budget cuts

Tag archives for budget cuts

California’s workforce has grown by about 22 percent in the last 20 years but the number of safety inspectors for the 17 million people employed in the state’s 1.34 million workplaces has decreased by about 11 percent. This leaves California’s workforce – the largest of any US state – with the lowest number of inspectors per workers of any state with its own occupational safety and health plan for private-sector workers. California has so few workplace safety inspectors that it would take 173 years to inspect each workplace in the state just once.

Most people infected with mosquito-borne West Nile virus don’t experience any symptoms at all. However, the tiny percentage of cases that do end up in the hospital total hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity.

Higher insurance rates don’t mean people stop seeking care at publically funded health centers, found a recent study of family planning clinics in Massachusetts. The findings speak to serious concerns within public health circles that policy-makers may point to higher insurance rates as a justification to cut critical public health funding.

It’s probably my earliest public health memory — the image of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and his grandfatherly beard on the television warning my elementary school self about the dangers of smoking. He was the first doctor I knew by name.

A new report finds most states spend a small fraction of their tobacco settlement and tax income on smoking prevention and cessation. Congress keeps cutting the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. An Institute of Medicine Committee recommends ways to assure we stop making these short-sighted cuts.

Larger investments in public health equal better health, fewer deaths and reduced medical spending — and the effect is especially pronounced in the communities that need it most, according to new research.

While OSHA has never been the most robustly funded federal agency, its efforts and regulatory authority have helped prevent countless deaths, injuries and illnesses on the job. However, recent budget cuts and future budget cut proposals threaten those gains, and it’s no stretch to say that worker health and safety hang in the balance.

Labor Day assessment of federal efforts to improve (or impede) worker safety protections

The second annual report on US worker health and safety offers a review of activities and new policies at the federal scene, and a recap on the best reporting about it by the nation’s journalists.

When I asked Teresa Schnorr why we should be worried about the loss of a little-known occupational health data gathering program, she quoted a popular saying in the field of surveillance: “What gets counted, gets done.”

Every week, the Austin-based Workers Defense Project welcomes standing room-only crowds to its Workers in Action meetings. And once a month, a local OSHA representative would join the meeting, giving some of Texas’ most vulnerable workers the chance to meet face-to-face with the agency. Unfortunately, due to the federal sequester, OSHA has had to indefinitely suspend its participation. It’s a significant loss.