Archives for December, 2011

While we’re on vacation, we’re re-posting content from earlier in the year. This post was originally published on February 28, 2011. By Celeste Monforton Roxanne Moyer wondered why managers at her husband’s worksite would allow an obvious dangerous condition to exist. Workers could be so “close to molten steel [that it] just poured over on…

While we’re on vacation, we’re re-posting content from earlier in the year. This post was originally published on May 12, 2011. By Liz Borkowski For many years, the public health and environmental communities have been calling for reform of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which governs the use of chemicals in US commerce.…

While we’re on vacation, we’re re-posting content from earlier in the year. This post was originally published on March 9, 2011. By Celeste Monforton “Death takes no holidays in industry and commerce,” is how Labor Secretary Willard Wirtz described the toll of on-the-job death and disability for U.S. workers. The Secretary’s remarks in 1968 were…

While we’re on vacation, we’re re-posting content from earlier in the year. This post was originally published on April 27, 2011. By Liz Borkowski Last week, Andrew Sullivan noted that a large proportion of healthcare costs are for the last days and hours of patients’ lives and made the following proposal: If everyone aged 40…

While we’re on vacation, we’re re-posting content from earlier in the year. This post was originally published on June 23, 2011. By Celeste Monforton Rhetoric has been flying this year, especially in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, about the “burdens” of federal regulations. Many of these members seem to despise EPA rules, CSPS rules, healthcare…

Occupational Health News Roundup

In iWatch News, Sasha Chavkin and Ronnie Greene report on a rash of kidney-disease deaths among sugarcane workers in Nicaragua. The workers generally don’t suffer from hypertension or diabetes, so attention has turned to workplace factors, Chavkin and Greene write: Some scientists suspect that exposure to an unknown toxin, potentially on the job, may trigger…

Yesterday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which will reduce emissions of heavy metals and acid gases from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The approximately 1,400 units that EPA expects to be affected by the rule (because they aren’t already meeting the standard) will have up to four…

FAA’s pilot fatigue prevention rule could translate to other occupations

Ms. Madeline Loftus, 24, was just one of the 50 individuals who lost their lives on February 12, 2009 when Continental Flight 3407 crashed in a neighborhood near Buffalo, NY. The NTSB investigation and a frightening PBS Frontline investigation called “Flying Cheap” identified airline industry practices that compromise pilots’ fitness for duty, including severe fatigue,…

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: Vanessa Veselka at The Atlantic: In the Wake of Protest: One Woman’s Attempt to Unionize Amazon Marshall Allen at ProPublica: Without Autopsies, Hospitals Bury Their Mistakes Maryn McKenna at Superbug: Fecal Transplants: They Work, the Regulations Don’t Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic: Ron Wyden, Paul Ryan,…

Ignoring geologist’s recommendation had deadly consequences at Lucky Friday mine

Last week’s violent rock burst at the Hecla Mining’s Lucky Friday mine was just one of several catastrophic events this year at the deep underground silver mine in Mullan, Idaho. Another rockburst occurred a month earlier, and just one day before another incident in which 26 year old Brandon Gray was engulfed in muck as…