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At a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, meat and poultry workers told of crippling injuries, and a grieving mother asked officials to prevent more workers from suffering a fate like her son’s.

“We’re not stupid”: OSHA Silica Hearings Week #1

A few highlights (and low lights) from the first week of public hearings on OSHA’s proposed rule to protect workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica.

Cholera had spared Haiti for a century or more, so it was not unreasonable that people asked where did the pathogen come from in 2010. But public health people might have explained that the question was a distraction. Why so? Very simply, knowing how Vibrio cholerae arrived in Haiti would not help control its spread or prevent future outbreaks.

Thanks to a unanimous vote of California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board last Thursday, workers get to hold on to a robust chemical right-to-know rule that puts their health and safety first. The vote also means that California workers will reap the benefits of more meaningful right-to-know rules than those at the federal level.

Recent US events have highlighted how the use of coal for energy can endanger the health of our rivers.

On Tuesday, more than 40 activists were arrested while protesting Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s refusal to accept the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.

A preventable work-related death is not “totally an accident”

Erik Deighton, 23, was crushed last month in a piece of machinery. A police officer commenting about his death called it an accident. There are well-established ways to prevent a worker from being crushed in a machine. When it happens, it is not an accident.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Three years after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami led to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, concerns persist about health effects while the cleanup poses ongoing health and safety challenges; workers in three states sue McDonald’s over wage theft; and the Senate passes a bill altering how the military addresses sexual assault allegations.

OSHA’s proposed silica regulation: Let the public hearings begin!

Over the next three weeks, more than 200 individuals are scheduled to testify at OSHA’s public hearing on its proposed silica regulation. Unlike other regulatory agencies, OSHA’s rulemaking hearings are overseen by an administrative law judge. Those who testify can cross-examine and be cross-examined by other witnesses and agency officials.

It’s not the first study to examine the enormous health and economic benefits of vaccines. But it’s certainly another impressive reminder about the power — and value — of prevention.