What new rule did OSHA issue this month? Worker safety rulemaking 101
I recently heard an individual who works on Capitol Hill describe the kinds of questions he receives from congressional offices. One that made me laugh out loud was: “What new regulations did OSHA issue this month?” This month? Entire years go by without a single new worker safety regulation, and those that are issued typically address hazards in just a handful of industries. In the last 10 years, OSHA has issued six major rules.
Report: Estimates of OSHA regulation costs way off base
Last year, researchers Nicole and Mark Crain conducted a study that claimed federal regulations cost businesses $1.75 trillion a year. Included in that total is the assertion that Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations cost businesses $65 billion a year. But the study is fundamentally flawed, says John Irons, Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI’s) director of policy and research.
3M will pay $3 million to settle age discrimination suit
Maplewood-based 3M has agreed to pay $3 million to settle an age-discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency said Monday. The EEOC charged that 3M unlawfully laid off hundreds of employees over the age of 45 from July 1, 2003 through Dec. 31, 2006. 3M laid off many highly paid older employees, apparently to save money, and cut workers in salaried positions up to the level of director, the agency said.
Neither snow nor rain nor … violence?
A spate of armed robberies and other violent incidents — including carriers caught in drive-by shootings — have left many mailmen and women looking over their shoulders this summer. As the tension escalates, many carriers say the U.S. Postal Service isn’t doing enough to keep them safe. Carriers contend they typically aren’t told when colleagues on nearby routes are robbed, assaulted or caught in shootings. Those who experience violence often have to fight with management — sometimes unsuccessfully — to transfer to another route. Many believe incidents are not properly reported up the chain of command and, as a result, statistics underestimate the dangers carriers face.
24-hour shifts are a prescription for medical errors
In aviation, the rules are strict: No crew member may be on duty for more than 14 consecutive hours and there are rest requirements. For medical residents – who do a lot of the heavy lifting in hospitals – 24-hour shifts are still the norm. But, thankfully for patients, that is changing.
Retail giant Zara accused of age old practice of slave labor
Spanish retailer Zara has been accused of child labor and violating fair labor practices by Brazil’s Ministry of Labour and Employment. According to the agency, 52 workers in one of the company’s São Paulo factories were being held in “slave-like” conditions, and at least one underage girl was found working there, violating child labor laws. Workers were required to work 16-hour shifts in windowless factories, and were paid significantly below Brazil’s minimum wage, earning between $170 to $286 a month. As a result of Brazil’s several months’ long investigation, Zara’s been charged with 52 infractions.
OSHA orders BNSF to pay worker $300,000
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered the BNSF Railway Co. to pay $300,000 to a woman who was suspended without pay for reporting a work-related injury.
OSHA accident probe burns China Grove bakery
A tip-off that prompted OSHA to investigate a South Texas commercial bakery could lead to fines totaling almost $230,000. But it wasn’t employee whistle-blowing that led the federal agency to crack down on Lone Star Bakery. Inspectors swooped in on the company’s two China Grove food-service plants after a worker’s fingertip was amputated on a pie processing line.
Tuan Phan, American Apparel worker, crushed by a knitting machine
An American Apparel factory worker died at the West Anaheim Medical Center in Anaheim, California after being crushed by a circular knitting machine, reports the OC Register.