Thursday, February 23, 2006

While I Was Away

Revere at Effect Measure not only contributed to keeping Confined Space afloat, but managed to write some pretty amazing stuff at his home base. We've written quite a bit here about how the chemical industry "manufactures doubt" about the cancer-causing or other damaging health effects of its products. The purpose, of course, is to encourage everyone -- consumers, juries, judges and regulators -- to throw up their hands at the allegedy confusing and contradictory evidence, leaving the products unregulated -- and the profits undiminished -- until the evidence becomes so overwhelming that even the blind can see.

Check out Revere's piece from last week which reveals a classic example of an industry public relations effort to manufacture doubt about the risks of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is a chemical used to make Teflon and is one of DuPont's most profitable products, making the company around $200 million every year.
(other Confined Space pieces on PFOA here and here).

Workers Comp Insider is just chalk-full of interesting stuff including an article about coping with the death of a co-worker, workers compensation issues involving "independent contractors," an article about the problems employers will have re-integrating Iraq war veterans, and a devastating piece about an internal web site operated by Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr.

The AFL-CIO has finally gotten on the bandwagon with its very own blog AFL-CIO NOW. It doesn't have a separate health and safety "channel," although it covers workplace safety issues. It also links to Confined Space, so someone over there is reading the right stuff.

Meanwhile, Tapped (the American Prospect's blog) turns us on to Laying It On The Line, a blog written by Roger Tauss, Legislative and Political Director of the Transport Workers Union. Looks interesting, except that for some unfathomable reason, he doesn't link to Confined Space. We'll have to work on that.