July 15, 2011 Liz Borkowski, MPH 1Comment

Yan Jie of China Daily reports that four mine disasters have occurred in China during July alone – and we don’t yet know how many miners and rescuers will survive. Three rescuers have died already, and hope dims for the remaining miners the longer they remain trapped by high water and collapsed walls. Here is what I’ve been able to gather on the various cases, although the articles are all from earlier this week and there may be more up-to-date information elsewhere:

  • Flooded iron ore mine in Weifang, Shandong province: AFP reports 21 workers remain trapped underground
  • Fire in a coal mine in Zaozhuang, Shandong province: AFP reports that 3 rescuers have died from extreme heat exposure and, according to the last official tally, 28 people remain trapped.
  • Collapsed coal mine in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region: Xinhua reports that two workers have been pulled out alive, while another 16 remain trapped.
  • Flooded coal mine in Guizhou province: The Telegraph reports that 23 miners remain trapped, and hopes for their survival are dwindling.

In other news:

Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News and PBS’s Need to Know: Companies whose workers have been killed on the job remain in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program, which is supposed to be for the nation’s safest workplaces. (Celeste is featured in the Need to Know video.)

USA Today: Scientists reviewed a 2008 study that the Pentagon cited as finding no increased risk troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan from the dust in those areas – and the scientists say that study was “ill-founded” and flawed from the start.

New York Times: Hundreds are believed to have died in illegal Indonesian gold mines; diggers often fail to report deaths out of fear that their mines could be closed.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration: OSHA will be holding two informal stakeholder meetings on July 29th to receive input on reducing the risk of occupational exposure to infectious diseases.

EHS Today: A new study from the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute found that the percentage of workers without access to paid sick days varies by population density: 44% of rural workers have fewer than five paid sick days annually, compared to 34% of suburban workers and 38% of center-city workers.

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