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Murray cares about the chickens, the workers? Not so much

Too bad Murray’s Chicken doesn’t care as much about working conditions for its employees, as it does about the living conditions for its birds.

When it comes to substance abuse disorders, public health and the public at-large are hardly on the same page — in fact, they’re not even reading the same book. And that’s a serious problem for sustaining and strengthening efforts to treat addiction and advancing effective public health policy.

“If the California Public Health Department had been able to find out that my company was using a chemical that was killing people, I might never have gotten so sick that I had to have a lung transplant,” Ricardo Corona told a California Judiciary Committee last April, testifying in favor of California Senate Bill (SB) 193 that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on September 29th.

“Yes, you can use my name because it doesn’t matter. They have already done everything they can do to me.” Those are words from Eliceo, a former dairy farm worker in upstate New York. Earlier this year, Eliceo, 36, decided to speak up and share his story with local advocates who are tirelessly working to improve conditions on New York dairy farms and end persistent reports of workplace safety violations, preventable work-related injuries, wage theft, exploitation and in some cases, worker deaths.

The American Academy of Pediatrics published a “Contraceptives for Adolescents” policy statement that advises pediatricians to consider long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods as first-line contraceptive choices for adolescents. Recent research shows that women, including teens, will choose LARCs when cost is not a barrier and when healthcare providers can help patients choose and access the contraceptives that best meet their needs.

Byssinosis, an infamous booklet, and Reagan-era OSHA

In his first week on the job, President Reagan’s appointee to head OSHA ordered a booklet about the hazards of cotton dust destroyed. He considered the image and words of textile workers afflicted by “brown lung” disease “biased.”

Occupational Health News Roundup

Latino workers face higher fatality rates on the job; health care workers in Spain blame inadequate protective gear for Ebola infection; California law aims to prevent violence in health care settings; and the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the 10 deadliest occupations.

Grandmother calls for mandatory minimum penalties for work-related fatalities

A Wyoming grandmother wants the State to impose more meaningful sanctions in work-related fatality cases. Her 20 year-old grandson was killed on-the-job. Despite finding serious violations, the company paid only a $6,700 penalty.

Worldwide, the numbers of children who die before their fifth birthdays is on the decline. Still, millions of children are being lost to diseases and complications that are completely preventable.

Momentum is building for policies that allow workers to care for their own health and that of their family members without risking financial ruin.