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Archive for March, 2010

A stressful job is associated with a bigger waistline, according to a new study of employees at a downsized company in upstate New York.

The agency invited comments from stakeholders, and it is getting them.

The sampling of the annual cost incurred as a direct result of accidents clearly provides a business case – if not an ethical mandate – that safety should be job one for every company.

Officially, the oil and gas and construction industries had lined up in support of a measure to increase employer penalties for workplace safety violations.

Co-workers of the late Art Tilson at the big mail distribution center in downtown Minneapolis are appealing to Washington for life-saving cardiac devices.

DOTS’ vomit clean-up policies have been given the go-ahead by a state agency, officials said, but union members still question whether workers are being put at risk for disease.

Union window cleaners who work at most of the high-rise office towers in Minneapolis and St. Paul said they were locked out of their jobs Tuesday morning by Marsden Final Touch and Columbia Building Services in a contract dispute over stronger safety enforcement.

Eleven former employees of a Des Moines laundry service who complained of poor working conditions and bounced checks have obtained nearly $9,200 in back wages, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement announced this week.

Bayer CropScience has agreed to pay the $143,000 in fines proposed by federal workplace safety regulators for violations related to the August 2008 explosion and fire that killed two workers at the company’s Institute plant.

OSHA has notified officials at the Evansville Regional Airport (Evansville, Ill.) that a recent inspection has found four serious and four repeat safety and health violations in its air traffic control tower.

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A government proposal to require employers to track musculoskeletal disorders is a positive step that will help improve on-the-job safety, Public Citizen told the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today.

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association is not backing down from its quest to keep state employees’ information, such as birthdates, private.

Advocates for sick nuclear workers called for immediate oversight of the Department of Labor program that compensates them for work-related illnesses, in response to a Government Accountability Office report released last week which made the same recommendation.

Cab drivers earn as little as $4 an hour, regularly work 12-hour days six days a week, suffer debilitating work-related health problems and are mistreated and gouged by customers, city regulators and leasing companies.

According to a mayoral release, the new purchasing practices will benefit the environment, improve worker safety by limiting exposure to toxic chemicals, and assist local economic development by promoting sustainable manufacturing, fair trade and local purchasing.

We all want our safety program to be the best it can be. So what can you do to make sure that your program is working the way you want it to?

Publicly traded companies need to remain vigilant to avoid employment-related retaliation against employees who may complain about company violations of accounting controls and possible violations of SEC related rules or regulations.

OSHA is alerting compliance officers to issue tickets to companies who do not provide and require the use of flame resistant clothing in the oilfields.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations totaling $7,200 to Val-O-Mo Farm in Elmwood after an investigation into the death of a migrant farmhand at the farm.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Werner Construction Inc. in Norfolk, Neb., following an investigation in to the death of a worker killed when caught in a roadway belt paving machine’s screw conveyors.

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The Obama administration is turning up the pressure on state agencies that enforce workplace-safety laws.

At one time, hospitals were sanctuaries, places that people went to be treated for the illnesses and injuries they sustained in the outside world. But increasingly, according to health care security professionals interviewed by The News-Times, medical facilities of all kinds are falling victim to the same problems that afflict society as a whole.

Employers now have access to more than a decade’s worth of workplace injury and illness data under the Obama administration’s “open government” policy.

In this construction site accident, a worker was electrocuted when his crane boom hit a high voltage power line.

The city Buildings Department on Sunday yanked the license of the operator of a 25-story monster crane that collapsed in Manhattan’s Financial District.

A tribal sawmill is not exempt from a work-safety law, the 7th Circuit ruled.

Erineo Jose-Juan, 24, of Rosenberg, Texas, died Feb. 8 as he crawled into an unused sewer line at Highway 332 and Oak Drive to pull out a valve. At the time, officials suspected he died from gas fumes remaining in the line.

A 52-year-old man died after suffering a heart attack at his job site in Fitchburg, Mass., on Saturday, and police believe he may have been electrocuted while he was rewiring a motor.

Gulf Chemical & Metallurgical Corp. officials said Friday it will contest about $50,400 in fines issued against the company by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA has cited JLC Stucco Co. for alleged workplace safety hazards involving falls at a worksite in Somerset, N.J.

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 (H.R. 3590) that the House approved on March 21, 2010, creates new whistleblower protections for health care workers and strengthens the coverage of the False Claims Act.

Thousands marched through the center of downtown Raleigh for social justice and in support of the People’s Agenda, which demands that North Carolina abolish the racially-biased death penalty and mandatory sentencing laws; put young people to work to save the environment and fight for environmental justice; have collective bargaining rights for public sector workers and worker safety; and provide high-quality, well-funded and diverse schools for all children and youth.

Sadly, the most important types of employee speech — about safety issues in the workplace — often no longer receive First Amendment protection.

To address the issue of how workplace safety laws can be improved, lawmakers on the House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing to discuss H.R. 2067, the bill that would amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) by increasing penalties for violators and boosting protections for whistleblowers.

The watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) claims that OSHA does not effectively protect workers who report health and safety hazards.

Over the last decade, an estimated 10,000 miners have died of black-lung disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

It took a bit of arm-twisting, but the San Francisco Fire Department is now involved in what could be the most comprehensive study on cancer rates among firefighters to date.

A new federal report claims that equipment problems and emergency responders’ lack of knowledge about protocol when dealing with flammable gases played a role in the injuries that occurred in May when a natural gas explosion damaged a Forestville, Md., strip mall.

OSHA has proposed $136,000 in fines against William A. Berry & Son Inc. The Danvers, Massachusetts, contractor was cited for 19 alleged violations of OSHA standards while removing asbestos-containing material at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital last September.

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According to the Liberty Mutual 2008 Workplace Safety Index, the total financial impact of serious workplace incidents is between $170 and $255 billion annually. By maintaining a safe workplace, employers not only protect their employees, they protect themselves.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will perform several extra inspections and will keep an additional resident inspector at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station this year because of ongoing performance issues at the seaside plant.

The pact will be designed to provide employers and their workers in western Washington with information about programs and training to help reduce workplace hazards and their resulting human and financial costs, the agency said.

Idaho farm labor contractors need to be aware of licensing, worker safety and wage requirements as another growing season gets under way, state regulators said.

New federal funding will give Illinois added resources to reduce workplace injuries for more than 1 million public employees, including teachers, police officers and firefighters.

As residents of the northeast U.S. recover from flooding and associated damage from the recent multi-day nor’easter storm that swamped the region, OSHA urges workers and members of the public engaged in cleanup activities to be aware of the hazards they can encounter and the necessary steps they should take to protect themselves.

Monterey County authorities filed criminal charges against two officials of a local Smurfit plant and a medical provider, accusing them of conspiring over several years to cover up injuries and discourage workers from filing workers compensation claims.

The unions claim there are two issues at stake: employee safety and pay cuts.

The accident was reported shortly after 7 p.m. when a fork lift collided with a skid steer.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined the death of an Anamosa, Iowa, construction worker last month was caused by a pike that broke away from a clamp.

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A recent proposal by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would endanger workers by reducing the amount of information on chemical hazards provided to them, according to several public interest groups.

The House bill, the Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA), would update civil and criminal penalties and provide enhanced protection to workers who report unsafe working conditions.

Late last fall, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration added a sobering news feed to its homepage: a rotating list of updates on recent worker fatalities.

According to asbestos.com, there have been several studies that have suggested a connection between lymphoma and exposure to asbestos, but it also says that no studies have produced conclusive evidence of a connection.

The Obama administration made a major announcement about their plans concerning fighting black lung disease during yesterday’s Coal Act anniversary celebration.

Walt Disney World released new investigatory findings and requested a jury trial on Monday, March 22, 2010, in connection with a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the renowned theme park two months ago.

Eva Rowe’s settlement with BP in the deaths of her parents provided scholarships to high school students in her Louisiana hometown, improved the training of doctors and nurses who work with burn victims, created a first-of-its kind process safety training program and enhanced the process safety education at one of the country’s premier industry training centers.

OSHA’s Harrisburg, Penn., office is investigating a workplace accident at Swope’s Salvage and Recycling in Washington Township, where a Dover man was badly burned while working earlier this month.

A tragic two-vehicle crash involving a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle resulted in the death of a motorist on Sunday, March 21.

Middletown, Conn., police say a man has been critically injured after being pinned under a forklift.

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Since the start of the recession, a growing number of sexual harassment complaints have come from men.

A coalition of workplace safety organizations is urging lawmakers to consider the health of employees in a proposed congressional jobs bill.

Compensation claims for Hanford and other nuclear site workers with cancer take about three years to process if radiation exposure must be estimated, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

We learned last week that the older generation of doctors is looking down its nose at the new crop coming out of medical school because it’s resisting working 30-hour shifts and 80-hour weeks in local hospitals.

An Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) committee recommends that surgical attire such as scrubs be laundered by the healthcare institution or by a third-party laundry facility and not at home by the healthcare worker.

Lawyers for victims of the Kleen Energy explosion want access to evidence seized from the blast site, while the prosecutor said he can’t risk the evidence being tainted and needs to conduct a criminal probe free of news conferences and other distractions.

The changes have been both physical, such as spending more than $1 billion to upgrade the Texas City plant, as well as systemic, such as addressing the broken culture that contributed to the tragedy in the first place.

When Prince George’s County firefighters first came on the scene of a gas-leak-turned-explosion at the Penn Mar Shopping Center in May, they had all the right policies and procedures on the books to tell them how to respond. Problem was, not enough of them knew those policies and procedures existed.

Reports have concluded that the death of a 28-year-old volunteer fire fighter trainee was due to an underlying medical condition that was triggered by the physical exertion during an emergency response. These findings conclude that it is unlikely the fire department policies or procedures could have prevented the death.

An explosion Friday morning, March 19, which catapulted a large tank 50 feet into the air at a gas-well tank battery, left two workers with first-degree burns in rural Wise County.

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