Obama’s offshore oil-drilling expansion doesn’t wash
The Department of the Interior (DOI)’s five-year offshore oil-drilling plan, announced today, is bad news for the environment and oil workers. Environmentalists and workplace safety advocates who reasonably anticipated regulatory reform of the oil industry in advance of any new offshore oil-drilling policy are deeply disappointed.
Grain elevator deaths product of lax OSHA enforcement
Six deaths from a Kansas grain elevator explosion in late October could have been prevented by adherence to safety rules, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration missed a golden opportunity to send that message when it plea bargained down a Colorado grain elevator death and child labor violations just weeks before. As a result of the Colorado-OSHA plea deal, the industry was not put on notice that executives would face prison time and heavy fines for willful violations of job safety rules.
OSHA plans nursing home inspections
Roughly 300 nursing homes can expect inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to one of the latest agency directives aimed at long-term care providers. OSHA is targeting nursing and personal care homes with 20 or more employees that have a Days Away, Restricted or Transferred rate at or over 16 days.
Conference: Human trafficking, sex slavery thriving in U.S., abroad
One hundred and fifty years after the United States fought the Civil War “to cure this country of the scourge of slavery,” said the archbishop emeritus of Washington, “this terrible scourge” continues today, even in the United States. Around the world, “800,000 [new] people are being trafficked annually, half of whom are children,” as involuntary slaves in forced labor and prostitution, said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick. Today, 14,000 to 18,000 people are brought into the United States each year as sex or labor slaves, he said.
Air Force mishandled remains of war dead, probe finds
Federal investigators said Tuesday they uncovered “gross mismanagement” at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary that cares for America’s war dead after whistleblowers reported horror stories of lost body parts, shoddy inventory controls and lax supervision.
Nevada gold mine blamed for deaths of two workers
Regulators have blamed managers of the world’s biggest gold mining company in the deaths last year of two Nevada workers. In an investigative report posted Monday, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration faulted managers of Toronto-based Barrick Gold for, among other things, allowing a safety alarm system at the Meikle Mine in Carlin, Nev. to be bypassed. The agency said Daniel Noel, 47, and Joel “Ethan” Schorr, 38, were killed in August, 2010, after a pipe clogged with rock waste collapsed and struck the two men.
OSHA cites Big Spring drilling company for incident that killed two men near Lamesa
OSHA has cited Robinson Drilling of Texas Ltd. for eight serious, four repeat and 11 other-than-serious safety and health violations after two men die at the company’s work site near Lamesa. Back on June 11, 2011, OSHA says about five employees were performing drilling operations in the area when the kelly bushing, a device that when fitted into the master bushing transmits torque and permits vertical movement to make a hole, came apart and hit Jason Bolt and Sandy Davis, killing them both.
For wounded Marines, the long, hard road of rehab
A year ago, nearly 1,000 U.S. Marine officers and enlisted men of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment deployed to restive Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. By the time their tour ended in April 2011, the Marines of the 3/5 — known as “Darkhorse” — suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the past 10 years of war. This week, NPR tells the story of this unit’s seven long months at war — both in Afghanistan and back home.
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