Workers comp ‘reform’ in Illinois aims to curb alleged abuses
A workers’ compensation overhaul that passed in the Illinois state legislature Wednesday—after failing earlier in the week—was meant to end alleged abuse by workers, attorneys and doctors. But the law is also bad news for workers with legitimate claims of work-related injuries.
Ohio Senate Republicans attempt to gut state minimum wage law
Ohio is one of 17 states that require workers to be paid above the minimum wage mandated by federal law. But Ohio Senate Republicans are working to limit the number of people eligible to earn that wage, attaching an amendment to an omnibus budget bill that would circumvent the law and prevent an untold number of workers from collecting the state-mandated minimum wage.
ACLU fights Gov. Rick Scott’s order to drug test state workers
Requiring job applicants to “pee in a cup” to test for drugs and randomly selecting current public employees to do the same is unconstitutional, attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday after filing a federal lawsuit to stop the practice ordered by Gov. Rick Scott.
FAA to seek charges against those who shine lasers at planes
The blinding flash of a laser beam has never caused a commercial airliner to crash, but the increasing possibility that one might has federal authorities finding new tools to prosecute perpetrators. With the number of reported incidents up 86 percent last year, the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that it will begin seeking civil charges against wanton laser wielders whose beams invade the cockpit.
Massey execs tied to Upper Big Branch blast keep jobs in merger
The former Massey Energy Co. chief operating officer who invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to be interviewed by the West Virginia commission investigating the Upper Big Branch explosion that killed 29 miners, will play a role overseeing safety at the corporation taking over Massey’s mines.
Oil clean-up chemical dispersants more dangerous than oil itself?
The use of chemical dispersants to clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast may be more damaging to the ecosystem than the oil itself, according to preliminary findings by University of West Florida researchers. The chemical dispersant, Corexit, used by BP is toxic when mixed with oil to phytoplankton and bacteria.
Lack of data makes tracking sex assaults against hotel workers difficult
High-profile sexual assault cases such as the one involving former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn and more recently international banker Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar — both accused of attacking hotel maids — have brought the issue of hotel worker safety into the spotlight, but it is unclear how widespread the problem is because there is no official record of the number of such assaults against hotel staff. The New York Hotel Trades Council, the union that represents local hotel workers, said of its roughly 10,000 room attendants only report half a dozen incidents in a typical year.
Nevada OSHA fines Ruby Pipeline contractor $36,000 for 2010 death of 1 worker, injuries to 7
A Ruby Pipeline contractor is being fined $36,000 in Nevada for violations in a trench accident that killed a worker in December and a truck crash that hurt seven workers in October.
The Hartford, maintenance contractor fined for worker safety violations
The Hartford and its maintenance contractor have been fined by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations at corporate headquarters and at The Hartford’s data center. OSHA says The Hartford Financial Services Group required electricians employed by its maintenance contractor, Grubb & Ellis, to perform work in live electrical panels for computer equipment. OSHA requires that the panels be shut off before work is done.
Details emerge in the death of SSC student
Details regarding the death of 18-year-old SSC junior Tommy Osier have been released and the Bay City State Police are awaiting official autopsy results to determine the cause of death. Osier died while working at Pine Grove Farm in Gibson Township May 30. Sgt. Lance Cook of the Bay City State Police said unofficial results show Osier died from asphyxiation. Cook said a report from the day of the incident shows that Osier was cleaning corn off the inside walls of the silo at the farm when he became trapped.