Archives for January, 2016

In the midst of another national debate over gun safety regulations, some argue that higher rates of gun ownership will protect people from dangerous strangers with deadly intentions. Physician and public health researcher Michael Siegel set out to study that argument. He ultimately found no relationship between gun ownership and stranger-related firearm homicides. But he did find that gun ownership levels translated into higher homicide risks for one group in particular — women.

Each year, the U.S. spends $26.2 billion on costs associated with preterm birth — that’s birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond the costs, babies born too early experience immediate and long-term problems, from developmental disabilities to asthma to hearing loss. For years, scientists have been studying possible environmental contributors, with many finding an association between preterm birth and air pollution. Earlier this week, a new study brought even more depth and clarity to this connection.

Amputations abound at Tyson Foods, OSHA records shed more light on industrial food production

OSHA now requires employers to report when a work-related amputation occurs. In the first nine months under the new regulation, how many amputations did one of the country’s largest food manufacturers report to OSHA?

Appeals Court rejects coal industry complaints, upholds health protections for miners

In a decision issued yesterday, the US Court of Appeals rejected the National Mining Association’s legal challenge to a Labor Department regulation to better protect coal miners from developing black lung disease.

The spread and toll of Zika

Zika virus has been linked to thousands of cases of microcephaly (infants born with abnormally small brains and heads) and is spreading throughout the Americas.

It’s been nearly two decades since the last publication of a nationwide survey on the distribution of blacklegged ticks — the primary transmitters of Lyme disease. That survey, released in 1998, reported the tick in 30 percent of U.S. counties. Today, a new study using similar surveillance methods has found the tick in more than 45 percent of counties.

Not an “accident”: Kevin Purpura, 39, suffers fatal work-related injury in Wheeling, WV

This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the US. This one occurred on Wednesday, January 15 in Wheeling, WV.

Recent stories address the Zika virus, which is linked to babies born with small heads; a reporter with advanced cancer covering the assisted-suicide movement; and more.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The Center for Investigative Reporting exposes discriminatory hiring practices within the temporary staffing industry; a worker dies in another chemical facility explosion in Houston; a new Amnesty International report links tech giants to child labor; and Amazon is cited for failing to report workplace injuries.

Think about all the objects you use every day that are made with pieces of metal. Before that object got to you, a worker in the metal manufacturing industry used a machine to cut, saw, bend and assemble the metal pieces into the countless products that make our lives easier. But sometimes those machines break. And when they do, a simple and inexpensive procedure helps ensure both worker and machine can return safely to the job.