NIOSH

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Occupational Health News Roundup

Petrochemical companies spend millions to undermine the science on benzene; in-depth series sheds light on the horrific working conditions in Mexico’s agricultural sector; National Labor Relations Board rules in favor of worker organizing; and federal officials grilled on response to West fertilizer explosion.

“Too many oil and gas industry workers are being hurt or killed on the job,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, David Michaels in remarks delivered to the more than 2,000 people who gathered last week in Houston for the 2014 OSHA Oil & Gas Safety and Health Conference. As part…

Occupational Health News Roundup

New Mexico dairy farm workers face dangerous workplace conditions and fears of retaliation; Chicago passes minimum wage increase; worker dies at Staten Island car dealership; and Philadelphia task force supports paid sick leave.

In the span of just a couple years, five of Heather Buren’s colleagues at the San Francisco Fire Department were diagnosed with breast cancer. At first, Buren thought the diagnoses were part of the unfortunate toll that comes with age. Still, something felt amiss — “it just felt so disproportionate to me,” she said.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Latino workers face higher fatality rates on the job; health care workers in Spain blame inadequate protective gear for Ebola infection; California law aims to prevent violence in health care settings; and the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the 10 deadliest occupations.

That people who work nights have their sleep cycles thrown out of balance has serious consequences but urging a potentially habit-forming, psychoactive drug on an economically stressed, overworked workforce, would seem to be a symptom, at the minimum, of a pharmaceutical industry gone awry. Shouldn’t we instead be figuring out how to reduce the occupational health risks of work schedules?

For eight years, Dora worked at a frozen pizza factory in Romeoville, Illinois, called Great Kitchens. For eight hours a day — sometimes seven days a week — she assembled pizza boxes or arranged cheese and other toppings on pizzas. The consequences of years of such repetitive work surfaced in October 2012, when her hands would go numb and a painful cyst formed on her left wrist. She told her supervisor about the problem, but he said he couldn’t do anything about it — Dora was a temporary worker hired through a staffing agency and so Great Kitchens wasn’t responsible for addressing her injury.

A Labor Day look back at the year in worker health and safety

Our Labor Day tradition continues with the third edition of “The Year in US Occupational Health & Safety: Fall 2013 – Summer 2014.” Section I of the report recaps happenings over the last 12 months at the federal level.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data on heat deaths among U.S. workers, underscoring the often-tragic consequences that result when employers fail to take relatively simple and low-cost preventive actions.

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.