Archives for May, 2010

Safety whistleblower spoke “on a matter of public concern”

Speaking on a “matter of public concern,” is protected speech, according to a federal jury in Becky McClain v. Pfizer, Inc. In this case, the jury found that being exposed at work to a genetically engineered virus or other biotech agents is indeed a legitimate matter of public concern. It involved Ms. Becky McClain who…

Memorial Day 2010

So far, 5,462 US service members have died from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the Reveres don’t have their own blog anymore, I’ll post what they’ve posted for Memorial Day in years past:

New Solutions: The Drawing Board is a monthly feature produced by the journal New Solutions. Read more about it here. Note from the editor of New Solutions: The Drawing Board: In the spirit of international solidarity, The Drawing Board has begun featuring articles from activists, researchers, and workers from around the world. It is our…

by Elizabeth Grossman As of Saturday afternoon, May 29th, ten oil spill clean-up workers had been admitted to West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) in Marrero, Louisiana. All but two have been hospitalized suffering from chest pains, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. One crewmember admitted on the 29th had fallen and hit his head on a stair…

By Elizabeth Grossman “All the data shows no toxic air concentrations from the oil spill where work is being performed,” is what OSHA spokesperson Jason Surbey told me on Friday, May 21st. But on the afternoon of May 26th, after crew members of three “vessels of opportunity” working in the Breton Sound area of the…

Officials from G8 countries will be gathering in Toronto next month, and scientific bodies from the eight countries (e.g., the Royal Society of Canada and US National Academy of Science) have developed a joint statement about what the G8 should do improve the health of women in children. They begin by citing the Millennium Development…

A New York Times article by Jane Gross highlights a costly healthcare problem: avoidable hospital readmissions, which affect one in five patients and account for $17.4 billion of the current $102.6 billion Medicare budget. (When people talk about readmissions, they’re generally referring to an admission within 30 days of the previous admission for the same…

Snookered by OSHA’s Weekly Fatality Report Site

In a blog post seven months ago, I gave federal OSHA credit for placing worker fatality information front-and-center on its homepage. The sobering feature deserving kudos was the scrolling list of fatal-injury incidents in which men and women died recently at US workplaces. I remarked that the change by OSHA was a good start, and…

Remembering 11 Oil Rig Victims

On today’s Morning Edition, Russell Lewis reported on the memorial service held in Jackson, Mississippi for the 11 workers who died when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20th. Host David Greene noted that they’ve been called the “Forgotten 11,” because so much attention has been focused on the oil leak rather than…

A study published in the open-access journal BMC Immunology suggests an intriguing hypothesis: The explosion of spread of HIV in Africa and then worldwide in the 1950s might be partially explained by the eradication of smallpox and the discontinuation of smallpox vaccination campaigns. The researchers – Raymond S. Weinstein, Michael M. Weinstein, Kenneth Alibek, Michael…