Category archives for Uncategorized

As most people in any empirical or scientific field know, the gold standard for experimenting and establishing causality is the randomized controlled trial (RCT). In an RCT, subjects are randomly assigned to one of two conditions: an experimental group or a control group. The experimental group receives the intervention or drug and the control group…

Yearbook on OHS profiles exceptional reporting by investigative journalists

The most memorable event in the last 12 months on workers’ health and safety topics was the exceptional reporting by journalists. One section of The Year in US Occupational Health and Safety is devoted to reporters’ contributions.

“All response is local” is a commonly heard phrase among public health practitioners who serve on the front lines of disease outbreaks, emergencies and disasters. Whether it’s a measles outbreak, a terrorist attack or a hurricane, public health agencies are at the ready to deploy an emergency response infrastructure designed for one overriding purpose: to protect their communities against preventable disease and injury.

History, art and prevention: European workplace safety posters

An historical collection of workplace safety posters from European agencies and advocates cover themes that are still relevant today.

Introduction of a new TSCA reform bill is expected some time this spring. In the meantime, The Pump Handle takes a look at what’s at stake in TSCA reform and why the outcome matters to those who care about protecting and improving occupational and public health.

If you’re in the market for a paint remover and head to your local hardware store, most of the products you’re likely to find will contain methylene chloride. These products carry hazard warnings that say “Danger!” and “Poison” along with cautionary statements about the chemical’s nervous system effects and the possibility that exposure can cause blindness, birth defects, cancer and respiratory harm. But there’s little – if anything – to suggest such products are so hazardous that they were responsible for at least 14 deaths in the United States between 2000 and 2011. These products are banned in the EU. Are there alternatives and why are they still for sale in the U.S.?

For eight years, Dora worked at a frozen pizza factory in Romeoville, Illinois, called Great Kitchens. For eight hours a day — sometimes seven days a week — she assembled pizza boxes or arranged cheese and other toppings on pizzas. The consequences of years of such repetitive work surfaced in October 2012, when her hands would go numb and a painful cyst formed on her left wrist. She told her supervisor about the problem, but he said he couldn’t do anything about it — Dora was a temporary worker hired through a staffing agency and so Great Kitchens wasn’t responsible for addressing her injury.

Occupational Health News Roundup

In-depth series investigates worker misclassification; NIOSH observes N95 Day; fast food workers take to the streets; and California moves toward paid sick leave law.

What do these places have in common: Camp Lejeune in North Carolina; Mountain View, California, where Google headquarters are located; Endicott, NY – the birthplace of IBM; and 389 Superfund sites in at least 48 states plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands? All are contaminated by trichloroethylene (TCE), a carcinogenic solvent. TCE’s health hazards are well-documented. So why are Republicans rushing to condemn EPA’s just-completed TCE risk assessment?

When a widely used chemical is identified as an environmental health hazard and targeted for phase-out and elimination, among the most challenging questions for those involved with making such a chemical are: What to use instead? and Will the replacement be safe? The US Environmental Protection Agency’s report identifying alternatives to the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) illustrates how difficult those questions can be to answer.