Archives for December, 2012

Workers in Travis County, Texas, are celebrating what advocates are calling a landmark victory, after local leaders voted to ensure that economic incentive deals benefit both big business and workers.

Our new policy brief and white paper address the economic impacts of occupational injuries and illnesses on low-wage workers.

Excess breast cancer risk among women employed in automobile plastics facilities

Two recently published papers funded by the federal agency Health Canada report on excess risk of breast cancer among auto plastics workers and the chemical compounds and processes used that are the likely culprits.

Medicaid is an important program that would suffer if the federal government cut its contributions.

New DOT policy promises better health and safety protections for flight attendants

After three decades, the FAA has finally acknowledged that its regulations to protect the health and safety of flight attendants are not adequate. A new policy—barring major objections from the airlines—-will extend OSHA protections to airline flight attendants.

The collective experience of domestic workers — house cleaners, nannies and caregivers — often remains hidden from view. But a new survey has pulled back the curtain on the conditions and experiences domestic workers face, documenting issues such as wage exploitation, preventable on-the-job injuries and the little — if any — power domestic workers have in improving their work environments.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The Bangladesh factory where 112 workers died in a fire last month had not gotten its fire department certification renewed; two West Virginia miners at separate mines were killed on the same day; and the Whistleblower Protection Act will extend whistleblower protections to many federal employees.

The good news is that in 2011 there were 53 fewer reported refinery accidents in Louisiana than there were in 2010. The bad news is that the 301 refinery accidents reported to the state in 2011 released nearly 50,000 pounds more air pollutants and nearly 1 million gallons more contaminants to soil and water than did the 354 accidents reported in 2010 – this according to a new report released Monday by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and United Steelworkers.

“If you really look at how pain affects people and what it means to have pain…you start to view it more as a social phenomenon.” These are words from Dr. Daniel Carr, who says the time for a population-based approach doesn’t begin with misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers; it begins, in fact, with how we interpret the contributors to pain in the first place.

Worker remain missing four days after failure of West Virginia coal slurry impoundment

After four days, one worker remains unaccounted for after being caught in the collapse of an embankment at a WV coal slurry impoundment. The 788 acre pond of coal waste and chemical-laced water is owned by CONSOL Energy, and is just one of hundreds like it located in U.S. coal mining States.