults of elevated blood-lead levels (BLL) and to require laboratories to report ALL blood lead test results to NIOSH’s Adult Blood Lead and Epidemiology (ABLES) Program.  CSTE recommends…

The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. reports that one of West Virginia’s oldest and largest law firms, Jackson Kelly PLLC, is being sued for hiding evidence of coal miners’ black lung disease.  Ward writes: “Earlier this year, an investigative panel of the state’s Lawyer Disciplinary Board filed misconduct charges against Douglas A. Smoot.  Smoot hid a key…

Raising Revenue for Healthcare Reform

When discussing the costs of various healthcare reform proposals, it’s crucial to keep one thing in mind: doing nothing would be a financial disaster. If we don’t change the rate at which healthcare costs are growing, total health spending is projected to double over the next 11 years, from an expected $2.6 trillion this year…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Home health workers who care for the elderly and disabled are an indispensable part of our healthcare workforce – but the Bush Administration’s Department of Labor decided that they shouldn’t be covered by the same wage and hour laws that protect most workers. The Associated Press’s Sam Hananel explains that the administration based this determination…

Revolutionary medicine

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure One of the premier and earliest flu bloggers and co-founder of Flu Wiki, DemFromCT is also a doctor. Not a young doctor, either, although somewhat younger than I am (most people seem to be, these days). In our young professional days, the American Medical Association was a real political…