Will workplace safety become a casualty of the debt deal?
The “super committee” that will identify future spending cuts will be comprised of six Democrats and six Republicans from both chambers of Congress. It’s unclear who is going to be on the committee, but Justin Feldman, health and safety advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, is sure who shouldn’t get the nod: Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla), who was part of the bipartisan “Gang of Six” that tried to forge a compromise on the budget ceiling last month. Coburn has signled out cutting the Occupational Health and Safety Agency’s budget as a key priorities of his.
Paid sick leave in Seattle: study shows the need
City officials are hearing from at least one opponent of paid sick leave who has seized on the slim nature of the data about sick workers transmitting illness on the job. Opponents probably should focus on this issue, since it is the weakest of the public health arguments in favor of the Seattle City Council measure that would mandate paid sick leave for workers, especially those in bars and restaurants.
With rising workers’ compensation frequency, it’s time to strengthen programs ahead of hardening market
A trend is emerging that may put increased pressure on workers’ compensation rates. Over the past two decades, the workers’ comp frequency trend has, with a few minor exceptions, been negative, which has helped to offset positive severity trends. But during the recent recession, the frequency of workers’ comp claims began to rise. This trend was observed across all industry groups, with classes in the construction industry being particularly hard hit.
Army did not properly test more than 5 million bullet-proof plates
Six defense contractors produced more than 5 million bullet-proof body armor inserts whose quality the Army cannot guarantee, at a cost of upwards of $2.5 billion. An audit by the Department of Defense inspector general found the inserts—produced by ArmorWorks, Simula, Cercom, Composix, Armacel Armor and Ceradyne from 2004-2006—were not tested consistently for factors such as velocity, humidity, temperature or altitude. Additionally, the results of several tests were not properly documented.
Huffington’s bogus defense of unpaid bloggers
While many view the labor practices of the Huffington Post as affecting only a small handful of writers, Arianna Huffington’s willingness to classify people working for her site as “non-employees” could impact the rights of all workers. As unpaid internships become the norm among a new generation of workers, more and more employers are finding interesting ways to classify those working for them as “non-employees” who don’t need to be paid. This classification occurs despite the fact that employers often force unpaid workers to obey the same rules as paid workers.
Ask Target, Macy’s and Hanes to stop profiting from rape of factory workers
Sexual assault and rape are a far too common part of life for the women working at Classic Factory in Jordan, making clothes for Target, Hanes, Macy’s, and other companies. For years, the female workers have been filing rape complaints against three of the managers, but the managers have not been fired. Now, the situation is getting more dire — women who have dared to speak out against the rapes are being threatened, tortured, and “disappeared.” Target, Hanes, and Macy’s have the power to stop these rapes by insisting the managers accused of repeated assaults be fired.
Friendly workplace linked to longer life
Getting along with your colleagues at work may do more than boost your productivity. It may also be a boon to your health. Researchers at Tel Aviv University found that people who felt that they had the support of their colleagues and generally positive social interactions at work were less likely to die over a 20-year period than those who reported a less friendly work environment.
When does sex count as a work-related injury?
An Australian public servant is suing her employer for compensation after being injured while having sex during a business trip. She works for ComCare, the Australian government’s—wait for it—workplace safety organization.
Clifton company is cited for 20 workplace safety violations
A Clifton company faces $135,000 in fines after being been cited for 20 workplace safety and health violations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday. The citations against the Safas Corp., which keeps its headquarters on Ackerman Avenue, include $84,000 in fines for failing to provide workers with forklift training and a hearing conservation program, OSHA said in a release.
Pa. bottler fined $111K over workplace violations
Federal regulators say they have cited an eastern Pennsylvania bottling company after finding two dozen workplace safety and health violations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday it’s levying nearly $111,000 in fines against A-Treat Bottling Co.