Archives for June, 2013

Sharon Thomas-Ellison works hard for her paychecks at Jimmy John’s. On occasion when no one else is available, the 19-year-old has worked from 11 in the morning until 1 a.m. at night with just a 30-minute break — and it’s okay, she says, she needs the extra income.

The Supreme Court’s “let the states decide” approach to marriage equality is similar to its stance on the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. How many of the states that have marriage equality are also expanding Medicaid?

Following passage of a Massachusetts law requiring companies to report on their use of toxic chemicals, environmental releases of potentially carcinogenic chemicals declined 93% between 1991 and 2010 while reported use declined 32% between 1990 and 2010.

Harsh working conditions in US poultry and meatpacking plants violate human rights, OAS Commission to review the claim

Civil rights groups filed a petition today with the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asserting that the U.S. government has failed to protect poultry and meatpacking workers from permanently disabling and life altering work-related injuries and other abuses.

News Flash: your safety program stinks if workers lose fingers in machines

After receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in OSHA penalties, and workers losing fingers in machines, you’d think this company would accept that its current safety program stinks.

Occupational Health News Roundup

A federal judge rebukes a coal company that sued a miner for filing a whistleblower discrimination complaint; EPA and OSHA have yet to announce formal enforcement activities for the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion; and LA bus drivers say pesticides used on buses are making them sick.

When most of us pass by a new high-rise or drive down a new road, we rarely think: Did the builders and planners consider my health? However, a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers evidence that certain types of land use and transportation decisions can indeed limit the human health and environmental impacts of development.

Dow Chemical’s “exemplary” worker safety program, an utter failure for Brian Johns, 45, burn victim

Serious safety lapses at the Deer Park, TX Dow Chemical plant led to the death of Brian Johns. An OSHA “Star” status is only as good as what happens for workers on the front lines.

Yesterday, US Secretary of State John Kerry marked the 10th anniversary of the creation of PEPFAR, the US President’s Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief.

A few recent pieces worth a look