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Since Congress left for recess seven weeks ago without approving funding to address the Zika virus, the Obama administration has declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico and the Florida Health Department has identified two areas in Miami-Dade County with local transmission of Zika.

From the weakening of workers’ compensation to the lives of America’s nuclear plant workers, it was another year of stellar news reporting on worker health and safety.

A Labor Day Tradition: Yearbook on US Occupational Health & Safety 2016

The fifth edition of The Year in U.S. Occupational Health and Safety recaps the key events over the last 12 months in government agencies, notable publications by academic researchers and public interest organizations, and exceptional reporting by investigative journalists.

As EPA begins work under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, more striking divisions are emerging between what environmental health advocates and what chemical manufacturing and industry groups want from the law.

The most recent annual Federal OSHA evaluation report of Cal/OSHA highlights progress made in some areas, but continuing failure to meet several minimum federal benchmarks as well as requirements of California law.  The underlying causes of these ongoing problems are chronic understaffing of field compliance officers and a lack of political will in the agency’s leadership. 

Occupational Health News Roundup

Restaurant workers in California experience severe injuries and disability; OSHA pushes back against a judge’s ruling in poultry plant inspection case; Gov. Chris Christie vetoes a $15 minimum wage bill; and the women making Nike products in Vietnam often earn poverty wages and face grueling production expectations.

Two decades ago, President Bill Clinton signed the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act” (PRWORA) and heralded the end of “welfare as we know it.” The law lived up to that promise, but the outcomes for families who depend on it have been problematic.

The verdict on whether electronic cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes is still very much out. However, a recent study found e-cigarette emissions contain a variety of concerning chemicals, including some considered to be probable carcinogens.

EEOC sues poultry company for “screening out” injured workers

The EEOC alleges in a lawsuit against Wayne Farms, a poultry-processing company, that its attendance policy results in injured workers being fired. That’s a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

On the question of whether a soda tax can actually reduce the amount of sugary drinks people consume, a new study finds the resounding answer is “yes.”