Archives for November, 2010

It’s a relief that Hurricane Tomas didn’t destroy the camps in and around Port-au-Prince where 1.3 million survivors of Haiti’s January earthquake are crowded. The storm hit western Haiti hardest, causing flooding and killing 20 people. There are still concerns about how flooding will affect Haiti’s cholera outbreak. The outbreak’s official death toll is 544,…

Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health analyzed data on nursing-home employees from the 2004 National Nursing Assistant Survey and learned the following about on-the-job violence: Thirty-four percent of nursing assistants surveyed reported experiencing physical injuries from residents’ aggression in the previous year. Mandatory overtime (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65; 95% confidence…

Urban Challenges in the 21st Century

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is tasked with promoting “socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.” The agency’s new executive director, former Barcelona mayor Joan Clos, gave his first formal address to the UN General Assembly and outlined some of the priorities for improving…

John Perlin has written an interesting Miller-McCune article about how the Pentagon has come to understand some of the problems associated with powering Iraq and Afghanistan operations – and how they’re now reducing operations’ energy consumption and embracing solar power. Perlin describes the experience of Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer, who assumed command of the coalition…

MSHA asks federal judge to close unsafe Massey coal mine, wants paychecks to continue for affected miners

For the first time in the agency’s history, the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) went to federal court to ask that a dangerous coal mine be shut down until it fixes its safety problems once and for all. In its official complaint to the U.S.district court for the eastern district of Kentucky,…

Looking at my crystal ball to predict regulatory initiatives for worker safety

It’s that time of year, when the Secretary of Labor is supposed to outline her rulemaking priorities for next 12 months. This would include new proposal to protect mine workers, like the 64 killed already this year, and the tens of thousands made ill by inadequate OSHA standards on exposure to chemicals. The Presidential Executive…

The Associated Press article title “Study: Alcohol more lethal than heroin, cocaine” succeeded in getting me to click through to the article. When I did, I wasn’t surprised to learn that the study in question didn’t actually find alcohol to be more lethal than heroin. What it concluded was that alcohol is the most harmful…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Because electronics contain hazardous materials like lead and cadmium, workers who recycle e-waste need to be protected from harmful exposures. All too often, we hear of children in developing countries breaking down old computers with little or no protection. Here in the US, concerns also exist about the health and safety of prison employees and…