Archives for August, 2009

Chuck Grassley’s feet of clay

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure We’ve been rather kind to Senator Charles (Chuck) Grassley in the past. Yes, he’s a right wing Republican with some really odious ideas, ideas for which he deserves to be criticized. But he’s also been a champion of the Federal False Claims Act which has encouraged and protected whistleblowers…

NYT Applauds Obama’s Choice of Michaels

Today’s New York Times editorials include a ringing endorsement of President Obama’s choice of David Michaels to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration: David Michaels, a research professor and occupational health expert at the George Washington University School of Public Health, seems just the right man to steer the agency back toward an emphasis…

Exactly 2-years after the disaster, the five-member U.S. Chemical Safety Board voted unanimously to adopt its final investigation report on the March 2005 catatrophic explosion at the BP Texas City.  Fifteen workers were killed and 180 others were injured from the blast.  Among the many disturbing findings from the CSB’s investigation, was data showing that equipment operators had…

Occupational Health News Roundup

More than 1,200 employees at an acrylic yarn factory in Jilin City, China have reported having troubling symptoms – a list that includes nausea, dizziness, numbness, convulsions, breathing difficulties, and temporary paralysis. Workers suspect fumes from a nearby chemical factory of causing their illness, but Chinese health officials claim it’s mass hysteria. The New York…

by Richard Denison, cross-posted from EDF Blogs Today, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) unveiled its “10 Principles for Modernizing TSCA.”   Also today, the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition – of which EDF is a member – issued a news release and unveiled its 9-point “Platform for Reform of TSCA.”  How do they line up? I’ll…

Dr. Greg Wagner appointed as MSHA deputy

I’m not one to keep good news under a bushel basket, but in deference to my perception of some Labor Department protocol, I kept waiting for an official announcement.   But, the news is too good to wait any longer:  Secretary Solis has appointed Gregory R. Wagner, MD as the senior official at MSHA until an assistant secretary (Joe…

Labor Secretary to tour WV coal mine

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will tour the Federal No. 2 mine on Tuesday, Aug 4, one of a couple dozen mines operated by Patriot Coal.  DOL’s press announcement said she’d be joined by officials from MSHA, the UMWA, WV Governor Joe Manchin and Congressman Alan B. Mollohan.  The event includes the tour, examining a rescue chamber on the surface…

This morning, I read MSHA’s fatality report for the April 7 electrocution death of Tadd M. Bainum, 36.  Mr. Bainum was a supervisor, and was doing electrical-related work, but had NOT received appropriate training in electrical tasks.  MSHA’s investigators noted: “Failure to train [him] in performing the task constituted more than ordinary negligence and is…

Revisiting the swine flu puzzle of 1976

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure There’s a swine flu pandemic well underway and efforts are being made to reconstruct how it started. But almost everyone who has been following this knows it’s not the first time a swine flu virus has transmitted from person to person. In 1976 in Fort Dix, New Jersey there…