In more encouraging public health news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that vaccination rates among kindergarteners have remained stable, with the median vaccine exemption rate at 2 percent. Some states even reported an increase in immunization rates.
Reporters investigate a court-ordered rehab center that funnels unpaid labor to a poultry processor; Ben & Jerry’s commits to improving conditions for workers on dairy farms; Massachusetts is one step closer to providing all public-sector workers with OSHA protections; and the Trump administration rolls back protections for transgender workers.
Guns are the third leading cause of injury-related death in the country. Every year, nearly 12,000 gun homicides happen in the U.S., and for every person killed, two more are injured. Whether Congress will do anything about this violence is a whole other (depressing) article. But there is evidence that change is possible.
A reporter goes undercover to expose the conditions facing temp workers; West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin comes out against Trump’s MSHA pick; carpenters union confronts Industrial Commission of Arizona on leniency toward violators; and a Philadelphia union joins an opioid lawsuit against drug companies.
In yet another attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, much of the GOP justification boils down to one argument: that the ACA isn’t working. Never mind that we don’t really know what constitutes a “working” health care system for Republicans.
Senate Republicans are again trying to ram through an Affordable Care Act replacement that threatens the health and well-being of millions of Americans. It’s shameful. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at what people who actually work in health care are saying about the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill.
Earlier this week, members of the Senate Finance Committee announced an agreement to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The announcement had been anxiously awaited by families and advocates across the nation, as the program’s federal funding expires in about two weeks. The agreement is good news, but coverage for CHIP’s 8.9 million children isn’t safe just yet.
Labor unions are becoming de facto immigrant rights groups; Trump pick to head MSHA is a former coal executive; Cal/OSHA opens more investigations into Goodwill’s safety conditions; and a new memorial honors first responders who became ill after exposures during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
Typically, we like to end the annual “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety” on an uplifting note. But this time around — to be honest — that was a hard sell.
For the sixth year in a row, we present “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety,” our attempt to document the year’s highs and lows as well as the challenges ahead.