Archives for December, 2011

$10.8 million penalty by Labor Dept for 29 dead at Upper Big Branch mine

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) released today the findings of its 20 month-long investigation into the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion. The April 5, 2010 disaster killed 29 workers, seriously injured another worker, and left hundreds of grieving family members and friends. MSHA identified 12 violations of safety…

by Anthony Robbins, MD, MPA Every year, the United Health Foundation (UHF) publishes America’s Health Rankings. Today UHF released their 22nd annual report. Rankings are a useful gimmick for getting attention as everyone surely looks at his/her own state. I was particularly proud to find my state of Vermont at the top of the list.…

by Mark Pendergrast This is my third and final post about the state of Japan’s renewable energy efforts and other measures that are vital to prevent further climate change and to wean the country from fossil fuel and nuclear power. In my first post, I covered the public-health impacts of climate change and explained why…

by Elizabeth Grossman The US may be fourth on the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) list of countries ranked by per-capita income, but persistently high unemployment has left many of this country’s residents in poverty. The past year has seen a record increase in US children enrolled in free school meal programs, and the need…

A new kind of guide for restaurant diners: do the employees have sick leave, living wages?

The worker-led organization Restaurant Opportunities Center United released this month a new type of diners’ guide, one that focuses on working conditions for the employees at 180 restaurants nationwide. The US restaurant industry employs 10 million individuals and is the fastest growing sector in the economy. More than half of restaurant workers, however, earn less…

MSHA poised to issue investigation report on Upper Big Branch disaster

The US Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is preparing to issue next week its investigation report on the April 5, 2010 coal mine disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 workers. Ken Ward, Jr. at Coal Tattoo reports that MSHA will hold a media briefing at 3:00 pm…