In the last two years, the California Legislature has provided the Department of Industrial Relations with significantly increased financial resources to enhance the effectiveness of Cal/OSHA and better protect the 19 million workers in the state. DIR has failed to take full advantage of these resources to strengthen Cal/OSHA while at the same time it has provided refunds to employers who have paid the fees that generate these unused resources. The net effect is a Cal/OSHA that is weaker and less effective than it could be if all available resources were put to work. The people who pay the cost of these resources “left on the table” are the workers of California and their families and communities.
Labor unions are becoming de facto immigrant rights groups; Trump pick to head MSHA is a former coal executive; Cal/OSHA opens more investigations into Goodwill's safety conditions; and a new memorial honors first responders who became ill after exposures during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
Typically, we like to end the annual “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety” on an uplifting note. But this time around — to be honest — that was a hard sell.
At the federal level, worker safety and health policies swung from high points to low points over the last 12 months. Those highs and lows--from new OSHA protections issued by the Obama administration to proposed rollbacks of funding and regulations by the Trump administration. Many of the highs and lows are described in the sixth edition of The Year in U.S. Occupational Health and Safety.
Across the country, federally qualified health centers provide a critical safety net, delivering needed medical care regardless of a person’s ability to pay. And so it’s worrisome when researchers document a sharp increase in dissatisfaction among the clinicians and staff who make those centers run.
The idea that the Affordable Care Act is a job killer is one of those regularly debunked talking points that won’t disappear. So, here’s yet more evidence that the ACA has had very little impact on the labor market.
Reporters investigate the deaths of five workers at Tampa Electric; OSHA removes worker fatality information from its home page; more workers sue Fraser Shipyards for hazardous lead exposures; and the Secret Service runs out of money to pay its agents.
In July, public health departments across the country got a letter from the Trump administration abruptly cutting off funding for teen pregnancy prevention efforts in the middle of the program’s grant cycle. The move means that many teens will miss out on receiving an education that could — quite literally — change the trajectory of their lives.
Three lawsuits by different public health and environmental groups are challenging EPA's new regulations on prioritizing and evaluating toxic chemicals. The regulations stem from amendments made by Congress last year to the 40 year old Toxic Substances Control Act. The groups argue that EPA is ignoring congressional intent.
Umair Shah’s story isn’t an uncommon one in public health. Starting out in medicine, with a career as an emergency department doctor, he said it quickly became clear that most of what impacts our health happens outside the hospital and in the community.