Child labor rules stalled at White House as farm accidents continue
Last week, two 17 year olds were critically injured in Oklahoma when they were pulled into a grain augur while on the job. Responders had to cut the augur to free the boys, who were flown to a hospital with severe leg injuries. Yet the White House continues to sit on new child labor rules proposed last year by the Department of Labor that some safety advocates say could have prevented that accident.
LaHood hails railroad fatigue rule
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the Federal Railroad Administration’s new final rule limiting the number of consecutive hours passenger railroad workers can work will make passenger train travel proactively safer. For the first time, the rule differentiate between freight and passenger rail service; FRA published it Aug. 12, and it will take effect Oct. 15.
Bill would require fitted sheets at hotels to protect housekeepers
Business owners and others who have long complained that companies are overburdened by state regulations say a proposal now moving through the Legislature shows that lawmakers have lost all touch with reality: It would require that hotels use fitted sheets. The bill, one of nearly 900 awaiting final action in the Legislature when it returns Monday from a monthlong recess, is intended to address back injuries sustained by hotel housekeepers. But it has revived a long-simmering debate over whether California has become a hyper-regulated “nanny state.”
L.A. city ballot initiative launched for condoms in porn effort
As part of its ongoing campaign to require the use of condoms in porn films shot and produced in California in an effort to reduce the spread of STDs including HIV, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) together with five former adult film performers—two of whom contracted HIV while working in the industry—will launch a City of Los Angeles ballot initiative that would allow Los Angeles voters to weigh in on a measure that would formally condition the issuance of adult film permits by the City of Los Angeles to condom use in adult films shot and produced in Los Angeles, including collection of a fee from adult film permit recipients to allow for periodic inspections of sets in order to monitor for compliance.
Textile association: MassCOSH report on laundry work “distorts reality”
The Textile Rental Services Association of America (TRSA) rejected a recent Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) report that suggested textile service workers were exposed to ergonomic injuries and other safety and health hazards. TRSA claimed the report distorts reality and may have been “prompted by union posturing.”
Some Gulf spill hydrocarbons remain underwater
Several new studies of the air and water near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill suggest that a collection of toxic hydrocarbons from the spill remain dissolved in the Gulf of Mexico. However, researchers have very different takes on the significances of the data. While some tout the lack of release of these compounds into the atmosphere as good news for cleanup workers’ health, others worry more about oil compounds that are less water-soluble volatilizing and creating environmental hazards.
Macon plant fined for safety lapses
Aerospace Defense Coatings of Georgia, a Macon metal coating and painting plant, has been fined about $168,000 in state and federal penalties for serious and in some cases “willful” neglect of worker safety, in addition to violations of hazardous waste storage and air pollution laws.
OSHA finds safety gaps in Yale death
A piece of lab machinery that killed a Yale University student when it ensnared her hair was missing required safeguards, and the accident exposed problems with the school’s safety policies, federal safety investigators said. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in a letter obtained by The Associated Press, told school officials that it found numerous problems in the machine shop where Michele Dufault was killed on April 12.
Hill Air Force Base warned of serious violations by OSHA
Federal safety inspectors have notified Hill Air Force Base of 32 serious violations of safety and health standards. And the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a contractor at the base for exposing workers to hazardous contaminants. Herb Gibson, director of OSHA’s Denver area office, says there were more than 100 injuries or illnesses reported out of the base in the past year.
Chlorine leak injures 20 at Sacramento water park
Twenty people, including nine children, were taken to Sacramento-area hospitals Monday after a high concentration of chlorine was released into the wave pool at Raging Waters, a private water park at the state fairgrounds in Sacramento.