MSHA announces results of June impact inspections
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that federal inspectors issued 222 citations, orders and safeguards during special impact inspections conducted at 12 coal mines and two metal/nonmetal mines last month. These inspections, which began in force in April 2010 following the explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine, involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns, including high numbers of violations or closure orders; indications of operator tactics, such as advance notification of inspections that prevent inspectors from observing violations; frequent hazard complaints or hotline calls; plan compliance issues; inadequate workplace examinations; a high number of accidents, injuries or illnesses; fatalities; and adverse conditions such as increased methane liberation, faulty roof conditions and inadequate ventilation.
Firefighters in bias case awarded millions in damages
A white group of firefighters who won a reverse discrimination case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009 have been awarded about $2 million in damages from the city of New Haven, Conn., ending a 7-year-old legal battle that was fueled by national debate over racial justice, officials said Thursday. The Supreme Court ruled that officials violated white firefighters’ civil rights when they threw out 2003 promotion tests results because too few minorities did well.
AHF petitions CA Supreme Court over failure to protect porn performers
Today, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) filed a petition with the California Supreme Court seeking a review of a recent decision published by the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Three, which upheld the dismissal of AHF’s lawsuit seeking to compel Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) to enforce regulations requiring condom use in adult films.
Study shows STD rates much higher in adult film performers
A recent study of Chlamydia and gonorrhea infection and re-infection rates for adult film industry performers from 2004-2008 revealed startling findings regarding the high rates of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) in the adult film industry, said AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today. Among the findings: Chlamydia incidence in adult film performers was 8.5 times higher than the rate in Los Angeles County residents aged 18-29 and 34 times higher than in the general population. Gonorrhea incidence was 18 times higher in porn performers than Los Angeles County residents aged 18-29 and 64 times higher than in the general population.
Severe hearing impairment among military veterans
A substantial proportion of hearing loss in the United States is attributable to employment-related exposure to noise. Among military veterans, the most common service-connected disabilities are hearing impairments, suggesting that occupational noise exposure during military service might cause more veterans to have hearing loss than nonveterans. However, a recent analysis of data from the 1993–1995 Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study did not find significant differences between the two groups.
Despite risk, embalmers still embrace preservative
With the government declaring formaldehyde a carcinogen, these might be boom times for alternative embalming fluids — if it weren’t for the so-called everlasting effect funeral directors stake their reputations on. The formaldehyde industry fought the government’s designation for years, arguing that the science was fuzzy on the link between the chemical and certain cancers. Consumer advocates hope a government warning in June will spur increased demand for products with little or no formaldehyde — for items as diverse as plywood, pressed wood, wrinkle-free shirts and hair straighteners. Among funeral directors? Not likely.
Document: 1600 Fukushima workers thought to be exposed to high radiation
A newly released document says the Japanese government estimated in April that some 1600 workers will be exposed to high levels of radiation in the course of handling the reactor meltdowns at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The figure was released in a document from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which is in charge of regulating Japan’s nuclear industry, after the Japan Occupational Safety and Health Resource Center requested the information be made public, according an article published on Thursday in the Mainichi Daily News.
C8 panel says it has found cancer death rise at DuPont
Workers at DuPont Co.’s Wood County plant who were exposed to the chemical C8 were more likely to die from kidney cancer and other kidney diseases, according to the latest findings from a three-scientist panel studying C8′s potential health effects.
Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products fined for 18 safety violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products for 18 health and safety violations. The company faces fines of $378,620. Thirteen of the violations were “willful,” meaning they were done with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker health and safety, OSHA said in a news release. Among the alleged violations are lack of safety measures on equipment, lack of hearing or vision protection for workers, and allowing conditions that pose serious fire and explosion hazards.
Gas blast firms get schedule for suits
When a powerful gas explosion in Fort Myers cut energy to more than 1,200 businesses and critically injured a construction worker this past November, it also set off a chain of blame. People’s Gas System, a subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc., filed a federal lawsuit earlier this year against Posen Construction, alleging negligence. Posen has filed a countersuit, claiming TECO is at fault. Both sides are gearing up for what could be a lengthy legal battle.
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