Tag archives for prevention

Americans with lower incomes and educational attainment often live shorter, sicker lives than their wealthier, more educated counterparts. Contributors to these disparities can include access to care, hazardous living conditions, nutrition in early childhood, and personal behaviors. But what about workplace conditions? Do certain groups of people get sorted into jobs that exacerbate inequalities in life expectancy?

Anyone who’s lived in a big, dense city is familiar with the sight of bicycle messengers weaving their way in between metro buses and taxi cabs, down side streets and around packed crosswalks, pedaling at impressive speeds and often with remarkable agility. Surprisingly, however, there’s little data on these workers, even though it seems they’d be particularly susceptible to injuries on the job.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers it one of five neglected parasitic infections in need of targeted public health action. And while it’s still considered rare in the U.S., it seems residents of Texas may be at greater risk than scientists previously thought.

For years, scientists have described climate change as a slowly emerging public health crisis. But for many, it’s difficult to imagine how a complex planetary phenomenon can impact personal well-being beyond the obvious effects of natural disasters, which climatologists say will happen more frequently and intensely as the world warms. That disconnect is what piqued my interest in a new study on old infrastructure, heavy rainfalls and spikes in human illness.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Former employees at the Blue Bell ice cream plant in Texas report dangerous work conditions; federal health researchers announce new study of oil field workers; Democrats propose new labor rights legislation; and North Dakota legislators announce efforts to hold big oil companies responsible for worker deaths.

When it comes to protecting workers, advocates often turn to science. Whether it’s research on the effectiveness of an intervention, new injury surveillance data or novel methods for pinpointing particularly vulnerable workers, science is key to advancing workplace safety. In our fourth edition of “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety,” we highlight some of the most interesting and noteworthy research of the past year.

With national school nutrition standards up for reauthorization in Congress, a new survey finds that most Americans support healthier school meals.

More than 1,000 U.S. workers have died due to job-related events in the first seven months of 2015, according to new data from the U.S. Worker Fatality Database. Researchers estimate that total fatalities will likely reach 4,500 by the end of the year, which would mean that the nation’s occupational death rate experienced little, if no, improvement over previous years.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is no stranger to budget cuts — the agency is already so underfunded that it would take its inspectors nearly a century, on average, to visit every U.S. workplace at least once. In some states, it would take two centuries. Unfortunately, appropriations bills now making their way through Congress don’t bode much better for OSHA.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Republican proposal to ban unions at the IRS could mean trouble for other federal employees; ExxonMobil refinery in California cited for violations in February explosion; OSHA fines poultry company for “outrageously dangerous” conditions; and a strip club dancer calls for the same protections and respect afforded to other workers.