We learn at a young age that every human life is priceless, but placing a dollar value on an individual life underpins the framework of federal safety regulations protecting workers and consumers. The economic value assigned to a single person’s existence can help justify tougher regulations, by balancing the costs imposed by regulations against the money saved from the deaths that were prevented.
At a Feb. 15 House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing on OSHA’s regulatory agenda and its impact on job creation, witnesses slammed the agency for exploring new regulations that could damage businesses, imposing “substantial burdens” on employers without regard to cost concerns and overlooking the interests of small businesses.
Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, issued the following statement as the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce holds a hearing on “Investigating OSHA’s Regulatory Agenda and Its Impact on Job Creation.”
The U.S. oil and natural gas industry has completed the final requirement necessary to return to production in the Gulf, according to the American Petroleum Institute, with today’s news that the industry-led Marine Well Containment Company had completed testing.
The New York State comptroller, the Ohio state pension funds and other large investors have alleged that BP made cost-saving cutbacks in its safety operations prior to last year’s major oil spill and that it disregarded safety warnings from its own managers.
The chief counsel of the presidential oil spill commission has issued a final report laying considerable blame on BP for last year’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. But he also points to flaws in Halliburton’s work and errors by the rig owner Transocean.
- National Contingency Plan left Gulf inadequately prepared for health effects of Deepwater Horizon disaster
Since release of its Final Report to the President on January 11th, the National Oil Spill Commission has released five additional papers (called “working papers”) reviewing aspects of the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. Only the Final Report examines response-worker and public health issues, and where the Commission’s critique is most illuminating is in its analysis of how the National Contingency Plan structure set the stage for what became ongoing contentions over health and safety issues throughout the response. But there are still more questions.
Concerns about how the Interior Department manages the nation’s oil and gas resources have earned it a spot on a closely-watched list of the government’s most at-risk offices and programs.
In a move that is raising plenty of eyebrows, Missouri state Senator Jeanne Cunningham has proposed a bill that would “modify” child labor laws, eliminating the prohibition on employment of children under 14.
In a bold move, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has taken a stance against behind-the-wheel use of mobile phones by commercial bus and truck drivers. Proposed regulations — which some see as a huge step in the direction of increasing safety on the road — would prohibit use of handheld mobile phones as well as preventing the driver from dialing, holding a cell phone or reaching for a phone while the vehicle is in motion.
Back when flight attendants were stewardesses and airline ads promoted their good looks and winsome smiles to get you on board, these hardworking airline employees had no job safety and health protection. Today, flight attendants still are not covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and most of his Republicans colleagues want to keep it that way, just like the old days.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted down a Republican-authored amendment to the FAA Authorization Act that would have eliminated the collective bargaining rights of baggage screeners at the Transportation Security Administration.
A Purdue University report showed 51 grain bin accidents last year, up from 38 in 2009 and the most since tracking began in 1978. Twenty-five people died, and five of them were children under age 16.
Two thirds of 727 San Francisco businesses surveyed back the city’s paid sick leave ordinance, contradicting prior corporate claims that it would be expensive to business and hurt the economy, a new report says. And a similar share of 1,194 workers surveyed approves of the law, too.
Last year’s $250 hair-care sensation, Brazilian Blowout, promised to leave your locks looking sleek, healthy and frizz-free without formaldehyde. The secret was methylene glycol, a very special active ingredient, it turned out. It’s definitely not formaldehyde, but dry it out, say with a hair dryer, and voila, it’s formaldehyde, a frog preservative and carcinogen.
Sacramento construction company Teichert has agreed to pay $3 million in penalties and adopt new safety procedures stemming from a 2008 accident in Paso Robles that killed two employees working on the Nacimiento pipeline project.
In just four days, 53 people were taken to Elgin, Ill.,-area hospitals because the air they were breathing was making them sick. And except for the number of victims involved, that’s not an unusual situation.