Archives for September, 2011

House Republican Appropriators don’t think coal miners need protection from black lung disease

Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and his Republican members of the House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Labor Department don’t think coal miner deserve better protection from black lung disease. In their FY 2012 appopriations bill they would prohibit the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) from using any funds to develop, promulgate, enforce or…

50 serious safety violations and $917,000 penalty don’t jive with corporate PR about integrity, safety, responsibility

One Middleton, Massachusetts resident thought it was an earthquake. Others said it sounded like a sonic boom. When Mr. Charlie Veradt heard the explosion, he said “I knew right off the bat that it was down the street,” referring to the Bostik Inc. chemical plant owned by the global giant, petrochemical firm TOTAL. Just before…

by Elizabeth Grossman Why some people who inhaled the airborne contaminants unleashed by the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 became sick for only a short time, why some have become chronically ill, and others terminally ill, may never be known. What is known, however, is that the dust and aerosols…

DC’s Capital Bikeshare program has had a fantastic first year. Stations full of sturdy red bikes have been popping up all over the city, and the system logged its one millionth ride one the eve of its first anniversary. Members can take a bike from any of the more than 100 stations, and the ride…

Beware of Congressmen who claim they are cutting red tape, health and safety protections are on the chopping block

Funny how a bill touted by Members of Congress as one that will “cut red tape” will actually add a dozen new steps before a rule to protect people’s health or safety is put in place. Last week, several Republican and Democratic Senators and Representatives did just that when they introduced the “Regulatory Accountability Act”…

by Elizabeth Grossman It’s now ten years since the streets of lower Manhattan roiled with clouds of toxic dust and debris from the horrific events of September 11, 2001, but it was clear from discussions and presentations at the September 16 conference hosted by the New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) that…

No way to treat a guest (worker) or U.S. workers for that matter

At a recent congressional hearing called “Workforce challenges facing the agricultural industry,” one Minnesota employer explained why he relies on “guest workers” to fill his seasonal jobs: “…few Americans who are seriously seeking work will apply for, accept, and remain in seasonal and intermittent employment, especially in the agricultural sector. Many who are hired do…

By Kim Krisberg Just a few days ago, an event in the small town of Lilburn, Georgia, may have saved the life of someone living half a world away. It wasn’t a black-tie gala or a celebrity telethon. It wasn’t even about a disease that most of us here in the United States think much…

If you hold a job right now, here’s something to think about: If you became disabled and were no longer able to work, how would you pay your bills? If your disability were due to an on-the-job injury or an occupational illness, you might be able to get workers’ compensation benefits. But what if you…

Occupational health and safety leaders recognized by American Public Health Association

The winners of this year’s American Public Health Association’s (APHA) recognition awards for achievement in occupational health and safety illustrate the diversity of talent among those committed to ensuring workers’ rights to a safe workplace. Martin Cherniak, MD is a clinician and researcher at the University of Connecticut; Amy Liebman is with the Migrant Clinicians…