Archives for November, 2010

by Eileen Senn After decades of dysfunction, OSHA is poised to do something about their badly outdated rules for occupational exposures to chemical hazards. Millions of U.S. workers are exposed to chemicals every day at work, such as asbestos fibers in insulation, asphalt fumes in roofing and road work, carbon monoxide gas from burning fuels,…

Donors, Disasters, and Disease

When severe flooding in Pakistan left millions of people without food, shelter, and water, I wrote a post wondering why that disaster was getting less attention than Haiti’s earthquake. I suspected the gradual nature of the disaster was part of the problem, and commenters had additional suggestions, ranging from Haiti’s closeness to the US to…

4 months and counting: when will Obama’s Regulatory Czar free OSHA’s injury surveillance rule?

On January 29, OSHA proposed a simple revision to a paper form—called the OSHA 300 log—on which some U.S. employers are required to record work-related injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects a sample of these forms annually to estimate national rates of work-related injuries. The change proposed by OSHA involves adding a column…

by Elizabeth Grossman “We Trust You,” says the sign over the entrance to a factory in the Pratama Abadi manufacturing complex that produces Nike footwear in Tangerang, Indonesia, a city of 1.4 million about 12 miles west of Jakarta. Just inside “Factory 1″ hangs an enormous banner that reads (in English) “Craftsmanship – No Quality,…

Haiti’s health ministry has reported that the death toll from the cholera epidemic has reached 917, and 14,642 victims have been hospitalized. The disease has been detected in six of the country’s ten provinces, and the World Health Organization predicts that 200,000 Haitians will fall ill with cholera over the next six to 12 months.…

No justice for Steven Lillicrap, 21, killed at work while dismantling a crane

Steven Lillicrap, 21, started his shift at about 7:30 am on a cold Feb 3, 2009 at a construction site near St. Louis, Missouri. He was an apprentice Operating Engineer and this was his first big assignment. He would be working with more experienced men to dismantle a 100-ton crawler crane. The crew was in…

While Veterans Day is an opportunity to thank veterans for their service, it should also be a time to consider how well we’re doing at taking care of veterans who’ve suffered physical or mental damage as a result of their service.

The United Nations humanitarian office reports that 9,971 cases of cholera have been confirmed in Haiti, and 643 people have died from the disease. The Associated Press reported earlier this week that the epidemic has spread into Port-au-Prince, where close to half of the city’s nearly 3 million residents are living in tent camps erected…

Here at George Washington University this morning, Department of Health and Human Services officials unveiled a new strategy aimed at preventing new smoking habits and helping current smokers quit. One major component is the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule requiring that all cigarette packages and advertising include one of nine health warnings (which will…

Occupational Health News Roundup

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, which was passed in response to the problem of healthcare workers being exposed to bloodborne pathogens (HIV, hepatitis, etc.) via sharps injuries. The Act directed OSHA to modify its existing bloodborne pathogen standard to require that employers update their exposure control plans…