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illness 40 articles

Trump Admin ‘illegally withholding’ OSHA Reports, Public Citizen Says

Rolling back workplace safety regulations, downsizing its already overstretched crew of inspectors, and now concealing workplace injury and illness records … the news coming out of Trump’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) these days may signal darker times ahead for U.S. workers. The government watchdog group Public Citizen said it has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Labor and OSHA, alleging the federal agencies are violating the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule, which was finalized in 2016, by illegally denying requests for injury and illness data it made under the Freedom of Information Act. According ... Read More

Romaine Lettuce A Possible Suspect in Deadly E. Coli Outbreak

Health authorities in the U.S. and Canada are working to identify the source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened people in 13 states and several Canadian provinces. So far, romaine lettuce appears to be a possible culprit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Public Health Agency of Canada has identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak of the E. coli 0157:H7 strain there. In the U.S., state and local public health officials are interviewing people sickened on this side of the border to determine whether there is a correlation to Canada’s ... Read More

Salmonella Outbreak Likely Linked To Arkansas Restaurant

Arkansas health officials investigating an outbreak of Salmonella illnesses say epidemiological tests conducted so far point to a restaurant in Stuttgart, Arkansas, to be the likely source of the foodborne illness. As many as 30 people have been sickened by Salmonella infection possibly tied to the outbreak, but only four of those have been confirmed. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) said that it continues to collect biological specimens from patients reporting to hospitals with symptoms of Salmonella infection. The ADH said that its tests so far suggest that the Chuck Wagon Restaurant in Stuttgart is the likely source of the ... Read More

Outbreak of Mystery Illness at Houston Elementary School Under Investigation

The Houston, Texas, Health Department is investigating an outbreak of illness at an elementary school in the city that sickened more than 80 students and some staff According to Click2Houston, Houston Health Department officials said several Woodland Hills Elementary School students had to leave school early on Wednesday, April 26. On Friday, more than 200 students were absent because of the outbreak, although authorities said that some of those were students who had been kept home as a precaution. The school has 581 students enrolled. Stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea are among the symptoms reported among those sickened. The Harris ... Read More

Resolution Repealing OSHA’s worker Injury Recordkeeping Requirements Passes House

A resolution that seeks to repeal an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule clarifying the responsibilities of large employers in the most dangerous industries to keep complete and accurate worker injury records has cleared the House and is now under review by the Senate. The OSHA clarifying rule under attack, writes Debbie Berkowitz, former chief of staff and senior OSHA adviser, “does not impose any new costs or obligations on employers, nor does it affect small businesses. The rule only covers larger employers in the most dangerous industries. This rule does not kill jobs, it prevents jobs from killing ... Read More

OSHA Delays Enforcement Of New Anti-Retaliation Rule

Federal safety regulators have agreed to further delay the enforcement of anti-retaliation provisions in an injury and illness prevention rule until Dec. 1 to accommodate a request by a Texas federal court seeking more time to consider a motion challenging the new requirements. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) originally scheduled the new anti-retaliation provisions to begin on Aug. 10, 2016, then delayed them until Nov. 10, allowing more time for regulators to reach out to those affected by the rule change. The new rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report workplace injuries and ... Read More

Southern California Settles Gas Leak Criminal Case For $4 Million

The gas company responsible for a massive gas leak that polluted the air in the Los Angeles area for months has agreed to pay $4 million to settle criminal charges stemming from its failure to properly notify authorities about the leak. Southern California Gas Co. (SoCal Gas) pleaded no contest to end a criminal case brought against it by Los Angeles County prosecutors, who alleged the utility waited days to report its gas leak near Porter Ranch, which blasted tons of methane gas into the air from Oct. 23, 2015, until Feb. 18, 2016. While the agreement settles the county’s ... Read More

Nation’s Leading Pallet Manufacturer Settles Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

The nation’s largest pallet manufacturer must pay an employee it terminated for voicing concerns about workplace health hazards $105,000 in back wages, damages, and other compensation, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said. According to OSHA, for more than two months, the worker repeatedly told her employer, IFCO Systems Worldwide, about health hazards related to toxic mold exposure at the company’s Biglerville, Penn., plant. The employee found the mold growing behind filing cabinets in one of the plant’s offices. Worried about the health risks posed by toxic mold, the employee submitted a complaint to OSHA when the company ... Read More

Drastic Workers’ Comp Cutbacks Devastate Workers While Boosting Insurer Profits

Legislators in most states have been rolling back workers’ compensation benefits over the last decade, and the cutbacks have been so radical that “they virtually guarantee injured workers will plummet into poverty,” according to an investigative report by ProPublica and NPR. Traditionally, workers’ comp has been a compact between employers and workers that benefited both; employers would pay medical bills and enough wages to help workers seriously injured on the job get by until they could work again. In return, workers waived their right to sue their employer. But since 2004, when the federal government stopped monitoring state workers’ comp ... Read More

Testing of Homes Near SoCalGas Leak Begins As Residents Complain of Ongoing Illness

Los Angeles County health authorities began testing the inside surfaces of 100 Porter Ranch, Calif., homes Friday, March 25, as complaints of illness in the community persist weeks after Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) Co. capped its runaway gas leak in nearby Aliso Canyon. Hundreds of residents displaced by the disaster, which cloaked the skies of Southern California in a noxious cloud of methane for 16 weeks, had a March 18 deadline to return to the Porter Ranch Homes they were forced to evacuate after the SoCalGas leak erupted in October. March 18 was the day SoCalGas said it would stop paying rent. ... Read More