Will Michigan workplaces become more dangerous? Hundreds of safety rules may be eliminated
Gov. Rick Snyder has asked his administration to work on changing or eliminating hundreds of Michigan workplace safety rules in an effort to streamline business regulations. Michigan’s Office of Regulatory Reinvention released a report that suggests changing 334 Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) rules that exceed federal regulations. It also recommends considering the elimination of 611 MIOSHA requirements.
Feds let BP off probation despite pending safety violations
BP’s refining subsidiary was released today from criminal probation related to a 2005 explosion in Texas City that killed 15 workers. The company has addressed the most serious safety deficiencies exposed by the accident and satisfied the terms of a felony plea agreement to settle charges that it failed to protect workers from known risks, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said.
Offshore oil drilling: avoid reckless repeat
The United States imposed a moratorium on gulf production after the BP well exploded, a special commission investigated and the Obama administration took significant steps to improve regulations. But the effectiveness of those rules has yet to be tested by harsh reality, and history provides few reasons for Americans to be confident about the safety of drilling in extremely deep water.
Two years after Massey disaster, mine safety agency owns up to problems (again)
Last week, the Mine Safety and Health Administration released its internal review into the federal agency’s role in the problems causing the 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners in the Upper Big Branch Mine owned by Massey Energy Company in West Virginia. While the report claims that MSHA’s poor regulatory conduct did not cause the explosion, it did find that “MSHA and District 4 did not follow established agency policies and procedures.”
Palmetto school illegally fired whistleblower, government says
The U.S. Department of Labor is suing a local charter school, claiming that it fired a worker who reported electrical safety problems to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto broke the law by firing the whistleblower after he reported that improperly placed extension cords and a lack of sprinkler system in two theaters represented a safety hazard.
US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites Stella-Jones Corp. for 16 violations following fatality at Alabama railroad tie manufacturing plant
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Stella-Jones Corp., a manufacturer of railroad ties, with 16 safety violations, including one willful, following the crushing death of a worker who was caught in a machine at the company’s facility in Warrior.
Will workplace wellness programs work?
In an effort to bring down health-care costs, employers are increasingly turning to workplace wellness programs that reward employees who engage in healthy behaviors — or, alternatively, penalize those who don’t.