Liz Borkowski

Monday, April 28, is Worker Memorial Day, and groups around the US – and around the world – are holding events and issuing reports this week to remember workers killed on the job and push for stronger workplace protections.

Medicaid, disability, and penury

Medicaid is an essential source of care for millions of people living with disabilities – but does it have to require them to live with so few assets?

Occupational Health News Roundup

This months marks the fourth anniversary of deadly workplace disasters in West Virginia and the Gulf of Mexico; after coming under pressure from activists, Walmart has changed its policy regarding accommodations for pregnant workers; and two California nurses were stabbed in separate incidents on the same day.

Pulitzer Prizes and public health

The list of Pulitzer Prize winners released earlier this week includes several journalists who addressed public-health issues, from black lung to food stamps.

The Washington Post provides in-depth coverage on issues facing veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan; an unprecedented release of Medicare data gives reporters a lot to work with; and journalists consider how West Virginia’s reliance on a few industries has influenced the state’s response to contaminated water and drug addiction.

The World Health Organization has released a new estimate of the number of premature deaths linked to air pollution: In 2012, approximately seven million deaths — one in eight of those occurring worldwide — resulted from exposure to air pollution. The vast majority of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, with much of the burden falling in South East Asia and the Western Pacific.

Occupational Health News Roundup

President Obama highlights the ways inadequate paid-leave and wage policies affect women workers; a California bill would hold companies liable for violations by the temporary labor firms they contract with; and OSHA proposes $2.3 million in fines against a company that exposed workers to asbestos and lead hazards.

Millions of people have gained health-insurance coverage through federal and state exchanges, direct purchases from insurers, and Medicaid expansions.

At a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, meat and poultry workers told of crippling injuries, and a grieving mother asked officials to prevent more workers from suffering a fate like her son’s.

Recent US events have highlighted how the use of coal for energy can endanger the health of our rivers.