Bursts of radiation being released at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant could mean workers there will have to be quickly rotated out, and some could rapidly reach their annual exposure limit, complicating efforts to contain Japan’s continuing nuclear crisis. Reports on Thursday indicated that at times radiation was intense enough to exceed even Japan’s newly raised annual limit in as little as an hour. The new limit — 250 millisieverts — is five times the allowable exposure in U.S. nuclear plants and 125 times what workers typically receive each year.
If Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis are any indication, what they say is true: Sometimes what can go wrong will go wrong. And when it comes to operating nuclear plants, what are some of the risks? Here’s a brief guide, drawing from what we’ve learned in recent days.
Four New York Times journalists missing in Libya since Tuesday were captured by forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and will be released Friday, his son, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, told Christiane Amanpour in an ABC News interview.
Imagine testifying before a congressional committee as the head of the FDIC and you’re asked “do the vast majority of banks care deeply and passionately about their customers?” Or as the head of the FAA and you’re asked “do you think the vast majority of airlines care deeply and passionately about their passengers?” Or the head of a State Insurance Bureau and you’re asked “do you think the vast majority of HMO’s care deeply and passionately about their policy holders?” That’s one of the odd questions posed to OSHA chief David Michaels,PhD, MPH at a hearing on March 16 before a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
In a newly posted position paper on its website, the American Public Health Association (APHA), the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world representing over 50,000 health professionals and others who work to promote health, prevent disease and ensure conditions in which all can be safe and healthy, has issued a comprehensive policy statement, “Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV among Performers in the Adult Film Industry,” that includes a series of recommendations intended to foster improved safety and workplace conditions for workers in the adult film industry.
We arrived at the factory in Suzhou, China, a few hours early, anxious not to miss our opportunity to speak with workers. They explained that they had been exposed to the chemical n-hexane, used to clean the screens of iPhones. Their symptoms, they said, ranged from numbness and tingling to paralysis. One man had been hospitalized for 10 months. “Your iPhones cost us our health,” said another.
Metro’s workers are getting hurt on the job more often than their counterparts at other transit agencies, and it’s costing the agency millions.
The Occupational Safety and Health Agency hasn’t spent a lot of time in recent years inspecting farm operations for worker safety compliance, but that’s about to change thanks to a new initiative being announced by the state OSHA office. During the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin annual meeting in Madison this week, Mary Bauer, an OSHA compliance assistant specialist, explained that a recent increase in on-farm fatalities is prompting the agency to add dairy farms to its list of inspection sites throughout the state.
A jury awarded a former shipyard employee $25 million Thursday in his lawsuit against Exxon for asbestos-related medical problems.
Offices have always had their share of health hazards — sniffling coworkers, stress-inducing bosses, or that Petri dish of a shared refrigerator. But just in time for spring flu season, new data shows workplaces are making us sicker than ever and hurting everyone’s bottom line.