Metro officials to testify on safety on Capitol Hill
Metro’s general manager and chief safety officer are both expected to testify before the region’s Congressional delegation Wednesday afternoon that the transit system has installed better safety equipment and done more training to help prevent accidents since the June 2009 Red Line crash.
Union accuses Metro of removing seats to skirt federal driver fatigue rule
MetroAccess drivers will soon be driving for 12 hours a day as they shuttle around disabled riders, and their union is accusing the transit agency of removing seats in the vans and swapping out vehicles to skirt federal rules against such long hours. Drivers of the federally mandated Metro service for those with disabilities will work 13-hour shifts, including a one-hour break.
Cancer victim fired for disclosing brain tumor has claim for disability discrimination
A U.S. District Court in Texas ruled that a Houston P.F.Chang’s restaurant may have violated the Americans with Disability Act when it fired one of its restaurant managers three days after he disclosed that he had a brain tumor.
‘Expendable’ mine rescuers
Federal mine rescuers who rushed into West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine after the deadly 2010 explosion shared some chilling testimony during an investigation. Although they judged early on that no miners could have reached a refuge chamber deeper in the mine, they were sent to inspect the chamber anyway. Also, they were sent without adequate back-up teams.
Nothing merry about Old King Coal
Even the Brothers Grimm could not have come up with a fairy tale as fanciful – or as grim – as the one concocted by top executives of Massey Energy. Massey, a $3.4 billion coal corporation, is the most dominant in Appalachia and also the most reckless, earning hundreds of mine safety citations every year. Now for the grim reality. In an unusually blunt state report, an independent team of mining experts puts the blame for the West Virginia disaster directly on Massey Energy’s bosses and investors. “An accident waiting to happen,” says the report, showing that the corporation “operated in a profoundly reckless manner.” By disregarding safety in the pursuit of another almighty dollar, executives illegally allowed an intolerable level of explosive coal dust to accumulate, carrying the blast through the mine to kill men far from the first detonation.
Labor-funded progressive leaders cross Huffington Post picket line
Labor leaders claim that with 11,000 journalists having lost their jobs due to newsrooms cutbacks in the last three years, AOL-Huffington Post has risen to its stature by exploiting journalists desperate to establish names for themselves as writers, and thus willing to work for free in the hopes that they may someday find paid work.
State cites Norfolk police over safety assessment
The state has cited the Police Department for failing to verify that it conducted a hazard assessment at its training center where a recruit suffered a fatal head injury in December. The citation comes after a six-month review by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s office of Occupational Safety and Health Compliance. The review was prompted by the fatal brain injury to John Kohn, who suffered blows to his head during training.
OSHA seeks $1.9 million in fines against Alabama lumber mill
An Alabama lumber mill and its owner have been hit with $1,939,000 in proposed penalties by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for hazards that the agency said demonstrated “egregious disregard” for worker safety. OSHA’s cited Phenix Lumber Co. of Phenix City, Ala., and its owner, John M. Dudley, for 27 willful safety violations — the agency’s most serious charges — following complaints that workers were in danger of losing hands or fingers from machinery that lacked safety guards.
OSHA cites Cooper Tire & Rubber, 2 contractors
The federal government has cited Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and two contractors with 25 safety violations at the company’s Tupelo, Miss. plant. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the citations include allegations of exposing workers to hazards associated with combustible dust. Proposed penalties total $254,900.
Sunfield Inc. faces $104,500 fine from OSHA
A Hebron employer accused of repeatedly exposing workers to amputation hazards faces a potential $104,500 fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Sunfield Inc., an automotive parts manufacturer in Hebron, was found by OSHA investigators to have three safety violations in 2009 and this February, the agency announced Tuesday.