Category Archives: Uncategorized

US officials expected to announce Ebola screening at airports

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.cidrap.umn.edu

Federal officials are finalizing details on Ebola screening steps for travelers arriving at US airports, which may be announced in a few days and may resemble the kinds of questions that outbreak countries are asking departing passengers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said today.

The risk of another travel-linked Ebola case, such as the one in Texas, can never be reduced to zero until West Africa’s outbreak is extinguished, he said at a media telebriefing today. But he said the CDC and other government agencies are taking a hard look at additional steps, focusing on ones that won’t hamstring the response process underway overseas.

The three main outbreak countries have so far screened about 36,000 people departing on airlines, with three fourths of them bound for destinations outside the United States. The CDC has trained airport screeners in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, which have flagged 77 people with fever and 3 people with other symptoms. As far as the CDC knows, none of the people with fever had Ebola, and most had malaria, a common illness in that part the world, Frieden said.

"I can assure you we will take additional steps, and the details will be worked out and announced in a few days," he added.

Senator suggests screening steps

US Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., issued a statement today saying he spoke with Frieden about tougher screening at US airports and is pleased that the CDC is preparing to…

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Workers Balk at Task Of Ebola Cleanup in Dallas

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.cidrap.umn.edu

Adequate safety is a major concern for health care workers treating infectious diseases. Today’s post is shared from nytimes.com/

DALLAS — More than six months after an outbreak of Ebola began its rampage through West Africa, local and federal health officials have displayed an uneven and flawed response to the first case diagnosed in the United States.

In the latest indication, state and local authorities confirmed Thursday that a week after a Liberian man fell ill with Ebola in Dallas, and four days after he was placed in isolation at a hospital here, the apartment where he was staying with four other people had not been sanitized and the sheets and dirty towels he used while sick remained in the home. County officials visited the apartment without protection Wednesday night.

The officials said it had been difficult to find a contractor willing to enter the apartment to clean it and remove bedding and clothes, which they said had been bagged in plastic. They said they now had hired a firm that would do the work soon. The Texas health commissioner, Dr. David Lakey, told reporters during an afternoon news conference that officials had encountered “a little bit of hesitancy” in seeking a firm to clean the apartment.

The delay came amid reports that as many as 100 people could have had contact with the victim, Thomas E. Duncan. And it came a day after the hospital acknowledged it had misdiagnosed him when he first visited.

When Mr. Duncan, 42, was first…

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1 month left for 9/11 responders to apply for workers’ comp

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from nypost.com

First responders and volunteers who helped with 9/11 recovery efforts have only a month left to register for future workers’ compensation benefits in case they fall ill.

More than 20,000 people could be eligible, but they must register before Sept. 12.

The registration effort is part of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board’s “Tell Us You Were There” campaign, designed to protect those who helped after the World Trade Center attacks.

“Most people are eligible. You should file a WTC-12 form whether you were injured or not and whether you were employed or volunteered,” the board said. “This preserves your right to future benefits, should you ever need them.”

Previous legislation guaranteeing the workers’ comp expired Sept. 13, 2010. But last year, Gov. Cuomo signed legislation that extended the deadline and expanded the list of covered illnesses.

Now WTC workers or volunteers can get benefits if they develop psychological ailments or illnesses of the upper or lower respiratory or gastroesophageal tracts.

The WTC-12 registration form is available at www.wcb.ny.gov/WTC12. Anyone with questions can call (855) WTC-2014.

In addition to Ground Zero, qualified applicants can have worked at the Fresh Kills Landfill, on barges or piers or at morgue sites — as long as it was before Sept. 12, 2002.

So far, 40,737 people have filled out the form, said Joe Cavalcante, a compensation-board spokesman.

There have been 5,165…

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Inmate to receive $30,000 for being placed in solitary confinement

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.post-gazette.com

A lawsuit settlement made public Tuesday brings to $386,000 the total paid by the state in relation to lawsuits stemming from the hazing of sex-crime inmates on the State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh’s F Block.

Robert Veith, 52, of the Hill District, is due $30,000 in settlement of his lawsuit claiming that he endured eight months of solitary confinement after he spoke out against tampering with another inmate’s food, according to his attorney, Steve Barth. Documents filed in U.S. District Court indicate that the case is voluntarily dismissed.

Veith, a repeat burglar, thief and robber, “spoke up against someone tampering with someone’s food who may or may not have been a pedophile,” Mr. Barth said. “He just said, ‘Hey, man, leave him alone.’ ”

That evening, according to Veith’s lawsuit, corrections officers Harry F. Nicoletti and Kevin Friess searched his cell and “assaulted him and he was slammed to the ground.” According to the lawsuit, Veith was then assigned to restrictive housing, in which the inmate leaves the cell for just an hour a day.

Five months into that punishment, then-Superintendent Melvin Lockett exonerated Veith of wrongdoing, according to the lawsuit. But Mr. Lockett was fired before Veith could be returned to the general population, and as a result the inmate lingered in solitary for three extra months, according to the lawsuit.

On F Block in late 2010, several corrections officers…

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Ebola Guidance for Airlines

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.cdc.gov

Interim Guidance about Ebola Virus Infection for Airline Flight Crews, Cleaning Personnel, and Cargo Personnel

Overview of Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often-fatal disease caused by infection with a species of Ebola virus. Although the disease is rare, it can spread from person to person, especially among health care staff and other people who have close contact* with an infected person. Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids (such as saliva or urine) of an infected person or animal or through contact with objects that have been contaminated with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.

The likelihood of contracting Ebola is extremely low unless a person has direct contact with the body fluids of a person or animal that is infected and showing symptoms. A fever in a person who has traveled to or lived in an area where Ebola is present is likely to be caused by a more common infectious disease, but the person would need to be evaluated by a health care provider to be sure.

The incubation period, from exposure to when signs or symptoms appear, for Ebola ranges from 2 to 21 days (most commonly 8-10 days). Early symptoms include sudden fever, chills, and muscle aches. Around the fifth day, a skin rash can occur. Nausea, vomiting, chest pain, sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhea may follow. Symptoms become increasingly severe and may include jaundice (yellow skin), severe…

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Ladder Accidents on the Rise

When my husband and I purchased our home, we immediately bought a forty-foot ladder because obviously we would be cleaning our own gutters and needed the biggest ladder possible to reach the roof. Our first attempt to use the ladder was miserable. We could barely lift the ladder. After a few pathetic attempts to use the ladder, we realized this was a stupid idea and outsourced the job to professionals. Looking back now, it was crazy to even consider using the ladder given the sloped terrain of our yard and given the height of the home. 

According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, ladder accidents are on the rise in the United States. From 1990 to 2005, reported ladder accidents increased fifty percent (50%). That’s over two million people, or 136,000 people a year, treated for injuries sustained while on a ladder. Despite the risk of using a ladder, it seems that many still do not follow common safety precautions. The four main problems are: (1) selecting the wrong type of ladder, (2) using old or damaged ladders, (3) incorrect use of ladders, and (4) incorrect placement of ladders.

In my situation, we were likely using the wrong ladder, incorrectly, and certainly did not have it correctly placed. We’re lucky we didn’t end up in the ER. Ladders need to be treated like any dangerous tool. OSHA recommends significant training before allowing employees to use ladders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fifty percent (50%) of all ladder-related accidents were due to individuals carrying items as they climbed.  To avoid a potentially life-changing injury, encourage your friends and family to practice ladder safety. Avoid using a ladder alone, and always make sure you are using the correct ladder and have it set up properly.

 

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Electronics Plant in Poisoned Water Case

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON — Landowners who say a North Carolina electronics plant poisoned their drinking water missed a filing deadline, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

The decision, in a 7-to-2 vote, is likely to affect similar suits from the families of thousands of former Marines over what they say was toxic pollution at Camp Lejeune, also in North Carolina.

The case decided on Monday concerned a 1980 federal law that made it easier to sue over environmental contamination, which can be hard to discover and may cause symptoms only decades later. The law said state statutes of limitations do not begin to run until plaintiffs learn of, or should have discovered, the harm in question.

The plaintiffs in Monday’s case said their drinking water had been contaminated between 1959 and 1985 by a plant in Asheville, N.C., run by CTS Corporation. They sued in 2011, after a 2009 report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Both sides agreed that the suit was not barred by North Carolina’s statute of limitations. The question for the justices was whether a separate state law — a 10-year so-called statute of repose — was displaced by the 1980 federal law.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said no. The second state law, which started to run when CTS took its “last culpable act,” barred the suit, he wrote. CTS sold the Asheville property in 1987; the plaintiffs did not sue until 24 years later.

Justice Kennedy relied on a congressional…

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Passaic River cleanup still a long way off

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.northjersey.com

Workers cleaning a section of the Passaic River in Lyndhurst on Wednesday. A much more extensive $1.7 billion plan was announced last week for the lower part of the river.
Workers cleaning a section of the Passaic River in Lyndhurst on Wednesday. A much more extensive $1.7 billion plan was announced last week for the lower part of the river.

It is touted as the largest Superfund cleanup ever, one that will remove 4.3 million cubic yards of sediment contaminated with a stew of pollutants from the Passaic River and even make it safe for people to fish there again without significantly raising their risk of cancer.

This was the pledge from federal officials last week as they unveiled with great fanfare a $1.7 billion cleanup to be paid by more than 100 companies that either polluted the waterway or inherited the liability of past polluters.

But the road to a Superfund cleanup is long and full of twists, and it sometimes falls short of its goals.

Since the federal Superfund program was launched three decades ago, only four of the 14 sites in Bergen and Passaic counties have been fully remediated. Eight sites — including the Passaic River — have been on the list for more than 25 years.

Court battles with polluters and the complexity of removing toxic chemicals from soil and water have long been blamed for the glacial pace of cleanups. Since the time between the announcement of a cleanup plan and when work actually begins is often several years, the scope of a Superfund cleanup usually changes due to everything from technology upgrades to the discovery of more pollution to lobbying by the polluters.

Officials at the…

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