Public health historians Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner have amassed millions of pages of chemical-industry documents. Most were obtained by attorneys through the discovery process. They revealed tactics used by corporate interests to obstruct public health protections. What had been stored in cardboard boxes are now available on-line for researchers, journalists, environmental justice advocates, and you, too.
Yolanda Baron Carmona, 52, and Maria Rodriguez, 46, are celebrating a victory for themselves and all of California’s hotel housekeepers. Soon the state will require lodging establishments to identify and address hazards that put housekeepers at risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders.
USDA has proposed a scheme to allow pork producers to run their slaughtering lines as fast as they want in exchange for conducting their own inspections. Worker safety and consumer protection will suffer.
President Trump’s despicable comments about immigrants got me thinking about the challenge of conducting research with farmworkers about working conditions. Many are unauthorized or have guestworker visas and likely reluctant to participate.
Two new papers describe the relationship between heat strain, dehydration, and acute kidney injury among U.S. farmworkers. The research describes a current health hazard that will only get worse with heat waves and the changing climate.
A report released this week by the National Academies calls on federal and state agencies to establish and strengthen the systems for assembling data on work-related injuries, illnesses, and exposure to hazards. The last report of this type was published more than 30 years ago by the National Research Council.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled late last month to uphold an OSHA rule to protect 2.3 million workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica. A three judge panel was not convinced by any of the arguments to reject the OSHA rule that were made by attorneys for the National Association of Home Builders, American Foundry Society, and other industry groups. The judges’ 60-page opinion had this bottom line: “We reject all of Industry’s challenges.”
An OSHA news release about a $545,000 settlement with Marshall Pottery was strange to me. The agency hadn’t previously announced the willful violations and $830,000 proposed penalty to the firm related to the death earlier this year of employee Arturo Tovar.
The Center for Public Integrity’s Jim Morris writes a soulful account of a plumber named Jim Spencer who was fatally injured on-the-job in 2016. Read it before looking at the new BLS data on the 5,190 worker fatalities from the same year.