Category archives for Government

By now, the enormity of America’s opioid abuse and overdose epidemic is common knowledge. With 78 Americans dying every day from an opioid overdose and with enough painkillers prescribed to give just about every U.S. adult their own bottle of pills, there’s hardly a community that’s gone untouched by the deadly problem. And a new study reminds us that we’ll be dealing with the aftermath far into the future.

Just 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have been possible to bring leading physicians, scientists and advocates together in a consensus on toxic chemicals and neurological disorders in children, says Maureen Swanson. But with the science increasing “exponentially,” she said the time was ripe for a concerted call to action.

Despite all the concern about shuttered businesses, fired employees and lost profits, a new report has found that New York City’s paid sick leave law was pretty much a “non-event” for most employers.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Oklahoma Supreme Court rules against state’s opt-out workers’ compensation law; asbestos removal companies accused of discriminatory hiring; new research finds New York City’s paid sick leave law barely impacted businesses and hiring; and researchers predict that raising Colorado’s minimum wage will pump millions into the local economy.

Earlier this week, we published our annual report, “The Year In U.S. Occupational Health & Safety: Fall 2015 – Summer 2016,” chronicling the victories, setbacks and struggles taking place in the American workplace. But it was just about impossible to piece together a report like this without thinking about the strange — and often scary — election before us and its implications for workers.

A Labor Day Tradition: Yearbook on US Occupational Health & Safety 2016

The fifth edition of The Year in U.S. Occupational Health and Safety recaps the key events over the last 12 months in government agencies, notable publications by academic researchers and public interest organizations, and exceptional reporting by investigative journalists.

The most recent annual Federal OSHA evaluation report of Cal/OSHA highlights progress made in some areas, but continuing failure to meet several minimum federal benchmarks as well as requirements of California law.  The underlying causes of these ongoing problems are chronic understaffing of field compliance officers and a lack of political will in the agency’s leadership. 

Occupational Health News Roundup

Restaurant workers in California experience severe injuries and disability; OSHA pushes back against a judge’s ruling in poultry plant inspection case; Gov. Chris Christie vetoes a $15 minimum wage bill; and the women making Nike products in Vietnam often earn poverty wages and face grueling production expectations.

The verdict on whether electronic cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes is still very much out. However, a recent study found e-cigarette emissions contain a variety of concerning chemicals, including some considered to be probable carcinogens.

On the question of whether a soda tax can actually reduce the amount of sugary drinks people consume, a new study finds the resounding answer is “yes.”