When Daniel Arrigo, a former construction worker, read the news on a blog Sunday night, he was lying in bed, as he does most of the time, tethered to an oxygen tank. Mr. Arrigo worked 15-hour shifts, seven days a week, mainly flagging trucks while breathing in soot and debris at the World Trade Center site for the first four or five months after the attacks. He had two strokes in 2003, and by 2008 was suffering from severe lung disease, for which he is being treated at Mount Sinai Medical Center’s World Trade Center health monitoring program. He is now dependent on respirators and eight medications a day, and hoping for a lung transplant.
Today’s House committee hearing on “Modernizing Mine Safety” hadn’t even started yet when the press release showed up in my email inbox, promoting the testimony of Arch Coal safety vice president Tony Bumbico on behalf of the National Mining Association. Among other proposals: Bumbico encouraged the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to adopt a program of mine safety modeled on the very successful Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) administered by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which promotes a cooperative approach to workplace safety.
The Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Adminstration (MSHA) issued a news release yesterday reporting on the results of an inspection at Inman Energy’s Randolph coal mine, a subsidiary of Massey Energy. MSHA chief Joe Main said: “the conduct and behavior exhibited when we caught the mine operator by surprise is nothing short of outrageous. …The conditions observed at Randolph Mine place miners at serious risk to the threat of fire, explosion and black lung. Yet, MSHA inspectors can’t be at every mine every day. Our continuing challenge is counteracting the egregious behavior of certain mine operators.”
Of course, few in the Palmetto State have ever heard of Workers Memorial Day. After all, this state has had a long and ugly relationship with its workforce. You probably have heard of South Carolina’s first workers. They were called slaves — and you know how that ended. Things didn’t get much better for workers after the Civil War. Any attempt to organize or create unions or cooperative stores was met in much the same way as slave rebellions of the past — by police, militia, mob violence, or some combination of the three.
Here’s a brief note I came across from the California Chamber of Commerce. It’s opposing a bill by that could increase the costs for employers to appeal citations from California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The bill calls for several changes to the appeals process and allows for the awarding of attorney fees, consultants fees, witness fees from the employer of up to $5,000 if the division prevails on its appeal.
“Woe to the employer who is not attentive and actively engaged in health and safety.” That’s the warning the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is giving employers in the Golden State that are at risk of committing a serious workplace safety violation, according to Donald Dodson, managing consultant for Aspen Risk Management Group.
The top-ranking female member of the High Point Fire Department has accused City Manager Strib Boynton of gender discrimination by denying her a promotion. Deputy Chief Martha Younts told the City Council Monday she filed a grievance with the city against Boynton, arguing that her qualifications, education and experience exceed those of recently-appointed Interim Chief Lee Knight, who Boynton picked to lead the department following the retirement of former Chief David Taylor.
AIM Medical Associates, formerly Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, has officially shut down. AVN reports that clinic owner Sharon Mitchell confirmed that the closure was due to “financial hardship.” The AIM database has been taken offline, making it impossible for producers to check the status of performers’ tests.
Outland Renewable Services has been issued six citations for willful safety violations after a wind farm technician suffered severe burns from an electrical arc flash on Oct. 20, 2010. The company, a servicing and maintenance provider in the wind tower industry, faces proposed penalties of $378,000.
An assisted living center has been cited with 17 safety and health violations after a nurse practitioner allegedly was hurt in a needle stick incident. The agency has levied $72,000 in penalties.