Archives for August, 2009

“Yes Sir, she got her safety training”

Our colleague Mark Catlin (SEIU and APHA OHS Section) has done it again, finding another amazing collection of historical films with worker safety themes.  The latest were produced by the U.S. Federal Security Agency’s Office of Education in 1944, entitled “Problems in Supervision: Instructing Workers on the Job.”   They were produced for the federal government by…

FDA to Finally Reconsider Safety of BPA

Last year, FDA disappointed us by insisting that there was no cause for concern about the presence of the chemical bisphenol A in food and beverage containers. An expert panel charged with evaluating the FDA’s draft assessment strongly criticized the agency for its severely limited exposure assessment and the criteria it used to assess BPA…

As the summer has worn on and Congressional committees have come out with specific proposals, healthcare reform supporters are getting a better sense of what we can reasonably hope to get out of this round of reform and what will have to wait.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The Washington Post’s Sholnn Freeman, noting that the last six fatal airplane accidents in the US involved regional airlines, investigated the conditions of regional air crewmembers and found that they struggle to get adequate sleep near the airports from which they fly: At first sight, the Sterling Park house looks like an ordinary split-level, complete…

Heatstroke in the Fields

For a lot of us, summer means sitting in air-conditioned offices and complaining to our co-workers about how hot it is outside. For farmworkers, summers mean hours of toil under a hot sun, in conditions that can be fatal. Working in the heat doesn’t have to mean death, as long as workers can rest in…

Learning OHS from Sir Thomas Legge

I’m reading a wonderful collection of public health success stories, in the collection assembled by John W. Ward and Christian Warren entitled “Silent Victories: The History and Practice of Public Health in 20th Century America”  (Oxford, 2007.)  Our colleagues Tony Robbins and Phil Landrigan wrote a chapter on occupational disease and injury prevention, and in…

Tinkering, or real changes to OSHA VPP?

In May, the Government Accountability Office issued a critical report assessing OSHA’s program for monitoring its designated Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) sites.  There are about 2,200 of these VPP site across the country which have met the written program and on-site evaluation criteria.  A VPP designation exempts the worksite from programmed OSHA inspections, and if an inspection is conducted—because of a complaint, referral or fatality/catastrophe—-the employer…

Violence Against ER Nurses

In a national survey by the Emergency Nurses Association, more than half of emergency-department nurses reported that they’ve been physically assaulted on the job. For many nurses, being assaulted is a recurring problem: Approximately one-fourth of the 3,465 respondents reported experiencing physical violence more than 20 times in the past three years. While all hospital…

CDC happenings

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure Things have been quiet at CDC but apparently they have been changing. First, Dr. Richard Besser, who acquitted himself ably as Acting Director after January 20 until early June when Obama’s new appointment, Dr. Thomas Frieden took over, has decided to leave CDC for television. Yes, television. Many at…

Senators propose changes to OSH Act

In the U.S. Senate last week, between the debate and the vote on judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced  S. 1580, on behalf of Senator Edward Kennedy, a bill to amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.  As far as I can tell, its…