Archives for August, 2013

In their efforts to protect the most vulnerable workers from illegal workplace practices and conditions, worker centers have now attracted the million-dollar ire of formidable anti-union forces. And while advocates say it’s a sign of worker centers’ success, it’s still a worrisome trend that’s made it all the way to the halls of Congress.

A few recent pieces worth a look

Casinos galore in Oklahoma, only one is smoke free

The Kaw Nation is the first in Oklahoma to operate a smoke-free casino.

Do you want overworked inspectors in charge of your meat’s safety?

Some USDA meat and poultry inspectors work many hours of overtime. USDA insists it doesn’t affect their critical food safety responsibilities.

What will Obamacare mean for people living below the poverty level? It depends on whether their states have accepted the Medicaid expansion and agreed to run their own exchanges.

OSHA settlement with Wal-Mart calls for use of third-party safety auditors

Wal-Mart and OSHA reached an agreement to resolve a number of safety problems at 2,857 of the retailer’s stores. OSHA’s meager budget hardly allows it to do follow-up inspections at all of these sites. Wal-Mart will arrange for third-party monitors to assess their compliance with the settlement agreement.

“If you don’t understand why something is harmful, the best you can do is stay away from it,” Paul Anastas said to me a few years ago, explaining the basis of the United States’ risk-based chemicals management policies. “We currently deal with chemical security through guns, guards and gates rather than by redesigning materials,” continued…

After years of hearing about alarming increases in states’ obesity rates, it was nice to get some good news: CDC reports that the percentage of low-income preschool children classified as obese has declined in 19 states.

Safety equipment installed after the fact, too little, too late for Army veteran coal miner

Three months after a WV coal miner is killed on the job, the company decides to install safety equipment that could have saved his life.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Fast-food workers hold one-day strikes for better wages; President Obama issues an executive order directing federal agencies to cooperate on chemical-facility risks; and a new study finds the potential for dangerous levels of formaldehyde exposure with a popular hair-straightening treatment.