Category Archives: Occupational health & safety

Laboratory safety | Relevant workplace accidents/incidents including those where fatal injuries and investigations occur.

CDC Director Frieden confirms pattern of insufficient lab safety

BioPrepWatch  Bryan Cohen

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden testified before a House subcommittee last week and acknowledged that recent lab safety breaches were part of an insufficient culture of safety.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on Wednesday to review recent incidents at the CDC involving anthrax and other dangerous pathogens. In June, more than 80 workers at a CDC lab in Atlanta were potentially exposed to live anthrax. In the past month, additional reports emerged, adding urgency to a House Energy and Commerce Committee investigation, according to a committee press releaseContinue reading…

US admits security breaches with deadly virus samples

New Scientist No 2978 15 July 2014

Biosecurity slip-ups in US labs handling anthrax and smallpox happened because of lack of oversight and failure to follow protocol, says new report.  The incident has not yet made anyone ill, and poses negligible risk for the public, but it raises concerns about work with deadly pathogens.

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Pathogen Mishaps Rise as Regulators Stay Clear

The New York Times Denise Grady 19 July 2014

The recently documented mistakes at federal laboratories involving anthrax, flu and smallpox have incited public outrage at the government’s handling of dangerous pathogens. But the episodes were just a tiny fraction of the hundreds that have occurred in recent years across a sprawling web of academic, commercial and government labs that operate without clear national standards or oversight, federal reports show.

Despite a significant increase in “high-level containment” labs set up to work with risky microbes, there has never been a national plan for how many of them are needed, or how they should be built and operated. The more of these labs there are, the G.A.O. warned Congress last week, the greater the chances of dangerous blunders or sabotage, especially in a field where oversight is “fragmented and largely self-policing.”

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CDC issues report on June anthrax incident

BioPrepWatch Sean Carlson 16 July 2014

The study discussed factors that contributed to the incident while highlighting actions taken by the CDC to prevent future accidents.

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CDC Director Frieden takes questions on response to biological incidents

House subcommittee investigates CDC anthrax incidents

CDC chief: Anthrax gaffe ‘should never have happened’

USA Today Alison Young July 16, 2014

The director of one of the world’s most prestigious public health agencies went before Congress on Wednesday to try to explain laboratory blunders that included his scientists mishandling live anthrax and unknowingly contaminating other specimens with a dangerous strain of bird flu.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., chairman of an oversight committee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said lab safety issues appear to be systemic at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Murphy, citing numerous reports issued by government watchdogs over the years, called the most recent incident “sloppy” and “inexcusable.”

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CDC Director Confirms Dangerous Pattern and “Insufficient Culture of Safety” Surrounding Recent Incidents Involving Anthrax

Energy & Commerce Committee US House of Representatives July 16, 2014

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today held a hearing to review recent incidents at the Centers for Disease Control involving anthrax and other dangerous pathogens. The CDC announced in June that more than 80 workers at a CDC lab in Atlanta may have been exposed to live anthrax, prompting an investigation from this committee. Over the past month, additional reports have emerged, adding urgency to this investigation.

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July 16, 2014
July 16, 2014
July 16, 2014

Non-diet approach to weight management more effective in worksite wellness programs

(University of Missouri-Columbia 7 July 2014) Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that ‘Eat for Life,’ a new wellness approach that focuses on mindfulness and intuitive eating as a lifestyle, is more effective than traditional weight-loss programs in improving individuals’ views of their bodies and decreasing problematic eating behaviors.

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Government says no risk from asbestos at former Brisbane Law Courts site

Brisbane Times Kim Stephens July 11, 2014

Queensland’s Department of Justice says the abandoned Brisbane law courts demolition site poses no threat to public health, after fears were raised it was riddled with asbestos.
No airborne fibres were detected in site monitoring undertaken by Workplace Health and Safety officers on Wednesday, according to a departmental spokesperson, and samples of broken cement sheeting taken from the site last week have also tested negative for the cancer-causing fibres.

Body of missing miner found by search teams

Townsville Bulletin Matthew Dunn 8 July 2014

THE body of a Mount Isa miner missing since June 18 has been found by search teams.

Police believe the body is that of Brett Kelly, who was reported missing on June 18, which sparked a massive search effort of the mine site in the following days.

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Register for the new CKN (Clinicians’ Knowledge Network)

Queensland Health’s new CKN is now available.  The CKN provides access to a range of Point of Care resources as well as Medicines resources such as MIMS Online and Micromedex.

The new CKN has been designed for more modern web browsers, giving you better access to journals and other resources.  It is best viewed in Mozilla Firefox which is provided on all Qld Health computers.  Please don’t use Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

If you have old CKN links saved in your web browser bookmarks or favourites you will need to update them. Your old saved links will no longer work.

To access the new CKN from home or off-site, you will need to re-register.

Click here to re-register for CKN access