Legal

Category archives for Legal

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.

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.

Occupational Health News Roundup

ProPublica offers a disturbing look inside the extravagant workers’ comp industry; workers speak up about conditions inside hospital hotels; New York’s governor announces plan to raise minimum wages for state university workers; and a worker is killed at a Ford Motor Company plant in Chicago.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Reporters at the Center for Public Integrity investigate the nation’s third wave of asbestos disease; garment workers in Bangladesh continue to fight for safety and dignity in the workplace; Seattle becomes the first U.S. city to allow Uber drivers to organize; and OSHA sends its silica rule to the White House.

In a recent study, Harvard public health researchers decided to test a few dozen types of electronic cigarettes for diacetyl, a flavoring chemical associated with a severe respiratory disease known as “popcorn lung.” The researchers found diacetyl in a majority of the e-cigarettes they tested. News outlets jumped on the findings, with some announcing that e-cigarettes could cause the often-debilitating respiratory disease.

In 2010, Donna Gross, a psychiatric technician at Napa State Hospital for more than a decade, was strangled to death at work by a mentally ill patient. While on-the-job violence in the health care sector was certainly nothing new at the time, the shocking and preventable circumstances surrounding Gross’ death helped ignite a new and coordinated movement for change. Now, just a handful of years later, California is set to become the only state with an enforceable occupational standard aimed at preventing workplace violence against health care workers.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The importance of protecting vulnerable workers in efforts to combat climate change; Dallas officials vote for mandatory rest breaks; University of Chicago’s nontenured instructors vote to form a union; and Cal/OSHA launches investigation into porn production company.

Take a quick look around your home and chances are you’ll find at least one product with an ingredient simply described as “fragrance.” But what exactly does that mean and is there anything harmful in the ubiquitous chemical cocktails we refer to as fragrance? Maybe. But the real answer is that it’s hard to know for sure — and that, say advocates, is bad for public health.

Trial of Mining CEO Blankenship: “Guilty” say the jurors

The criminal trial of Don Blankenship ended this week with a guilty verdict on one of the three charges against the former Massey Energy CEO. The reaction from family members and reflections from Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward make up my favorite quotes from this final week of the trial.