Navigation Links
Overseeing Agency Indifferent to Workplace Safety in US

If war is too serious a matter to be left in the hands of generals, so also the safety of workers cannot be left to the care of labour department officials. At least such// seems to be the case in the US.

Latest trends show that agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are more concerned with promoting the interests of the industries than with the safety of the workers themselves.

Seven years ago, a Missouri doctor discovered a troubling pattern at a microwave popcorn plant in the town of Jasper. After an additive was modified to produce a more buttery taste, nine workers came down with a rare, life-threatening disease that was ravaging their lungs.

After painstaking investigation, scientists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health concluded that the workers became ill after exposure to diacetyl, a food-flavoring agent.

But the (OSHA), charged with overseeing workplace safety, did not step up plant inspections or mandate safety standards for businesses, even as more workers became ill.

Two days ago a top official at the agency told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing that it would prepare a safety bulletin and planned to inspect a few dozen of the thousands of food plants that use the additive.

That response reflects OSHA’s practices under the Bush administration. Across Washington, political appointees — often former officials of the industries they now oversee — have eased regulations or weakened enforcement of rules on issues like driving hours for truckers, logging in forests and corporate mergers, critics say.

Since George W. Bush became president, OSHA has killed dozens of existing and proposed regulations and delayed adopting others. For example, it has repeatedly identified silica dust, which can cause lung cancer, and construction site noise as health hazards that warrant new safeguards for nearly three million workers, but it has yet to require them.

“The people at OSHA have no interest in running a regulatory agency,” said Dr. David Michaels, an occupational health expert at George Washington University who has written extensively about workplace safety. “If they ever knew how to issue regulations, they’ve forgotten. The concern about protecting workers has gone out the window.”

Agency officials defend their performance, saying that workplace deaths and injuries have declined during their tenure. They have been considering new standards and revising outdated ones that were unduly burdensome on businesses, they said, adding that they have moved cautiously on new rules because those require extensive scientific and economic analysis.

But without an OSHA standard, which would establish the permissible level of exposure for workers, companies can set any limit of exposure they want.

Instead of regulations, Mr. Foulke and top officials at other agencies favor a “voluntary compliance strategy,” reaching agreements with industry associations and companies to police themselves.

Critics say the voluntary programs tend to have little focus on specific hazards and no enforcement power. Because only companies with strong safety records are eligible, they argue, the programs do not force less-conscientious businesses to improve their workplaces. A 2004 study by the Government Accountability Office found some promising results from such programs, but recommended against expanding them until their effectiveness could be assessed.

Three of the biggest industries regulated by OSHA — transportation, agribusiness and construction — have given more than $630 million in political campaign contributions since 2000, with nearly three-quarters of that money going to Republicans. Predictably the Bush administration has promised to address their concerns.


Related medicine news :

1. Victorian Initiative: Coffers Are Ringing For an Upcoming Cancer Agency
2. European Medicines Agency (EMEA) Recommends Herceptin For Early Stage Breast Cancer
3. Daronrix, Glaxos Bird-flu Vaccine Approved by European Medicines Agency
4. Results of Research Depends on Funding Agency
5. UN Health Agency, Partners Seek Total Eradication of Polio
6. Ancient Worm Disease Could Be Eradicated Within Two Years, UN Agency Reports
7. UN Agency’s Checklist on Health Care Erro
8. Children Are Indifferent To Obesity
9. Madhya Pradesh Shows Indifferent Attitude Towards Infant Mortality
10. People Turn Health Conscious at Their Workplace
11. Korea: No Discrimination against Those with AIDS/HIV in the Workplace
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/25/2015)... MI (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... In ... Presence Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy ... medical and surgical intensive care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through October ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Today, Mothers ... our nation’s roadways has dropped below 10,000 for the first time since 2011. In ... 2013. , According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... In honor of Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness ... groups responsible for advancing care for pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients and helping to ... will receive special recognition throughout 2016 as part of PHA’s 25th anniversary celebrations. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Privately ... has undertaken significant expansion of its current state of the art research, development ... PharmaTech’s strategy to increase its manufacturing capacity as well as to support its ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Many people ... fatigue, fuzzy-headedness, weight gain, cold hands, and dry skin. But many people who find ... diet and exercise regimen instead of their thyroid, especially if they don’t have any ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  The American Academy ... Gynecologists (ACOG), and the March of Dimes cheered ... Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 (S.799), ... of newborns born exposed to drugs, such as ... bill,s introduction, all three organizations have worked together ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, ... against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability ... hip implant device, awarded $11 million in favor ... trial and three days of deliberations, the jury ... defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that Wright ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 Kitov ... ) (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the ... various clinical conditions, today announced the closing of its ... Shares ( ADSs ), each representing 20 ordinary shares ... 3,158,900 ADSs. The ADSs and warrants were issued in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: