Archives for September, 2011

Teenage workers lose legs at work, their employer didn’t have workers’ comp insurance

[Update (10/11/2011) below] Phyllis Zorn of the Enid (OK) News and Eagle reports that the employer of the two teenage workers who lost legs last month in a grain auger failed to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. She writes: “Oklahoma Department of Labor has fined the company $750 for failing to comply with workers’ compensation law,…

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: Maryn McKenna at Superbug: Terror and Bioterror: 9/11 to 10/4 (This is the first in a series on the bioterrorism fears – some of which were realized – that followed the 9/11 attacks.) Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times: India’s night rat killers: Hunting shadows that scurry Scicurious…

A peek at health and safety for temporary workers

March 2, 2011 may have seemed like any other workday for David Clark Jr., 51, when he arrived at the Lee Creek potash mine in Aurora, NC at 5:50 am to start his shift. Clark and a small crew would be excavating a large ditch near the R9 roadway and burying a 22-inch diameter polyethylene…

As Jori Lewis notes in the case study about World Trade Center recovery workers’ health and safety, those who showed up at Ground Zero on the days and weeks after 9/11 got some misleading information about the risks they faced. Most notably, the EPA issued reassuring statements about the air quality – when, according to…

Among the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks are workers who responded to the scene of the disaster and suffered severe – in some cases, fatal – health problems as a result. Those who showed up at the World Trade Center site for rescue, recovery, and cleanup operations were exposed to a range…

Honoring Service: The Sammies

Deriding government bureaucrats seems to be a popular pasttime among certain politicians and talk-radio hosts, so it’s nice every so often to remind ourselves about the important and valuable work our civil servants do. An article by Patricia Sullivan in the Washington Post provides a glimpse into the world of one longtime federal-government employee who’s…

New rules proposed to protect minors working in agriculture

After two teenagers’ legs were severed while they were working near a grain auger, I wrote last month about the White House’s role in holding up a proposed Labor Department rule to address hazards for young workers. After a 9-month delay by the White House, the Labor Department released the proposed rule last week and…

American Public Media’s Marketplace program is taking a look at “the economic legacy of 9/11” this week, and this morning’s story focused on security spending in the private sector. Marketplace’s Jeff Horwich highlighted an unexpected example: security for grain elevators.

White House’s ozone edict tells EPA to break the law

Last Friday when the White House told Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson to drop her plans to revise the national ambient standard for ozone, it seemed like just another example of President Obama caving to business interests. Others were quick to remind me though that bowing to business is not the half of it:…

The Department of Labor’s Labor Day 2011 website features some interesting historical info on this holiday, and an address from Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis that focuses on job creation. What I found particularly interesting was an op-ed by Secretary Solis – one of many linked from the site’s News page – published Friday in…