Archives for July, 2009

It’s long past time to breathe some fresh air into the Department of Labor’s Solicitor’s Office (SOL).  I was hopeful when President Obama nominated M. Patricia Smith in April to serve as the Solicitor of Labor, but since her May 7 confirmation hearing, her appointment is languishing in the Senate HELP committee.  The Solicitor’s Office has about 600 employees,…

by Sidney Shapiro, cross-posted from CPR Blog On Tuesday, the White House announced the appointment of Dr. David Michaels to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  An epidemiologist and a professor at George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services, Michaels will bring substantial expertise and experience to the job.  Besides…

Preterm Births and Changing Minds

TIME’s Laura Blue notes that the U.S. has an appalling rate of preterm births (we were ranked 30th in the world in 2005, behind Cuba and Poland) and that prematurity costs us around $26 billion a year – but, she tells us, researchers don’t know why we have this problem. In many cases, there’s an…

President Picks David Michaels to Head OSHA

President Obama has just announced his intent to nominate our own David Michaels to be Assistant Secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Congratulations, David! All of us at George Washington University and The Pump Handle will miss working with you, but our loss is the country’s gain. U.S. workers can look forward to…

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure CDC wants us to get vaccinated for flu every year. Always for seasonal flu, and this year, if there is a vaccine available, for swine flu. They want us to get vaccinated because they think the vaccine works and they want to prevent people from getting influenza, always a…

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recently rolled out their 2009 Recommendations. It’s for seasonal flu, for which a vaccine exists, not for swine flu, for which there is (as yet) no vaccine. There is a lot to say on the subject of vaccines (see what we’ve said…

Evidence continues to accumulate that talking on the phone while driving – even with a hands-free device – increases the risk of car crashes. We learned earlier this week that officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been concerned about this problem for years, but declined to go public with research that would…

by Garrett Brown On June 5th, 200 babies and small children were dropped off at a private, government-subsidized day care center in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora state in northern Mexico.  A fire broke out next door and soon smoke and fire filled the day care center killing 48 babies and children, and severely burning…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Job losses don’t just leave families struggling to afford their monthly expenses; in many cases, the loss of a job also means the loss of health insurance. (For those whose employers still exist and still offer health coverage, COBRA coverage is an option for up to 18 months – but you have to be able…

Steven Cain, 32, reported to work at Massey Energy’s Justice No. 1 coal mine at about 3:30 pm on Wednesday, October 8, 2008.   He never returned to his family.  At about 11:00 pm that night, he died inside the mine when he was crushed between a loaded supply car and a coal rib (vertical coal wall). …