The silent battle for women in military: Sexual assault
The U.S. military is struggling to defend troops who are under siege day and night on ill-defined battlefields. Troops who are fighting wars in which it can be impossible to identify the enemy or to know whom to trust. And when they are betrayed, they dare not tell anyone. They are the nation’s women in uniform, and they are being sexually harassed, abused, and assaulted at an alarming rate by their fellow soldiers and officers.
Field of broken dreams
Since the 1970s, there have been two very different sets of rules for young workers in this country: one that applies to teenage agricultural workers, and one for everyone else. Most teen employers (think movie theaters, grocery stores, the Gap) must follow an array of federal and state rules limiting the hours and types of jobs teens can work. But within the notoriously dangerous agriculture industry, scant protections exist for young farmworkers.
New child labor proposals will impact some family farms
In its first such move since 1970, the U.S. Department of Labor is taking aim at risky exposures for minors, and the proposed rules could spell changes for family farming operations. The proposal would prohibit agricultural work with animals and in pesticide handling, timber operations, manure pits and storage bins. The dangers of working in and around grain storage bins have become more transparent during the past year as 51 men and boys have found themselves trapped and 26 of those have died in accidents that take only a few seconds to become deadly.
Recent college graduates face long-lasting economic damage
After gains in the 1980s and particularly in the 1990s, hourly wages for young college-educated men in 2000 were $22.75, but that dropped by almost a full dollar to $21.77 by 2010. For young college-educated women, hourly wages fell from $19.38 to $18.43 over the same period. Now, with unemployment expected to remain above 8% well into 2014, it will likely be many years before young college graduates — or any workers — see substantial wage growth. Studies show that people who first enter the job market in a recession face a significant earnings loss that persists for more than 15 years.
Switch to powder-free latex gloves cuts health workers’ allergy risk
Introducing powder-free latex gloves into health care facilities can cut down on latex allergies among workers, a new study shows.
Some ex-trainers say SeaWorld downplays risks of working with killer whales
The February 2010 death of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was pulled underwater and killed by the 12,000-pound killer whale Tilikum, triggered the most exhaustive safety review in SeaWorld history and changes that are still being implemented across the company’s three namesake marine parks. And yet, in SeaWorld’s profile of Tilikum — an internal document that chronicles the whale’s history, his behavioral tendencies and more — the tragedy is summarized in a dozen words. The entry does not even note that Brancheau was killed. To SeaWorld’s critics, including some of the company’s former killer-whale trainers, the lack of detail in the profiles is evidence that SeaWorld attempts to minimize or mask — both from the public and its trainers — the true extent of the danger facing those who work with the world’s largest marine predator.
SeaWorld lawsuit dismissed as new fight brews
An Orange County judge has dismissed a lawsuit against SeaWorld just as a new legal fight over the death of a killer whale trainer last year arises. A New Hampshire family later sued the park, saying the incident was deeply traumatic. Scott Brancheau and other members of Dawn’s family have filled new legal action seeking to bar the Occupational Safety & Health Administration from releasing a tape of the trainer’s final moments as part of its investigation.
Research lab where deadly explosion occurred had just passed inspection
The research and development laboratory where a research engineer died in an explosion Friday had passed a routine safety inspection in March, Menlo Park fire officials said Saturday.
Worker’s grain engulfment carries $185,600 penalty
OSHA has cited DL Cattle Trading LLC Co. for two willful, nine serious, and one other-than-serious alleged safety violation at the company’s cattle feed lot and farming operation in Parks, Neb. OSHA opened an inspection following the death of a worker who suffocated when engulfed in grain that he was walking on in a bin that had a running auger. Proposed penalties in this case total $185,600.
Health of 9/11 volunteers tracked, local workers impacted
The government is continuing to track the scope of devastation from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by monitoring the physical and mental health of people who were near ground zero. The World Trade Center Health Registry, funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, is in its third round of interviews of people who lived in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, were passing by the epicenter of the attacks that morning or volunteered as rescue and recovery workers in the days and weeks that followed. Anyone willing to be tracked through the study must enroll in the registry.