Public Health - General

Category archives for Public Health – General

Mining is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, with more than 600 workers dying in fatal workplace incidents between 2004 and the beginning of July. And many more miners die long after they’ve left the mines from occupational illnesses such as black lung disease, while others live with the debilitating aftermath of workplace injuries. Today, researchers know a great deal about the health risks miners face on the job, but some pretty big gaps remain.

In 2005, the World Health Assembly adopted a revised version of its International Health Regulations, a legally binding treaty among 196 nations to boost global health security and strengthen the world’s capacity to confront serious disease threats such as Ebola and SARS. A decade later, just one-third of countries have the ability to respond to a public health emergency. That’s why Rebecca Katz thinks it’s time to get creative.

Detroit Free Press reporters investigate Michigan’s flawed worker safety oversight system; workers in China’s fireworks factories face life-threatening conditions; New Mexico farmworkers win major workers’ comp victory; and OSHA rules in worker’s favor in asbestos retaliation case.

Dr. Jodi Sherman wants to expand the medical profession’s understanding of patient safety far beyond the exam room and hospital bed. For Sherman, the oft-heard medical mantra of “first do no harm” should also push the health care system to do more to reduce its harmful air emissions and their impact on people’s health.

Low wages certainly impact a person’s health, from where people live to what they eat to how often they can visit a doctor. And low and stagnant wages certainly contribute to poverty, which is a known risk factor for poor health and premature mortality. But should low wages be considered an occupational health hazard?

A couple months ago, we reported on a study that found raising the minimum wage to $15 could have prevented thousands of premature deaths in New York City alone. Now comes more science on the life-saving benefits of higher wages — this one found that just a modest increase in the minimum wage could have saved the lives of hundreds of babies. It’s yet another reminder that the movement for a living wage is also a movement toward a healthier nation for all.

Occupational Health News Roundup

An in-depth look at how lobbyists squashed an Illinois bill to prevent discriminatory hiring practices in the temp industry; thousands of coal miners in Kentucky rally to save their health benefits and pensions; Chicago gets closer to a sick leave ordinance; and two workers lose their lives in the Bakken oil fields in the span of a few days.

The road toward eliminating the threat of asbestos has been long, slow-moving, incredibly frustrating and littered with significant hurdles. Thankfully, advocates like Linda Reinstein, who lost her husband to asbestos-related disease in 2003, refuse to get discouraged.

Recent pieces address inaction in the face of mass shootings, insufficient funds for fighting Zika, proposals to fix a broken mental health system, and more.

In 2014, more than 28,000 people in the U.S. died from an opioid overdose. That same year, more Americans died from drug overdoses than during any other year on record, with the escalating numbers fueled by opioid abuse. Solutions to the problem are as complex as the epidemic itself, however a recent study pointed to one tool that can make a significant difference: prescription drug monitoring programs.