Latest News

Oil spill turns BP's major gains to record losses for BP

While other oil companies are posting enormous second-quarter profits, BP has reported its largest ever loss of $17 billion due to costs stemming from cleanup and containment of the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and other related damages. According to a Los Angeles Times financial report, “the tragedy stemming from the April 20 explosion of the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which killed 11 workers and created an underwater fountain of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico for more than three months, erased what would have been an impressive quarter for BP.” If not for the disastrous ... Read More

New crane safety regulations take effect this fall

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced new rule today addressing the use of cranes and derricks in construction, replacing a decades-old standard that left construction sites throughout the country tragically unsafe. According to the Labor Department, crane and derrick accidents kill 100 people on average every year in the U.S. A single crane collapse on East 51st in Manhattan left seven people dead two years ago. Later that same year, another crane fell into an apartment building in New York’s Upper East Side, killing two workers and injuring others. The new rule published today is designed to prevent the ... Read More

Placed properly, lane departure warning sensors assist truck drivers

In a July 14 letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), The American Trucking Associations (ATA) asked federal regulators to waive the rules prohibiting the placement of lane departure warning sensors on the swept area of the windshield. ATA submitted the letter in support of a petition filed by trucking companies Con-way, TK Holdings, and Iteris, who seek to use the safety devices outside the permitted areas on their vehicles. Most lane departure warning systems use cameras to determine that a vehicle is within the center of the lane markings, just as human drivers do with their eyes. ... Read More

Website provides forum for women injured by Gardasil vaccine

Two mothers whose daughters were disabled after receiving the Gardasil vaccine created a website to raise awareness and provide a forum for others to share their stories and find help. Marian Greene and Rosemary Mathis both live in North Carolina and had their daughters vaccinated at around the same time. Gardasil, manufactured by Merck & Co., is promoted as a preventive against cervical cancer. These moms thought they were protecting their children. But within days of receiving the vaccine, both girls experienced serious side effects that left them debilitated. Neither woman knew the other two years ago, when they had ... Read More

Plant explosion earns New Hampshire manufacturers hefty OSHA fines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two New Hampshire companies for violating workplace safety standards after a January 23 explosion rocked a plant in Nashua. Combined penalties against the two employers — Worthen Industries Inc., a manufacturer of glues and adhesives, and S.L. Chasse Welding & Fabrication Inc., a steel erection contractor, amount to $257,500. The explosion occurred when flammable vapors ignited while S.L. Chasse workers were installing a new motor on a vessel used in Worthen’s Nashua plant. OSHA inspectors found that Worthen had not cleaned the vessel thoroughly enough to ensure the absence of flammable materials ... Read More

Pain pumps cause problems for shoulder surgery patients

Pain pumps are getting a bad rap lately, thanks to the emergence of chondrolysis, a debilitating condition that was once unheard of in the shoulder joint but is now affecting hundreds who have undergone shoulder surgery. But Pearland, Texas, Dr. Leo Lapuerta says the devices are not banned for all medical procedures and that they are particularly beneficial for plastic surgeries. Pain pumps, also known as infusion pumps, are devices that feed a steady flow of anesthetic into the surgical space following surgery. The devices fell under strict review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after numerous reports of ... Read More

Toyota blames sudden acceleration incidents on driver confusion

In response to a Toyota Motor Corp’s conclusion that virtually all of crashes blamed on sudden unintended acceleration were actually the result of driver error, former National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Joan Claybrook said, “that is totally ludicrous.” Toyota has reviewed about 2,000 reports of sudden acceleration in its cars and trucks, including analyses from event-data recorders (vehicular “black boxes”) from the incidents that resulted in crashes, and says the devices reveal in nearly all cases the accelerator to be at full throttle without the brakes being engaged at the time of the crash. Toyota interprets this to mean that ... Read More

Woman vows to ‘out race’ effects of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

On September 21, 2008, Kendra Schmidt was pushed in a wheelchair through the track of the Fox Cities Marathon. “My sister ran it that year and my husband (Mike) pushed me,” she told the Post Crescent. But Kendra was determined. “I knew I’d run in it eventually.” It was a tall order for the young woman who at the time was in physical therapy three times a week. Just three months earlier she had suddenly and unexpected developed a severe reaction to a new prescription medication. A rash developed over 95 percent of her body and nearly all of her ... Read More

Whitco stadium lights may fall, pose risk of serious injury or death

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding the public, school officials, facilities managers, and municipal and public safety officials with Whitco Company LP stadium light poles to have them inspected by a qualified engineer immediately because these 70- to 135-foot, 1- to 4-ton poles can fracture or crack and fall over, posing a risk of serious injury or death to patrons and bystanders from being hit or crushed. The poles could put hundreds of people at risk if they fall toward a crowded stadium or onto a building. CSPC first alerted consumers about the potential risk last August. ... Read More

Pain pumps likely cause of shoulder chondrolysis

Postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis, or chondrolysis of the shoulder, was once unheard of, but surgeons are beginning to see the debilitating condition affect more and more patients who have previously had shoulder surgery, according to Ortho Super Site. Chondrolysis occurs when the cartilage in the shoulder wears away causing bone to rub against bone. Symptoms of chondrolysis often present between three and 12 months after shoulder surgery and begin as a deep ache that progresses to severe pain and loss of motion. While the cause of chondrolysis is still up for debate, one likely culprit is the use of intra-articular pain ... Read More