Archives for December, 2013

“Too often nothing happens,” said John Podesta, Center for American Progress chair and founder, introducing the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Majority Committee report released on December 11th that details federal contractors’ repeat and serious occupational safety and wage violations. “Too often the government renews agreements with companies that have a long track record…

On average, eating healthy costs about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets, according to a new study. The extra cost seems insignificant at first — a small cup of coffee often costs more — but it all adds up to be a considerable barrier for many low-income families.

New legislation from Senator Gillibrand and Representative DeLauro would establish a national insurance system that would replace a portion of workers’ wages while they take time off to deal with a serious health issue or care for a family member.

A few recent pieces worth a look

A new report finds most states spend a small fraction of their tobacco settlement and tax income on smoking prevention and cessation. Congress keeps cutting the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. An Institute of Medicine Committee recommends ways to assure we stop making these short-sighted cuts.

This year’s flu season and the Dracula cough

An ER nurse’s observations about this year’s flu season.

There are few factors that shape a person’s health as strongly and predictably as income. And while enforcing wage and labor laws may at first seem outside the purview of public health agencies, Rajiv Bhatia adamantly disagrees. In fact, he says that public health may wield the most persuasive stick in town.

Flavoring chemicals may taste yummy but still damaging lungs of workers making food

A recently published study demonstrates (again) the serious risk to workers’ health when exposed to common food-flavoring agents. The risk has been known for more than a decade. It’s just another example of our ineffective systems for protecting workers, consumers and the environment from chemical hazards.

Walmart says its wages are at the high end, but it’s hard to get by on even $12 per hour. After deducting housing, food, and transportation costs from a $12-per-hour worker’s paycheck, there’s little if anything left for other basic expenses, let alone saving for the future.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The owner of a factory where an explosion killed two workers is convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10-20 years in prison; a reporter investigates deaths of young farmworkers since the Obama administration withdrew its proposed rule on child agricultural workers; and retailers have improved their Black Friday crowd control in the five years since Jdimytai Damour was trampled to death at a Long Island Walmart.