Archives for October, 2010

Occupational Health News Roundup

After last week’s triumphant rescue of 33 miners from Chile’s San José mine, attention has turned to mine safety in Chile and worldwide. The Associated Press reports that President Sebastian Piñera fired the top regulators from Chile’s mine safety agency and promised to triple its budget. In the weeks following the San José collapse, at…

Contractor racks up mine safety violations and unpaid penalties, also wins safety awards

Estevan R. Benavidez’s family says he was a happy-to-lucky, 20 year old. He graduated from Miami (AZ) High School in 2008, was a talented tattoo artist, liked to fish, eat junk food, and spend time with his young daughter. On January 9, 2010 he was working for Ames Construction as a laborer at the Freeport…

Earlier this month, I was able to attend the final day of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO) USA conference, and it reminded me how far behind we are in preparing for a future in which oil is less readily available than it is now. Sharon Astyk, who’s an ASPO…

Blog Action Day: Water for the World

Today is Blog Action Day, when bloggers around the world write about an important global topic. This year, the focus is on water. According to the World Health Organization, each year 3.4 million people – most of them children – die from water-related diseases. That includes 1.4 million children dying from diarrhea annually, and 860,000…

MSHA takes bold step to end black lung disease, proposes tough new regulation

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and MSHA asst. secretary Joe Main are proposing new rules to protect U.S. coal mine workers from developing illnesses related to exposure to respirable coal mine dust. The most commonly known adverse health effect is black lung disease, but exposure is also associated with excess risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,…

33 Miners Make it out Alive

All 33 of the miners who were trapped in Chile’s San José mine have been safely lifted to the surface, as have the six rescuers who descended into the mine during the operation. Shift supervisor Luis Urzua was the last miner lifted to safety in the specially designed capsule that traversed the more than 2,000…

Chilean Mine Rescue Underway

Sixty-nine days after an explosion trapped 33 miners 2,000 feet underground in the San José copper and gold mine in Copiapó, Chile, rescuers have begun lifting miners to the surface. As of 6am this morning, eight miners have been pulled to safety: Florencio Avalos, Mario Sepulveda, Juan Illanes, Carlos Mamani, Jimmy Sanchez, Osman Araya, José…

Several news outlets have reported that the commission appointed by President Obama to study the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill has issued preliminary reports that are sharply critical of the Obama administration’s handling of the disaster. I downloaded the commission’s draft working paper “The Amount and Fate of the Oil” to see how they described…

Football Saturdays meet workers’ rights

The population of Ann Arbor Michigan swelled this past weekend with football fans. It was the annual Michigan vs. Michigan State football game and I was in town to witness some of the fanfare. The sidewalks, parking lots, porches, lawns and frat house balconies were jam-packed with people. Everybody, I mean EVERYBODY was wearing a…

The Washington Post’s Jane Black gives us a heads-up about the forthcoming update to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Every five years, USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion issues new dietary guidelines based on analysis by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a group of scientific experts appointed by the Secretaries of HHS and USDA.…