June 6, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Breaking news: Another contract worker has been killed on the job at BP’s Texas City refinery – the site of the deadly 2005 explosion that took 15 workers’ lives. The worker, whose name has not been released, was electrocuted while working on an idle unit that was being reconditioned.

Stress on the job has been in the news lately. Troops serving in Iraq and in other violent conflicts face intense stress daily, and the pressure doesn’t just disappear when they return home. Suicides among veterans who’ve recently returned from Iraq have galvanized some families and veterans’ groups to demand better treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health needs.

In the U.K., a new report focuses on the day-to-day stresses that affect workers. Depression and stress together make up the second largest cause of workers taking time off sick. Employers could help by addressing sources of stress at work – one union leader notes that employees are often expected to take on extra work without additional resources – and also by being aware of signs of ill mental health and providing support before an employee’s condition deteriorates.

In other news:

As Celeste Monforton wrote earlier this week, the Charleston Gazette and Louisville Courier-Journal have continued to support in-depth reporting into the disasters at the Sago and Stillhouse mines.

New England Journal of Medicine: To gain the best possible information about the longer-term consequences of inhalation of dust from the World Trade Center disaster, continued monitoring of responders and commitment to the World Trade Center Health Registry are essential.

Ventura County Star: Workers at the metals recycling company Halaco Engineering were exposed to dangerous substances on the job – but they were more worried about injuries. (This article is part of a series on the now-defunct recycler, which explores why government regulators were unable to stop its massive pollution.)

Occupational Hazards: In an address to the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo, American Public Health Association executive board member Dr. Linda Rae Murray reminded industrial hygienists that their mission is to protect not only workers, but the communities in which they practice. She also warned that the U.S. public health infrastructure is under attack, and that this attack deprives industrial hygienists of the tools they need to do their jobs.

One thought on “Occupational Health News Roundup

  1. Firstly, much of the BP debaucle is caused by a WORKPLACE BULLY! You can see it on Dr. Namie’s website at http://www.bullyinginstitute.org.

    Also, bullying supervisors and mobbing coworkers cause a lot of stress and mental health issues in the workplace. Trauma is really common, with many people experiencing PTSD like symptoms just from the cumulative effect of being verbally assaulted, demeaned, humiliated, etc., and it’s common to have to leave the job in order to resolve it.

    Please PLEASE P**L**E**A**S**E solicit some comments on bullying bosses, and you will see an avalanche. I started a blog and in one day had 309 posts!! According to research, 15 % of successful suicides can be attributed to bullying in the workplace.

    We are called “Stop The Bullies” and we are a support/action group for people in Washington State who have been targeted for expulsion or mistreatment by their boss. It is just as toxic as being exposed to poison, in fact, in a number of years you may be able to recover somewhat from some poisons, but we have people who went from years of excellent evaluations to being thrown out ever-so painfully, and were so traumatized they cannot work again. The harm to the Target’s health is SO SO REAL.

    Thank you for anything you can do. If anybody wants to email us we are at stopthebullies (at) comcast (dot) net.

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