While we in the US have been mourning the preventable deaths of 29 West Virginia miners, people in China have been anxiously awaiting news of the workers still unaccounted for at the Wangjialing coal mine in the Shanxi province. That mine flooded on March 28, and a heroic rescue effort brought 115 men out alive.
Hope has faded for the remaining five mineworkers who have not been found. The Associated Press reports that on Sunday, crews retrieved five more bodies, which brought the death toll to 33.
In other news:
Scientific American: Explosive silane gas has killed workers in facilities manufacturing solar photovoltaic cells. Can the solar industry switch to a safer substitute?
Reuters: Researchers from the Occupational Health Research Institute in Montreal found that women whose work exposed them to acrylic and nylon fibers before their mid-30s had an increased risk of breast cancer.
Washington Post blogs: The Department of Labor is urging workers from industries with many low-wage and immigrant employees to report wage and hour violations. DOL’s wage and hour division has increased its investigator staff by one-third.
New York Times: A worker’s compensation claim in California – filed on behalf of former NFL lineman Ralph Wenzel, who has dementia at age 67 – will test whether the NFL and its insurers can be held liable for ailments related to football players’ repeated head trauma. (Also see this article on the women fighting for change in the NFL.)
Associated Press: California’s Assembly is considering legislation that would require laboratories testing for pesticide poisoning to send results to the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation, a move that would help the agencies responsible for farmworker health.