Archives for September, 2010

Feds review State-run worker safety programs, differing opinions on measuring “at least as effective as”

Federal OSHA offered praise for some States, and warnings to others, in its 26 evaluations released this week of State-run worker safety programs. Hawaii’s and Utah’s programs were identified as having “significant program deficiencies,” with evaluators expressing uncertainty about the States’ “ability and commitment to operate an effective enforcement program.” * Findings about the Aloha…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Becoming a mayor or a journalist might not seem like a particularly life-threatening career choice, but in parts of Mexico wracked by drug violence these have become dangerous jobs. Tim Johnson of McClatchy Newspapers reports: As if Mexicans needed more evidence that criminal groups are trying to hijack the political life of the nation, it…

Peter Janiszewski at Obesity Panacea has posted a fascinating series on the issue of people who are obese but metabolically healthy. We worry about rising rates of obesity because obesity increases the risk for health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease — but what if that’s not universally true? And if it turns out that…

Paying for Preservation

The latest issue of The Economist features a special report on forests, which perform valuable services like sequestering carbon and regulating runoff. Because people can easily get paid for timber (or crops grown on deforested land) but not so easily for preserving forests, deforestation is rampant. As countries become wealthier, they generally start taking more…

Obama’s Reg Czar feigns transparency, worker safety rules in crosshairs

Updated below (9/28/2010) Is anybody else getting tired of hearing Obama Administration officials say “sunlight is the best disinfectant?” It was uttered again on Thursday (9/23) when the President’s regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, was speaking at an event hosted by the Small Business Administration. His speech was loaded with all the transparency catch terms: “disclosure,”…

Occupational Health News Roundup

44-year-old Iraq veteran Tim Wymore suffers from brain lesions, a blood disorder, and other health problems that leave him unable to walk unassisted. His wife, Shanna, quit her job to be his full-time caregiver. Wymore is one of several hundred veterans who’ve fired lawsuits related to exposure to open-air burn pits at US miliatry installations.…

Happy Car-Free Day!

September 22nd is World Car-Free Day, when people everywhere are encouraged to get out of their cars and try different modes of getting around. The Metro DC Car-Free Day is also encouraging people to try “Car-Lite” options like carpooling, or to eliminate the need for a trip to the office by working from home. They’re…

MSHA issues emergency rule to prevent coal dust explosions

MSHA announced today that it will be issuing on September 23 an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to improve a practice to prevent coal dust explosions. The rule addresses “rock dusting”—-the decades old practice of generously applying pulverized limestone dust throughout a coal mine to dilute the potential power of a coal dust explosion. As NIOSH’s…

Distracted driving meets workplace safety

At today’s 2nd annual Distracted Driving Summit, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood laid out the U.S. statistics: “thousands of people are killed or injured every year in accidents caused by distracted drivers” and 500,000 more are injured. Distractions while driving can be new age, such as using a Blackberry or IPhone, or classic like looking at…

If you’re working on a major global problem like poverty, it’s important to have goals to work towards. Back in 2000, world leaders came together and adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which commits to reducing extreme poverty and sets out a series of goals to be reached by 2015. Each of the eight Millennium…