Occupational Health & Safety
Category archives for Occupational Health & Safety
ANSI new safety standard for nails guns ignores a decade of injury research. It’s process largely excluded those directly affected—consumers and workers—and was dominated by groups with an interest in the unsafe status quo.
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.
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.
In 2011, a group of researchers embarked on a national study to measure burnout among physicians. They found that 45 percent of U.S. doctors met the criteria for burnout, which manifests as emotional exhaustion, a loss of meaning in one’s work, feelings of ineffectiveness, and a tendency to see people as objects rather than fellow humans. Less than a handful of years later, the problem has gotten significantly worse.
The Center for Public Integrity investigates occupational illness and the workers’ compensation system; federal officials accuse coal mining operator of worker retaliation; OSHA penalties finally rise to meet inflation; and low-wage workers go on strike across the nation for better wages.
As “the water cooler for the public health crowd,” The Pump Handle is in Chicago reporting from the 143rd annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s events, including the intersection between social justice and public health, efforts by nurses in California to address work-related assaults, and community interventions to raise health babies.
The criminal trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship went into its fourth week. Jurors heard from Chris Blanchard, the former president of Massey Energy’s Performance Coal Company about his and Blankenship’s oversight of the Upper Big Branch mine.
Flame retardants aren’t just found in your furniture. It’s likely you also have detectable amounts of the chemical in your body too, which is pretty worrisome considering the growing amount of research connecting flame retardants to serious health risks. Researchers have linked to the chemicals to reproductive health problems, adverse neurobehavioral development in kids, and endocrine and thyroid disruption. And so the question arises: Do the risks of today’s flame retardants outweigh the benefits?
ProPublica and National Public Radio examine “injury benefit plans.” They are set up by some employers in Texas and Oklahoma as alternatives for firms that are allowed to opt-out of having workers’ compensation insurance.
Americans with lower incomes and educational attainment often live shorter, sicker lives than their wealthier, more educated counterparts. Contributors to these disparities can include access to care, hazardous living conditions, nutrition in early childhood, and personal behaviors. But what about workplace conditions? Do certain groups of people get sorted into jobs that exacerbate inequalities in life expectancy?