Archives for July, 2011

Occupational Health News Roundup

Yan Jie of China Daily reports that four mine disasters have occurred in China during July alone – and we don’t yet know how many miners and rescuers will survive. Three rescuers have died already, and hope dims for the remaining miners the longer they remain trapped by high water and collapsed walls. Here is…

Sharon Astyk at Casaubon’s Book has a great post up about the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program, or WIC, which is now on the budgetary chopping block. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that an appropriations bill approved by the House would result in WIC turning away 300,000 – 450,000 low-income women…

On the afternoon of Saturday, January 23, 2010, Carl “Danny” Fish, a 32-year employee of the DuPont plant in Belle, West Virginia was performing a routine operation when a hose carrying phosgene (a chemical so toxic it was used as a weapon during World War I) ruptured, spraying him in the face and chest. Fish…

No avalanche, hardly even a snow flurry, of worker safety regulations in Labor Dept’s latest regulatory agenda

If one listens to the speeches of many Republican members of Congress, especially those assigned to the House Education and Workforce Committee, you’d think the U.S. Department of Labor has unleashed an avalanche of new employment-related regulations that business must now meet. I heard one Hill staffer report on inquiries he receives from constituents who…

This weekend, Los Angeles will close a 10-mile stretch of the 405 freeway for 53 hours so work crews can conduct demolition that will enable widening of the freeway. Locals are referring to the planned closure as “Carmageddon,” anticipating gridlock on nearby roadways that remain open. The hope is that the short-term pain will bring…

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science: The disease trackers Maryn McKenna at Superbug: How Much Is a Drug-Resistance Death Worth? Less Than $600 Michele Norris at NPR: Why Black Women, Infants Lag in Birth Outcomes Fred Pearce at Yale Environment 360: Phosphate: A Critical Resource Misused…

Update below (7/8/2011) Just a few months after the Obama Administration took office, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a scathing report on OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The program is supposed to recognize workplaces with exceptional safety programs, but GAO’s investigators identified participant worksites that had multiple fatalities and gross violations of safety standards.…

Special interest groups and White House stalling worker safety rule

During his first week in office, President Obama promised an Administration defined by “unprecedented level of openness…to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.” But that’s not been the case when it comes to a draft worker safety rule developed by federal OSHA. Almost all the participation has…

One of the disturbing aspects of the recent E. coli outbreak in Germany was the apparent lack of sufficient hospital surge capacity to handle a sudden influx of seriously ill patients. Der Spiegel reported: On Monday, hospitals all over northern Germany struggled to treat thousands of patients suffering from the effects of the bacteria. More…

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has released additional results from its ongoing investigation into the disaster at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine, which killed 29 miners last year in West Virginia. Like the independent investigation team, MSHA investigators cite poorly controlled coal dust, inadequate ventilation, and a corporate culture that emphasized coal…