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January 11, 2004 7:50 AM
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.
http://depts.washington.edu/envhlth/info/newsletter_html/autumn03.html

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DOMESTIC PARTNERS
N.J. Senate vote grants gays many marriage rights
Gay and lesbian advocates cheered and hugged, and some openly wept, as the state Senate voted yesterday to give them many of the same rights as legally married couples.
Associated Press 
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/01/09/nj_senate_vote_grants_gays_many_marriage_rights/

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LITERATURE
Asbestos-Induced Peritoneal Mesothelioma in a Construction Worker
This EHP-in-Press article has been peer-reviewed, revised, and accepted for publication.
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2003/6542/abstract.pdf

Latex Allergy and Occupational Asthma in Healthcare Workers: Adverse Outcomes
The prevalence of Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) allergy has been estimated to be 5-18% in healthcare workers, and latex exposure has been one of the leading causes of occupational asthma in the last several years.
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2003/6612/abstract.pdf

Insurers and manufacturers succeeded in sealing asbestos records
Star Tribute - Reg Reqd
http://www.startribune.com/stories/484/4288864.html

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TOBACCO
Tobacco Control in the Wake of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement
Tobacco takes an enormous toll on the health of the public as the cause of 440,000 deaths annually in the United States and 4.8 million deaths worldwide.1,2 An estimated 8.6 million persons in the United States have serious smoking-related illness.3 The World Health Organization projects that by the year 2030 the use of tobacco will kill 10 million persons annually — including 7 million in developing countries — which will make tobacco use the world’s leading cause of preventable death.
New England Journal of Medicince
http://content.nejm.org/ $ Subscription Required

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CASES:
Claimant did not engage in willful misconduct by working in smoke-filled environment when she had asthma.
www.westlaw.com
2003 WL 23126766 (FL 2004)

VAUGHN v. FAIRMOUNT CHEMICAL CO., INC.
Appellate Division, A-629-01T1, January 7, 2004, not approved for publication. (16 pages). Facts-on-Call Order No. 16091.
Judgment finding that the petitioner employee had sustained a 33 and one-third percent partial total disability and the dismissal of the petitioner's claims for benefits from the Second Injury Fund because he was not totally and permanently disabled affirmed; contrary to the respondent's assertion, the judge of compensation did not fail to analyze the effect of the petitioner's personal-risk factors of smoking and alcoholism on the causation of the petitioner's cardiovascular injury because implicit in the judge's finding was that the respondent had failed to advance sufficient evidence to establish that the petitioner's smoking and alcohol consumption were contributing personal-risk factors; there was substantial credible evidence to support the judge's determination that the requirements under N.J.S.A. 34:15-31a for compensable occupational diseases had been satisfied; contrary to the petitioner's assertion, the evidence did not establish that he was totally disabled. 

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ORGANIZATIONS FOR WORKERS'
The National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice is a network of people of faith that calls upon our religious values in order to educate, organize and mobilize the religious community in the United States on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits and working conditions for workers, especially low-wage workers.
http://www.nicwj.org/

INTERFAITH COALITION FOR WORKER JUSTICE OF SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN - CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE A BAD JOB
In 2000, the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin launched a study of actual workplace conditions in Dane County through the Latino Worker Project. The Latino Worker Project fact-finding delegation was a collaborative effort of faith community representatives, union leaders, workers, and local social service providers. The final published report, "Can't Afford to Lose a Bad Job," highlighted the difficulties and barriers these workers face.
http://www.workerjustice.org/latino-execsum-english.pdf

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CALENDAR
--Friday, February 20: Healthy Schools Forum, Cosponsored by WEC, the Education Law Center and others. (Rutgers University, Livingston Campus Center, New Brunswick.) For more information, contact the ELC at (973)624-1815

--Wednesday, April 14: Top Ten Hot Issues in Workers'Compensation - NJ
ICLE, New Brunswick, NJ
www.njicle.com

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