February 27, 2007 The Pump Handle 3Comment

Mike Hendricks from the Kansas City Star notes in a recent article that all-too-often, trench collapses happen when “work crews take shortcuts because they’re in a hurry or think a trench box interferes with the job they’re doing.” While it may be true that workers are “cutting corners” to finish the job they are assigned […]

February 27, 2007 The Pump Handle

The House Education and Labor Committee, chaired by George Miller (D-CA), issued a progress report on MSHA’s implementation of the MINER Act of 2006.  The report says implementation by the agency and mining industry of certain provisions of the new law are “proceeding too slowly,” including inadequate application of underground communication and tracking devices.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s blog “The Gavel” quickly […]

February 27, 2007 The Pump Handle

By David Michaels The handcuffs President Bush recently imposed on regulatory agencies continue to be the focus of public attention. (We’ve compiled a listing of posts on the Executive Order and its nefarious implications). Members of Congress, along with public health and environmental advocates, are now considering legislative approaches to overturning these new requirements. Media […]

February 26, 2007 The Pump Handle

This week, two Senate Committees will focus attention on worker safety and health topics.  On Wednesday, February 28, Senator Tom Harkin’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education will receive testimony on “Improving Mine Safety: One Year after Sago and Alma.”  On Thursday, March 1, Senator Patty Murray’s Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety of […]

February 23, 2007 The Pump Handle

Dr. Tony Robbins recent response to my draft on OSHA at 35 makes the important point that economic developments are often more powerful than public health initiatives as determinants of environmental and occupational illness. I agree with his thought that predictive models of exposure might facilitate anticipatory public health strategies rather than our more typical […]

February 23, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Christopher Thomas needed to make some extra money. The 51-year old welder—also a husband and father of two—had begun work in the GMD Shipyard in Brooklyn Navy Yard about a week before. It was mid-morning on a Saturday—his day off—but Thomas had come into work anyway.

February 23, 2007 The Pump Handle 2Comment

Pharmaceuticals seem to be a big topic in the blogosphere this week. Roy M. Poses MD at Health Care Renewal has more on the Zyprexa memos – which, if you haven’t been following this issue, reportedly show that manufacturer Eli Lilly suppressed information about this schizophrenia drug’s harmful side effects. Abel Pharmboy at Terra Sigillata reports on […]

February 23, 2007 The Pump Handle

By David Michaels In the issue of Science Magazine on your virtual newsstand today, Don Kennedy has written a powerful editorial entitled “Science, Information, and Power.” (sub required) Dr. Kennedy observes that the confrontation between Congress and the White House over the production and control of science used in regulation is about an issue fundamental […]

February 22, 2007 The Pump Handle

MSHA’s Assistant Secretary Richard Stickler revealed yesterday the agency’s new procedures for determining whether a work-related death “is to be counted as a reportable death in MSHA’s official statistics.”  In my post “Counting (or Not) of Workers’ Deaths,” I pushed Mr. Stickler to share the results of his review of MSHA’s fatality accounting system.  After […]

February 21, 2007 The Pump Handle

The state of Kentucky has been in the spotlight lately as legislation to protect social workers and mineworkers has failed to live up expectations. The state’s House of Representatives stripped funding from the Boni Bill, named after social worker Boni Frederick, who was killed when she took a child to a final home visit with […]