Archives for April, 2012

by Kim Krisberg It was a lucky winter for Becky Belmont. The weather was on her side. As the director of energy and weatherization at West Central Minnesota Communities Action Inc., Belmont was sure the agency would run out of energy assistance funds to help all those in need. But fortunately, a mild Minnesota winter…

By Rena Steinzor, cross-posted from CPRBlog Yesterday evening, when press coverage had ebbed for the day, the Department of Labor issued a short, four-paragraph press release announcing it was withdrawing a rule on child labor on farms. The withdrawal came after energetic attacks by the American Farm Bureau, Republicans in Congress, Sarah Palin, and–shockingly–Al Franken…

USDA gives us 30 more days to tell it why 175 birds-per-minute line speeds will take a toll on poultry workers

Gabriel Thompson writes today in The Nation about a summer job he had a few years back, working on the assembly line at a Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant in Alabama. The chickens flew by on hooks at 90 birds-per-minute as he sliced and cut the meat non-stop. It didn’t take long for him to meet…

Today is World Malaria Day, and the World Health Organization has launched a new initiative, dubbed T3: Test, Treat, Track. It urges countries where malaria is endemic to test every suspected malaria case, treat every confirmed case with anti-malarial medicine, and track the disease with “timely and accurate surveillance systems.” The good news is that…

Mr. Republican lawmaker, have you purchased private health insurance lately?

Just as Republican lawmakers have been hyping the virtues of purchasing private health insurance—-versus the evils of “Obamacare”—-my husband Jim and I needed to do just that. I had been writing a check for $659 each month to maintain health insurance coverage under my former employer’s plan, as provided by COBRA. After 18 months, it…

by Elizabeth Grossman One might assume that when a government agency awards a private company a contract to do construction work – for bridge or sewer work or other public utility repairs, for example – evaluating the company’s safety and health record would be a prerequisite. This is, however, not the case. As the government…

Thanks to regulations limiting the use of lead in gasoline, paint, and plumbing supplies, the median blood lead concentration for US children age five and younger has dropped from 15 µg/dL in 1976-1980 to 1.4 µg/dL in 2007-2008. This is important because lead is a neurotoxicant that can lead to developmental delays and behavioral problems,…

Unguarded machines, a worker is dead, and workplace with model safety program promises to have a model safety program

Beau Griffing remembers how proud his mom Kristine, 52, was of the work she did at the Eaton Corporation’s Kearney, Nebraska facility. He told a local reporter how she loved taking him and his siblings to the plant to show them where she worked. “She provided so much for us,” Beau Griffing said. “She wanted…

Occupational Health News Roundup

April 28th is Workers Memorial Day, and groups California to Nebraska to Kentucky are planning events — see a complete list at the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) website. Events in Washington, DC are happening in advance of Workers Memorial Day: On Thursday, April 19th at 10am, the Senate Health, Education, Labor…

Mitt Romney’s idea of freedom: businesses free to do whatever they darn well please?

Mr. Mitt Romney spoke this weekend at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual convention and kicked off his remarks applauding the gun-lovers group’s defense of the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. “This fine organization is sometimes called a single-issue group,” Romney said. “That’s high praise when the single issue is freedom. I love my freedom…