Archives for September, 2013

The Department of Labor has finalized a rule extending minimum-wage and overtime protections to home care workers.

Prison term for Massey official, criminal probe of 2010 coal mine disaster continues

A fourth official formerly associated with Massey Energy was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for conspiring to thwart federal mine safety laws. Massey Energy was the operator in 2010 of the site where the worst coal mine disaster in 40 years occurred.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Respirators have improved since the Ground Zero response and recovery effort exposed workers to airborne contaminants; the Government Accountability Office criticizes the data underlying USDA’s proposed poultry rule; and Jersey City will consider paid-sick-leave legislation.

Obama Administration scraps plans for chemical right-to-know

The Obama Administration, at the urging of chemical manufacturers, withdrew two EPA actions proposed under the Toxic Substance Control Act. The measures would have provided the public more information about the hazards associated with certain chemical substances.

A few recent pieces worth a look

Working in clouds of dust. If it’s silica, it’s not safe.

Construction crews working in a cloud of dust takes place thousands of times every day in the U.S. Here’s just one example from my community.

Nearly 50 billion pounds of chicken (about eight billion chickens’ worth, or 37 billion pounds of poultry products) were processed in the United States in 2012 by about half a million workers, many of whom handle more than 100 birds per minute. This labor involves standing in chilled processing plant facilities, cutting, gutting, scalding, defeathering…

From fields and silos to poultry plants to fast-food restaurants, workers are speaking up about unsafe and unjust conditions, and demanding improvements.

Labor Day review of significant efforts by states and localities to address (or not) workers’ rights and safety protections

Section 3 of the second annual report on US worker health and safety offers a review of activities at the State and local scene, as well as reports from non-profits and investigations by journalists.

Least Untruthful, a new standard?

How do Edward Snowden and his revelations impinge on public health and its practice, in the US and around the world? In their Editorial, “Least Untruthful, a new standard?” the Co-Editors of the Journal of Public Health Policy have spelled out some important implications for public health.