first_imgA leading Donegal refuse collection company has been fined €12,000 for failing to comply with health and safety standards.Ferry’s RefuseInspectors from the Health and Safety Authority called to the headquarters of Ferry Refuse Collection Ltd in Rossbracken, Manorcunningham. The inspection followed an incident in which one of their lorries had been involved in an accident in which a three year old boy was killed in Letterkenny in 2010.Ferry Refuse director Jim Ferry pleaded guilty to the breaches on behalf of the company.HSA Inspector William Gaffney called to the company’s premises and asked to see the firm’s Safety Statement under the Health and Safety Act of 2005.The act ensures that companies are identifying hazards and carrying out risk assessment.Mr Gaffney told Letterkenny Circuit Court that he was concerned about the reversing of bin lorries under the Safety Statement given to him by Ferrys.He said that across the country the HSA had encountered a number of fatalities or young and elderly people who were struck by reversing vehicles.He said there was a process which companies follow which enabled them to put controls in place to prevent deaths because of reversing vehicles.They included control measures including cameras, engineering barriers to prevent people being dragged under vehicles and audio reverse warnings.The court heard that Ferrys had no previous convictions under the Health and Safety Act.Judge John O’Hagan said sometimes it takes a tragic accident to bring a failure that may or may not be there.“It is easy to examine it afterwards and realise that something is wrong,” he said.Judge O’Hagan fined Ferry’s Refuse Collection €12,000.REFUSE COMPANY FINED €12,000 FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY FAILURES was last modified: October 30th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Ferry Refuse CollectionHealth and Safety Authoritymanorcunninghamplead guiltylast_img read more

Colorism: Universal Slight on Humanity

first_imgOver the past few weeks the #unfairandlovely campaign started by black photographer Pax Jones and sisters Mirusha and Yanusha Yogarajah, from the University of Texas, has taken off on social media. It has set Twitter, Instagram and Facebook abuzz.The first women to be featured in the campaign were of Indian origin. But dark skinned women from across the world quickly took to social media to affirm their beauty against the dominant mantra that fair is lovely. According to Jones the campaign emerged organically out of a series of photographs that she took with a view to combating the “under-representation of dark skinned people of color in the media.”Discrimination against people based on the tone of their skin, a phenomenon called “colorism,” is evident across the globe. It happens everywhere from Thailand to Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, South Africa, England and the United States. In places like Angola and Haiti it has taken on an intensely political form. There lighter skinned people have privileged access to some forms of political and material power.Yellow bone experienceIn South Africa light skinned African women sometimes find themselves referred to as “yellow-bones”. These women have often report their experiences as being double edged. On one hand they are praised as beautiful but at the same time they are also subject to stereotypes and derogatory remarks. But in the main colourism means that light skin is seen as desirable and dark skin as undesirable.Colorism is a complex phenomenon. In India it is often argued that the preference for light skin pre-dates British colonialism and is evident as far back as the Vedas, a collection of hymns and other religious texts composed in India centuries before the birth of Christ. But at the same time the desire for light skin in India cannot also be divorced from the caste system, the country’s North-South divide, the impact of colonialism and the manner in which capitalism has exploited these prejudices via the beauty industry. In India the hegemonic desirability of light skin has been challenged by campaigns such as “Dark is beautiful” spearheaded by actress Nandita Das.There are some commonalities between South Asian communities across the world but there are also major differences. What it means to be Indian is very different in different diasporic Indian communities. In places like England or the US, South Asian communities often still retain strong ties with India. As a result their issues around colorism are frequently similar to those in the Indian context, although local forms of colorism and racism are also shaped by understandings of the significance accorded to skin tone in other communities.Links with IndiaThe majority of South African Indians, mainly descendants of indentured workers, have very little direct connection with India. Social, religious and cultural practices, as well as cuisine, have developed independently. While there are some overlaps with the Indian experience in terms of the desirability of light skin tones there are also important differences that have developed according to the local political and social context.In South Africa the matter of skin color is often classed and shot through with very localised understandings of differences between North and South Indians. For many, including myself growing up at the end of apartheid, colorism was not always a significant presence in our families. In my case this was a direct result of my family’s thinking, and the impact of the Black Consciousness movement in Durban in the early 1970s.But there are also South African Indian families in which colorism is intensely felt. In some cases it can even result in discrimination within the intimate space of the family and, as a result, significant personal trauma.Hair Texture and Facial FeaturesColorism is also sometimes evident among the Colored community in South Africa. It predates apartheid, has endured after the end of apartheid and extends beyond a concern with skin tone to include hair texture and the shape of facial features. In Durban, where some historically Indian and colored communities are in close proximity, ideas about skin tone have taken on multiple influences.Because different black communities have shaped each other’s ideas about beauty and color in South Africa our experience cannot be reduced to an offshoot of the Indian or American experiences. And while there are certainly subtle and at times not so subtle issues around skin tone, the situation here is not nearly as bad, as, say, in India, Pakistan or Thailand. In fact it could be argued that the situation in South Africa is better than in the US and the United Kingdom.As Mail & Guardian editor Verashni Pillay noted in a recent piece: “Africa has experiences its own share of colouism and the horrors of skin bleaching. Phrases like ‘yellowbone’ to describe fairer skin black women don’t help. But the writing of Steve Biko and a growing sense of black pride makes it easier to embrace darker skin in South Africa.”Skin Lightening ProductsSkin lightening products have been banned in South Africa since 1992. In India crass adverts for skin lightening products are ubiquitous — a fact that invariably shocks South Africans of all races.In South Africa colorism is not simply a story of the continuance of colonial and apartheid racial practices, or influences from Bollywood and Hollywood. It is a story of how all of these influences coalesce.South Africa’s colorism is also a story of how the political innovation of the Black Consciousness movement in the early ‘70s – often carried into ANC politics – has freed many people from colorism. But at the same time it is also a story of discrimination within and between black communities that has evolved and survived after oppressive laws have been revoked.And as the #unfairandlovely campaign has proven, colorism sadly remains a universal slight on humanity.— The ConversationVashna Jagarnath is senior lecturer, at Rhodes University. Related Itemslast_img read more

Human subjects protections under fire at the University of Minnesota

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe A damning report on how the University of Minnesota (UM) protects volunteers in its clinical trials concludes that researchers inadequately reviewed research studies across the university and need more training to better protect the most vulnerable subjects. It also found that a “climate of fear” existed in the Department of Psychiatry, where concerns about clinical trials first surfaced.The 97-page report, released 27 February, was prepared by a group of six experts appointed by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs. It comes after years of complaints by some UM faculty members, led by bioethicist Carl Elliott. They charged that the school and its doctors failed to protect 27-year-old Dan Markingson, who died by suicide while enrolled in a psychiatric drug trial in 2004. They also expressed grave concerns about how Markingson’s death was investigated. (More on that case is here and here.)Recently, Elliott’s crusade began having an impact. In December 2013, the UM Faculty Senate called for an independent review of current practices in clinical trials. The administration agreed to open its records to outsiders. Although the review did not look back at history, it nonetheless had plenty to say about how the university handles trials, which bring in millions of dollars from drug companies along with much prestige.center_img Email “[T]he external review team believes the University has not taken an appropriately aggressive and informed approach to protecting subjects and regaining lost trust,” the authors write. They examined protocols from 20 active trials as well as minutes from meetings of the institutional review board (IRB). Many IRB members, the panel noted, did not regularly attend meetings from January to July 2014. “[T]here were no individuals on the IRB during this time period with expertise in adult hematology, oncology and transplant, cardiology, surgery, or neurology, although those fields taken together represented over 300 protocols. There was only one psychiatrist on the IRB, despite the fact that the Psychiatry Department submitted 85 protocols for review during the time period examined.” That doctor attended only four of the 26 medical IRB meetings at which new protocols were reviewed. “This departure not only contravenes the University’s own policy of having at least one member with ‘primary professional expertise in a scientific field relevant to the type of research reviewed by that panel,’ but also prompts concern about the quality of review.”Fueling those concerns, the authors noted that the IRB spent an average of 3 to 5 minutes discussing each protocol, and there was “little discussion of the risks and benefits to subjects.” Most of the protocol changes the IRB asked researchers to make addressed administrative issues such as misspellings or adding standard language to a consent form. Requests by researchers running trials to modify who was eligible for a study—“changes that may increase or decrease risks to subjects—were almost always approved without any documentation of related discussion,” the authors write. “The review process, as documented in the minutes, does not reflect a meaningful discussion of the risks and benefits of research protocols and the necessary steps taken to protect human subjects in the face of scientific or ethical concerns.”The outsiders made other observations. Although the university is in the process of enhancing training in basic human subjects protections for researchers, which the authors praised, they remained concerned that beyond basic instruction, “there are currently no human subjects protections training requirements for investigators, including those working with high-risk or vulnerable populations.”Along those lines, the authors touched on some of the central issues raised in the Markingson case: Dan Markingson agreed to enroll in a trial while committed involuntarily to the hospital, raising questions about his ability to consent, and the lead researcher on the trial was also his treating psychiatrist. Although vulnerable individuals like Markingson often participate in clinical trials, the authors of the review worried that Minnesota had not drawn lessons from that case. “We found only a single instance where consideration of the dual and potentially conflicting role of treating psychiatrist/investigator was addressed,” they noted. And, they added, “the external review team found no evidence that the University, Fairview [Hospital], and its investigators have taken steps to ensure a broader understanding of the implications of this very fraught situation” of enrolling patients who have been involuntarily committed into trials.A death during a clinical trial, possibly attributed to it, is every university’s nightmare. Elliott and a widening circle of others were harsh and relentless in their criticism, the reviewers acknowledge. The university’s response, they suggest, has been “assuming a defensive posture. In other words, in the context of nearly continuous negative attention, the University has not persuaded its critics (from within and outside the University) that it is interested in more than protecting its reputation and that it is instead open to feedback, able to acknowledge its errors, and will take responsibility for deficiencies and their consequences.” In the Department of Psychiatry, faculty and staff told the reviewers that they work in “a ‘culture of fear,’ ” and “[t]hey provided stories of intimidation by researchers and fear of retaliation should staff voice opposition to practices that were of concern.”As the report creates ripples across campus, the Faculty Senate is preparing to meet this Friday with University President Eric Kaler and the authors of the report. Kaler released a statement Friday thanking the outside reviewers for their advice. He stressed that they looked at a “small fraction of our clinical research enterprise,” involving individuals with diminished decision-making capacity. “[C]onsistent with our charge to them, the panel’s view and subsequent analysis was limited,” he noted. (The authors described their report as covering protection of human research participants at UM with “special attention” to adults who may lack decision-making capacity.)Kaler expressed hope that with the advice of the authors, UM could enhance its research protections. “The panel has provided us with a clear road map for making our program truly exceptional,” he wrote in his statement. “[T]he University of Minnesota has the opportunity to become a national model against which all other research institutions could be measured.” Senior administrators said in a statement that they hope to develop an “action plan” to respond to the report within 60 days.last_img read more