Written in blood: Another disaster, another law
Members of the West Virginia House of Delegates just passed — with a unanimous vote — a much-watered down version of a mine safety bill with language worked out in closed-door meetings with industry and labor lobbyists, and a key provision that everyone admits is aimed at addressing a problem that had absolutely nothing to do with the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster.
Wisconsin Legislature votes to repeal employment discrimination law
Wisconsin prohibits employers from discriminating “on the basis of age, race, creed, color, disability, marital status, sex, national origin, ancestry, arrest record, conviction record, military service, use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours, or declining to attend a meeting or to participate in any communication about religious matters or political matters,” and it ensures that this law has teeth by allowing victims of discrimination to hold their employers accountable in state court. That’s about to change, however, as the Wisconsin legislature recently voted to strip the state’s workers of their ability to actually enforce this law — leaving anti-worker Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) as the only obstacle to the law’s total repeal.
GAO: Military too slow to aid whistleblowers
If you’re a servicemember who went public with waste, fraud or other wrongdoing in the military and you were punished for it, the investigators handling your case aren’t doing the best job they can. That’s the conclusion of a new report by the Government Accountability Office on the problem-filled system for addressing reprisals against military whistleblowers, which may be endangering the careers of those who step forward and hurting the military’s ability to stop mismanagement.
FAA wants to boost experience threshold for airline co-pilots to the same as captains
Airline co-pilots would have to meet the same experience threshold required of captains — the first boost in four decades — under regulations proposed Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration. The proposed regulations would increase the minimum number of flight hours required to fly for a commercial air carrier to 1,500 for all pilots. Captains already have to meet that threshold, but co-pilots currently need only 250 hours to fly for an airline.
Workplace violence: ‘One-third of Americans go to work every day afraid’
According to the findings of a newly released survey of American workers, workplace violence has become an epidemic in this country, as senior business leaders close their eyes to the problem and incidents go unreported because workers have lost faith in their leaders to do anything about it. The survey, which was released just this month, found not only that over half of Americans employed outside the home have witnessed, heard about or experienced a violent event or an event that can lead to violence in their workplace, but that one-third of Americans go to work every day afraid.
Should helmets be required? The danger of repetitive brain injury
Almost a century ago, a rare but serious form of dementia was linked to repetitive head injuries in boxing. The dementia was aptly named Boxer’s dementia. Lately, this “punch drunk” dementia has been found to affect athletes in other sports, such as American football and soccer, where athletes’ heads take repeated blows, so a broader term for this condition was needed. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), is a related brain disorder that has been shown to affect other kinds of athletes, and, more rarely, non-athletes who sustain head injuries. It has been in the news lately because of two high-profile cases.
As Daylight Saving Time approaches, it’s time to address high visibility solutions
This year, March 12 is the first workday following the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST)–the day when clocks “spring forward” and many drivers lose an hour’s sleep resulting in a marked, one day increase in roadway collisions. With so many thousands of workers now headed for roadside infrastructure assignments and Daylight Savings Time fast approaching, the need for high visibility work apparel could not be greater.
Jupiter resource center sets up free safety workshops for laborers
Many workers are so eager for a job they do not think about safety. They will climb on roofs, go up ladders and work with chain saws without proper instructions, said Joceyln Skolnik, executive director of El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center. To prevent future injuries, El Sol is holding one workshop on Saturday and two more next month on worker safety. The workshops are free and open to the public.