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government shutdown 13 articles

22 accidents were not investigated by NTSB during shutdown

Twenty-two accidents, including 15 aviation accidents with 21 deaths, railroad accidents with two deaths, two highway accidents with seven deaths, and three marine accidents went uninvestigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) during the 35-day-long partial government shutdown, and there’s a chance not all will get their due diligence, according to the NTSB. The NTSB is an independent U.S. government investigative agency that is charged with investigating aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine accidents, pipeline incidents and railroad accidents to determine probable cause and issue safety recommendations as needed. During the government shutdown, ... Read More

NTSB Investigations Frozen During Government Shutdown

Dozens of major transportation accidents are going uninvestigated and others are being skipped entirely as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) remains almost completely furloughed during the government shutdown. Approximately 93 percent of the NTSB’s 397 employees are furloughed during the government shutdown, leaving just five investigators and a few support staff to keep key investigations afloat. Government documents obtained by CBS News show how the shutdown has prevented the NTSB from launching 74 accident investigations, including probes of 20 accidents resulting in 34 deaths and 18 injuries. Twelve of the transportation accidents going uninvestigated involve airplane crashes that resulted in ... Read More

FDA food inspectors head back to work without pay

Four hundred Food and Drug Administration (FDA) workers furloughed during the partial government shutdown have been called back into work – without pay – to conduct much needed inspections for food, drugs and medical devices, according to a Tweet from FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. The activities are necessary, he Tweeted, “to identify and respond to threats to safety of humans.” The FDA inspects 80 percent of the American food supply to ensure its safety to consumers. Of the agency’s 5,000 inspectors, 150 will be conducting food inspections at facilities considered high risk, such as those with a history of ... Read More

Government shutdown complicates aviation accident investigation

An investigation into a plane crash on the American River near Discovery Park in Sacramento, California, that injured two people, is hitting roadblocks because of the government shutdown. When a plane crash occurs in a river, it would typically be handled by the Coast Guard. But Sacramento County’s Regional Parks Department is handling the investigation and evidence-gathering because, due to the shutdown, both the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigates the cause of accidents, are unavailable. “We do not frequently have plane crashes into the river, so it is outside the norm most definitely, Sacramento ... Read More

FDA chief tweets agency’s status amid ongoing government shutdown

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb has taken to Twitter to offer updates on how the agency is managing to do its job during the partial government shutdown and showing that some employees are showing up for work despite not knowing whether they will be paid for their time. “Many asked if #FDA can accept new medical product applications during the shutdown. The #FDA can’t collect FY 2019 user fee payments during the shutdown, which means we can’t accept new applications for products under user fee programs,” Gottlieb tweeted Dec. 29, early into the shutdown, which has ... Read More

Government Shutdowns Can Turn Deadly For U.S. Workers

Government shutdowns are dreaded by government employees and anyone depending on the services of the federal government, but they can also be deadly for the average U.S. worker. Newsweek recently took a look at how government gridlock has a ripple effect throughout the country that can go deeper than meets the eye. Literally. Four coal miners died in 2013 when the government idled for more than two weeks, furloughing almost all the federal regulatory workforce that inspects workplaces and jobsites for safety lapses and enforces penalties on employers that put the lives of their workers at risk of serious injury ... Read More

Government shutdown made food safety rule deadlines impossible to meet, FDA says

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday to stall an order for a proposed food-safety rule, saying the government shutdown made it impossible for the agency to meet its Nov. 30 deadline. In June, a California federal judge ordered the FDA to propose a new rule to protect the nation’s food supply against a terrorist attack as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, issuing the Nov. 30 deadline. The ruling was made in response to a lawsuit brought against the FDA by the Center for Food Safety and the Center ... Read More

Surgeons perform emergency leg amputation on Washington worker caught in auger

SPOKANE, Wash. – Doctors trying to extricate a 29-year-old mill worker whose leg became caught in an industrial auger on an external catwalk six stories above ground had to perform an on-site amputation in order to free the man. Rescue workers who were called to the scene at a Purina Mill in an industrial section of Spokane, Wash., had to climb several stories to access the man, but could not free his leg from the machine. Grain dust swirling around the equipment complicated rescue efforts, Spokane fire officials told the Spokesman Review. Police picked up orthopedic and vascular surgeons and transported ... Read More

Antibiotic-resistant salmonella in Foster Farms chicken worries health officials

An outbreak of salmonella that has sickened 300 people in 18 states has public health officials investigating the sources of contamination worried that the particular strain of bacteria is extremely antibiotic-resistant. The massive outbreak is linked to raw chicken from Foster Farms facilities in California and is the second major salmonella outbreak this year traced to the company. Earlier this year, at least 134 people in 13 states were sickened by Foster Farms poultry. Thirty-three of those people required hospitalization to treat the illness. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitalization rates are more than ... Read More

Santa Monica airplane crash investigation to be shelved during government shutdown

The U.S. government shutdown has forced federal investigators to suspend their probe of an airplane crash in Santa Monica, Calif., that killed four people Sept. 29. The nation’s safety regulators and investigators are stopping work on accidents they deem noncritical and responding only to the most serious cases, sometimes without pay, as partisan political issues on Capitol Hill prevent a budget from being passed. Working without a public affairs staff, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) communications director Thomas Zoeller told POLITICO that the Board has to be more selective in the cases it chooses to investigate. For instance, Mr. Zoeller ... Read More