Archives for July, 2013

A few recent pieces worth a look

Explosion, chemical hazards persist at Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plants

Pilgrim’s Pride is the world’s second largest poultry producer. The firm’s repeat violations of chemical process safety management should earn them OSHA’s severe violator label.

Throughout a meeting in which it criticized OSHA action on several workplace hazards, the Chemical Safety Board was careful to acknowledge the progress OSHA had made in addressing the hazards, the factors that impede effective OSHA action, and the preventability of explosions and other chemical incidents that kill workers and leave families and communities devastated.

With immigration at the forefront of national debate, Jim Stimpson decided it was time to do a little more digging.

Houston lawmakers poised to tackle wage theft

Members of Houston’s City Council held a public hearing this week to discuss a proposed ordinance to beef up sanctions against companies who don’t pay employees their lawfully owed wages. Penalties will include a prohibition from getting city contracts, permits and licenses.

On July 15 and 16, about two dozen farmworkers paid an unprecedented visit to Capitol Hill to ask Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House to support increased protection from exposure to pesticides. Farmworkers have lobbied Congress before, but this is the first time such a visit focused entirely on pesticide exposure…

A check in the mail courtesy of Obamacare

A refund check from my health insurance provider is another sign that Obamacare is working for healthcare consumers.

Occupational Health News Roundup

A Massachusetts farmworker and California postal worker collapsed while working and died; Manhattan McDonald’s workers and Chicago Dunkin’ Donuts workers walked off the job to protest excessive heat. The Senate confirms Obama’s nominees for Secretary of Labor and EPA Administrator, while advocates call on those two agencies to do more to protect healthcare workers and farmworkers.

When I asked Teresa Schnorr why we should be worried about the loss of a little-known occupational health data gathering program, she quoted a popular saying in the field of surveillance: “What gets counted, gets done.”

by Anthony Robbins, MD, MPA The current issue of Mother Jones offers an article on the troubling and growing list of State “gag laws” which make it a crime to disclose contamination and abuse in animal breeding and slaughter houses.  Ted Genoways in “Gagged by Big Ag,” describes the events and players leading to: laws…