Archives for August, 2010

In a recent New York Times article, Celia Dugger reports on encouraging results from two studies on interventions that help women in South Africa and Malawi reduce their risk of HIV infection. The first study found that women using a vaginal microbicidal gel were 39% less likely to contract HIV than those using a placebo.…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Back in February, an explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems plant in Middletown, Connecticut killed six workers and injured others. Workers had been finishing construction on the natural gas power plant, and natural gas under high pressure was being pumped through new fuel lines to remove debris. Much of this gas was vented into areas…

If you haven’t already, go read Atul Gawande’s New Yorker article “Letting Go.” As a surgeon, Gawande knows how doctors tend to death with terminally ill patients, both because of their training and their ordinary human tendencies. As a writer, he knows how to weave together personal stories and explanations into a seamless portrait of…

Last week, two workers were killed in an Illinois grain elevator. Alejandro Pacas, 19, and Wyatt Whitebread, 14, were engulfed by shelled corn in the Mount Carroll grain facility, which is owned by Haasbach, LLC. A third victim, Will Piper, 20, was trapped for approximately six hours before responders were able to remove him from…

BP’s well in the Gulf of Mexico has been capped and may soon be “killed” for good, but fixing the widespread damage from the disaster will take years. The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health has has released a report (supported by the Children’s Health Fund) based on…

Cutting workers, demanding shortcuts: recipe for injury and death on the job

“They were rushing because they had to get the equipment to another jobsite,” said the widow. “The boss tapped him to do the work because they were short-handed. He wasn’t trained to do it” said the grieving mother. “Yeah, I used equipment that I knew was unsafe. You’re shunned if you complain,” noted the disabled…

by Eileen Senn, MS Response workers know a great deal about how they have been potentially exposed to chemicals in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP Horizon Deepwater oil spill began on April 20, 2010. Valuable exposure information resides in workers’ knowledge of their daily experiences cleaning up the oil, drilling relief wells, transporting…

Occupational Health News Roundup

The Army’s Suicide Prevention Task Force has just released a report on suicide prevention, which they began 15 months ago in response to an increase in Army suicides (news release here, report here). In his letter introducing the report, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General Peter Chiarelli summarizes the sobering findings: In Fiscal…