Archives for October, 2013

Despite shutdown, journalists finding plenty to report on coal miner fatalities

Reporters were shut out during the shutdown of access to agency information. That situation didn’t stop two of them from continuing to report on deaths of workers in the U.S. mining industry.

A new report from the Brookings Institution recommends changes to administration of housing vouchers to improve efficiency and address the growth of poverty in suburban areas.

USDA to poultry plant workers: no promise we’ll address line speed hazards

USDA continues to insist that worker safety concerns are OSHA’s responsibility, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that its proposed rule to “modernize” poultry slaughter inspection with dizzying line speeds will injure workers.

A former State health commissioner explains his tactic for averting cuts in public health funding.

Strategies to reduce the deathly toll of prescription drug abuse are reaping positive outcomes, though not every state is taking full advantage, according to a new report from Trust for America’s Health.

Occupational Health News Roundup

As the Mine Safety & Health Administration furloughs employees, three mineworkers were killed on the job in three days; OSHA issues fines in West Fertilizer explosion case; and another Bangladesh factory fire kills nine workers.

Turning new page for transparency in worker safety rulemaking

For the first time in OSHA’s rulemaking history, the agency is requesting that those submitting studies, reports and analysis on its proposed silica standard disclose potential conflicts of interest.

Shutdown pressures WIC clinics

The government shutdown is affecting another vital public health program. It’s cut off the flow of funds from USDA to WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

Dismissing a widow’s plea, just another reason to dislike the coal industry

Last year, Caitlin O’Dell’s 27 year-old husband was crushed between two pieces of mobile mining equipment. A proximity detection device could have saved his life, but the coal industry insists the devices need more study before mine operators are required to install them.

While OSHA has never been the most robustly funded federal agency, its efforts and regulatory authority have helped prevent countless deaths, injuries and illnesses on the job. However, recent budget cuts and future budget cut proposals threaten those gains, and it’s no stretch to say that worker health and safety hang in the balance.