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Not an “accident”: Stanley Thomas Wright, 47, suffers work-related asphyxiation at railyard in North Las Vegas

This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality. This one occurred on August 2 at a railyard in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Next time you pass a tree, you might want to give it a second thought. Maybe even a hug. One day, that tree might just help save your life.

Worker safety measures make way into new USDA poultry inspection rule

The Labor Department convinced USDA to insert some worker safety measures into its new poultry slaughter inspection regulation. Poultry workers hope the measures are more than just words in the Federal Register notice.

As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa worsens, CDC sends staff to affected countries and issues a travel alert, but stresses that the disease “poses very little risk to the general US population.”

For 17 years, Salvadora Roman deboned chickens on the processing line at Wayne Farms in Decatur, Alabama. Because of the repetitive movement and speed of the processing line, Roman developed a chronic and painful hand injury that affects her ability to do even the most basic household chores. About three years ago, she was fired from the plant for taking time off work to visit a doctor for the injury she sustained on the line.

The incident report details are horrific and heartbreaking. If this was a radio broadcast, my editors and I would likely preface what I am about to relate with a warning: “The following report contains material that may be disturbing.” On July 2nd, 28-year old Joel Metz became the eighth cell tower worker to die on the job this year. OSHA and the industry have initiated new safety measures but nothing seems to be changing.

Some thoughts about mine safety penalties

Mine safety penalties are pretty meaningless if they aren’t paid, and more so if they aren’t assessed.

Occupational Health News Roundup

McDonald’s ruling could be a major turning point for the fast food worker movement; federal commission clarifies rules for pregnant workers; miners with black lung may have been wrongly denied benefits; and a new OSHA whistleblower partnership is launched to support commercial carrier workers.

Many hourly workers struggle to get by with too few hours and schedules that are erratic and subject to last-minute changes. The Schedules that Work Act, just introduced by Representative George Miller and Congressional colleagues, aims to help hourly workers achieve flexible and predictable schedules that let them balance work with other obligations.

Nearly two years ago, American schoolchildren began sitting down to healthier school lunches, thanks to new federal nutrition guidelines. Media reports of the nutrition upgrade weren’t terribly encouraging, with stories of unhappy kids, unhappy parents and politicians who think addressing childhood obesity is an example of the “nanny state.” However, recent research has found what most parents probably already know: Kids are pretty adaptable — they just need some time.