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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.

Imprecise and potentially shaming terms like “drug abuse” can interfere with treating diseases of addiction, explain Linda Richter and Susan E. Foster in a piece in the Journal of Public Health Policy.

When President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law in 2011, it was described as the most sweeping reform of the nation’s food safety laws in nearly a century. Public health advocates hailed the law for shifting regulatory authority from reaction to prevention. What received less attention was a first-of-its-kind provision that protects workers who expose food safety lawbreakers.

While the Senate is pressing the EPA to prevent future chemical disasters, legislation has been introduced in Congress that would, if enacted, make it harder for the public to obtain information about chemical hazards, either in industrial storage tanks or consumer products. While state and local governments – and many manufacturers – are responding to growing public is demand for safer chemicals and more information about chemicals used in products – industry trade associations are promoting legislation that appears to counter that progress.

Daylight saving time and public health consequences

Daylight saving time policies data back more than 100 years. What do we know about their effect on health?

Reporters investigate the impacts of hydraulic fracturing in Texas; a new poll finds widespread support for “family friendly” workplace policies, including paid sick days and paid family leave; and large-scale hog operations raise environmental concerns in Iowa.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Poultry workers travel to Washington, DC to ask the Obama administration to rescind a proposed rule that would allow for faster processing-line speeds; a camera assistant is killed during a railway film shoot; and a Tennessee lawmaker has introduced bills to improve worker health safety in that state.

Collaboration between primary care providers and public health departments is a powerful strategy for addressing the growing health toll of hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. A new Practical Playbook offers resources for practitioners — including success stories from many communities where primary care-public health partnerships are paying off.