Archives for February, 2012

Everyone should read the personal story by Kevin Zelnio, a marine biologist and blogger at EvoEcoLab, about his son’s recent medical emergency. Having a six-year-old child whose flulike symptoms turn into a struggle to breathe must be scary enough — but this family’s troubles are compounded by not having health insurance. Zelnio is self-employed, and…

Beryllium manufacturer and union draft worker safety regulation, ask OSHA to move on it

The world’s largest producer and supplier of beryllium and workers exposed to the highly toxic mineral decided not to wait any longer for federal OSHA to draft a proposed worker safety rule on the hazard. Last week, the United Steelworkers International Union and Materion Brush (the only U.S. manufacturer) sent the complete text of a…

The significance of 2/13

Most readers are probably aware that tomorrow, 2/14, is Valentine’s Day, but do you know what’s significant about 2/13? It’s not a cue to buy chocolates — it’s a reminder that federal law only requires restaurants to pay their workers an hourly wage of $2.13. That minimum hasn’t been raised since 1991; if it had…

The House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee has approved what Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood calls “the worst transportation bill I’ve ever seen during 35 years of public service.” LaHood spent 14 years in Congress, serving as a Republican representative from Illinois, and told Politico that Congress always came together in the past to support transportation,…

by Elizabeth Grossman The news of increased hiring in the January jobs report has been greeted as a sign that the US might finally be emerging from the Great Recession. But a look at the kind of hiring that’s been on the rise over the past few years raises important questions about the changing nature…

Remembering Stephen M. Levin, MD, a clinician, scientist, advocate

New Yorkers, the nation and the world lost a dedicated physician and worker advocate this week with the passing of Stephen M. Levin, 70, from cancer. Dr. Levin was a professor of preventative medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and most recently, a prominent figure fighting for a long-term program to identify and treat…

Unpaid OSHA penalties in fatality case involving Walmart’s construction contractor

The Boston Globe’s Megan Woolhouse reported earlier this week on a civil lawsuit against construction contractors and Walmart for the wrongful death of Romulo de Oliveira Santos, 47. The Brazilian immigrant and a crew of other workers were assigned to tear down the ceilings and walls on the night of September 8, 2008 at a…

I wrote last month about the role of chronic diseases in healthcare-cost growth, so I was excited to see a new report from the Institute of Medicine called Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action. When I think of chronic illness, diabetes and heart disease are what leap to my mind…

OSHA proposes $21,500 penalty to firm where two 17 year olds lost legs

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations last week to Zaloudek Grain Co. in Kremlin, Oklahoma for safety violations identified in its investigation of the August 4, 2011 incident in which two young workers each lost a leg. The citations listed six serious violations and a proposed penalty of $21,500. Two of…

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post: Why the poor should concern Romney Scott Carlson in The Chronicle of Higher Education: America’s Health Threat: Poor Urban Design Maia Szalavitz at Healthland: The Wet House: Homeless People with Alcoholism Drink Less When Booze Is Allowed (Also see Matt Stroud…