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Entries for January 2004

Halliburton sets aside $1.1billion for claims

 US energy firm Halliburton has revealed a $1.1bn (£607m) charge to cover claims from people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. Halliburton, formerly headed by US vice-president Dick Cheney, yesterday revealed a $947m net loss in the fourth quarter of the year, despite a large increase in revenues from its controversial contracts in Iraq.

Radical Surgery for Mesothelioma: The Epidemic Is Still to Peak and We Need More Research to Manage it

 One in every hundred men born in the 1940s will die of die of malignant pleural mesothelioma, which is almost exclusively a consequence of exposure to asbestos, with a lag time that is rarely less than 25 years and often more than 50 years from first exposure. Half of all cases are now aged over 70, with 80% in men. For a man first exposed as a teenager, who remained in a high risk occupation, such as insulation, throughout his working life, the lifetime risk of mesothelioma can be as high as one in five.w1 There are now over 1800 deaths per year in Britain (about one in 200 of all deaths in men and one in 1500 in women), and the number is still increasing.1 w2 As exposure in the United Kingdom continued until 1980 the peak of the epidemic is still to come, and we need a strategy to manage these patients.

 
Neurologic effects of manganese in humans

Manganese, which enters the body primarily via inhalation, can damage the nervous system and respiratory tract, as well as have other adverse effects. Occupational exposures occur mainly in mining, alloy production, processing, ferro-manganese operations, welding, and work with agrochemicals.

Pregnant women should not be exposed to manganese at the work place.

 Manganese, an essential trace element, is one of the most used metals in the industry. Recently, several new manganese compounds have been introduced as fungicide, as antiknock agent in petrol and as contrasting agent in nuclear magnetic resonance tomography. Manganese displays a somewhat unique behaviour with regard to its toxicity. It is relatively non-toxic to the adult organism except to the brain where it causes Parkinson-like symptoms when inhaled even at moderate amounts over longer periods of time.

Abnormal concentrations of manganese in the brain are associated with neurological disorders similar to Parkinson's disease.

 Manganese, an essential trace metal, is supplied to the brain via both the blood-brain and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers. There are some mechanisms in this process and transferrin may be involved in manganese transport into the brain. A large portion of manganese is bound to manganese metalloproteins, especially glutamine synthetase in astrocytes.

Welder Awarded $1 Million In Jury Trial

 A Madison County jury awarded him $1 million in what may be a foreboding verdict for makers of welding rods. Elam claimed fumes from welding caused his disease or caused him to get it at an early age.

The NJ Workers' Compensation Death Penalty Still Continues!

S1522 Concerns workers' compensation for occupational disease claims and workers' compensation benefits rates for surviving dependents.Bills and Joint Resolutions Signed by the Governor

The Truth About the "Unimpaired" Victims of Asbestos Exposure

 The proponents of S.1125, the "Fairness In Asbestos Resolution Act of 2003," have claimed repeatedly that the majority of the awards paid in asbestos cases have gone to individuals who are not truly injured - yet, nothing could be further from the truth. This misleading and false argument is nothing more than an a cynical attempt to use a legal fiction to strengthen a political objective -- which will have the effect of denying injured workers and their families the compensation they deserve.

Limiting Job Exposures to Food Flavorings, Flavoring Ingredients, is Recommended in New Alert

 The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends in a new NIOSH Alert that employers take measures to limit employees occupational respiratory exposures to food flavorings and flavoring ingredients in workplaces where flavorings are made or used. These steps provide practical ways to reduce potential risks of occupational lung disease, NIOSH said.

President Bush Recognizes $2 Billion Federal Workers' Compensation Losses

 The cost of Federal workplace injuries, when measured by workers' compensation losses, is more than $2 billion and 2 million lost production days annually. In fiscal year 2003, the Federal workforce of almost 2.7 million filed more than 168,000 injury claims. Behind these numbers lie pain and suffering by workers and their families. Clearly, Government agencies should strive to do more to improve workplace safety and health and reduce the costs of injury to workers and taxpayers. Many workplace injuries are preventable. 

Workers' Compensation News - January 18, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 3

LITERATURE--The Downsizing, then Supersizing of Medicare's Super Lien by Fred Johnson*
A year ago, a federal fifth circuit ruling cut Medicare's super lien down to size, arguably providing that the government's subrogation interest did not attach to numerous settlement proceeds. But later rulings challenged that reasoning, and the Medicare reform law passed last month apparently gives the government broader power than before.

Silica Exposure and Systemic Vasculitis
 Work in Department of Energy (DOE) facilities has exposed workers to multiple toxic agents leading to acute and chronic diseases. Many exposures...
Workers' Compensation News - January 11, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 2

HEARING LOSS AMONG CARPENTERS--A carpenter uses a Skilsaw to cut wood to build a concrete form. Photo by Rick Neitzel. By age 50, two out of three carpenters have lost so much hearing from occupational noise exposure that they need hearing aids. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are studying ways to prevent occupational hearing loss and how to teach carpenters to value good hearing .

Weekly Compensation Benefits Increase in 2004

 Workers’ compensation benefits will increase to a maximum of $650.00 per week in 2004 from the present weekly benefit of $638. payable in 2003. Injured workers will receive these benefits while they are out of work and under authorized medical care. Temporary workers’ compensation benefits are based upon the state average weekly wage (SAWW). The temporary workers’ compensation rate is set at 75% of the SAWW. Since 1980 benefits have risen each year. Workers’ Compensation benefits are not subject to Federal income tax.

Workers' Compensation News - January 2, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 1

California Leads in Making Employer Pay for Job Deaths - Sick and Getting Sicker (Editorial) - Los Angeles Times 
--When Workers Die (Part 2 of 3): U.S. Rarely Seeks Charges for Deaths in Workplace - New York Times --When Workers Die (Part 1 of 3): A Trench Caves In; a Young Worker Is
Dead. Is It a Crime?

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