Archives for September, 2009

Public health surveillance: America the backward

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure A good story by the AP’s Lauran Neergaard yesterday highlighted the need for better public health surveillance and the efforts being made to improve it so as to keep track of possible rare side effects from the swine flu vaccine. This is an issue we’ve talked about a lot…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Ordinarily, when a worker is abused by an employer, the employer can be prosecuted, found guilty, and penalized. That hasn’t been the case with diplomats accused of abusing domestic workers; their diplomatic immunity has allowed them to duck charges of beating domestic workers or keeping them in slavery-like conditions. But, Sarah Fitzpatrick writes in the…

CSB’s public relations ploy?

by Ken Ward, Jr.,  cross-posted from Sustained Outrage: a Gazette Watchdog Blog During a public hearing last night in Georgia, the federal Chemical Safety Board tried to answer critics who complained the board had backed off its strong recommendation that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) write new rules to protect workers nationwide…

WTOC in Savannah, GA is reporting that Georgia’s Senators, Republicans Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, are calling on OSHA to issue a regulation to protect workers from the dangers related to combustible dust.  WTOC says that the Senators were brief today by officials of the Chemical Safety Board on the causes of the Feb. 7, 2008, explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery that…

Another big test for Chemical Safety Board

by Ken Ward, Jr.,  cross-posted from Sustained Outrage: a Gazette Watchdog Blog The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is scheduled to release the findings of its investigation into the terrible explosion that killed 14 workers at a Georgia sugar refinery in February 2008. It’s another big test for the CSB,  which has been under fire recently. …

Dispelling an OSHA myth

We long been hearing moans and groans from many in the business community about how OSHA rules stiffle the economy, or worse, from employers who insist that following OSHA rules will cost them jobs.   The sad truth is the exact opposite: failing to meet basic health and safety standards can shutter the doors of your business.   Just look at what was…

Evidence that Smoking Bans Work

Bans on smoking in restaurants and other public places don’t just make nonsmokers’ working and dining experiences more enjoyable, they also protect our health. Reducing exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke reduces the risk of heart attacks – and the places that have enacted bans are finding that the health improvements are significant. Two new studies…

Cleaner Commuting

Today is Car-Free Day, and how easy it is for us to get along without a personal vehicle depends largely on where we live. Using Census Bureau data, Forbes has created a ranking of the cleanest-commuting metro areas. Areas earn points for having large percentages of workers who use public transit and carpool to their jobs,…

OSHA urged (again) to revise PSM standard

Members of Congress George Miller (D-CA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Corrine Brown (D-FL)  sent a letter to acting OSHA chief Jordan Barab urging the agency to expand its process safety management standard (PSM) to address reactive chemicals.  Reactives are highly unstable that can violently generate heat, energy and/or toxic gases when they come into contact with air, water or other…

Occupational Health News Roundup

How well prepared are US workplaces for a severe outbreak of swine flu (or a similar disease)? Not very well, a survey from the Harvard School of Public Health finds: In a national survey of businesses that looks at their preparations for a possible widespread H1N1 outbreak, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found…