Sen. Coburn is dead wrong on worker safety
A deficit reduction report that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) published in late July relies on misrepresented data when it calls for a $72.6 million cut to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) budget. One section of the report, entitled “Back in Black,” urges Congress to eliminate OSHA training grants and shift the agency away from worksite inspections. Coburn, a member of the U.S. Senate’s “Gang of Six,” proposes that OSHA instead focus its resources on unproven voluntary safety programs.
Interior to study worker safety at offshore wind farms
The Interior Department said Monday it will conduct a study on worker safety in the burgeoning offshore renewable energy industry. The study will examine the risks associated with repairing and maintaining offshore wind turbines, among other things. Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is partnering with the National Research Council’s Marine Board on the study, which is scheduled to be completed by July 31 of 2012.
Federal safety rules still not mandatory in wake of fatal Daytona plant explosion
Casey Jones believes her life went careening down the wrong path on Jan. 11, 2006, because there were no safety regulations in place that day that could have kept two city workers from using cutting torches above a 3,000-gallon tank of methanol and setting off a fiery blast. Her husband, 40-year-old Clyde Jones, was operating a crane just a few feet away and was caught in the fireball. More than 5 1/2 years later, the city has bolstered its employee-safety system. But Florida still doesn’t have statewide mandatory U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules for its employees who work for school districts, local governments and state government agencies. Only Florida’s federal workers and private business employees are guaranteed those OSHA protections.
Township ready to crack down on oversized garbage containers
Thousands of Canton households every week violate the township’s trash-collection rules by wheeling oversized or overweight garbage containers to the curb — a practice Canton Waste Recycling has virtually ignored since it became the local trash hauler in 1992. Amid rising insurance costs and heightened worker-safety concerns, however, CWR employees have started attaching warning tags to trash containers that exceed the 32-gallon or 50-pound limit — longtime rules that many residents have ignored or, perhaps, didn’t know.
Voluntary OSHA program working?
A voluntary federal safety program in place at more than 2,400 U.S. worksites continues to receive criticism, but supporters say the Voluntary Protection Program remains a worthwhile designation for businesses to obtain.
OSHA involved in union firing
The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration is taking a closer look into why union workers from Lafayette were fired for not working in intense heat in late July.
Cal-OSHA heat illness prevention standards – will they affect San Francisco?
Little did many of us know, the State of California recently passed regulations designed to protect outdoor workers from heat-related illnesses. While the new Cal-OSHA regulation, Title 8, CCR, Section 3395, was implemented in 2006 under then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, it seems that there are many California employers who are covered under the standards, but are not even aware they exist. Especially in cities like San Francisco, where the temperature rarely hits, or exceeds 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Surveys find widespread violence against nurses and other hospital caregivers
Although nearly invisible to the public except in extreme cases, violence against nurses and other hospital caregivers is commonplace in California and around the nation, according to surveys, state records and interviews with hospital employees and industry experts.
Putnam plant faces $121K in OSHA fines
Federal workplace safety regulators slapped $121,650 in proposed fines against a Putnam, Conn., filter manufacturing plant, authorities say. Pallflex is accused of compromising worker safety for, among other things, failing to provide proper safety gear, allowing electrical-shock hazards to exist, and for fall hazards.
Chicago butcher demands his pay—with a little help from friends
Miguel Brito, a Mexican immigrant, has worked at a Chicago butcher shop called Dona Mari’s 2 for 16 years. Brito says he has been cheated out of wages consistently for most of his employment there. Wage theft is a common experience for immigrant workers, as documented in a book by Chicagoan Kim Bobo, and especially since the economic crisis many have felt powerless to complain or look for other work.