Whistleblowing involves much more than courage
The Penn State University sex abuse scandal pinpoints a whistleblowing flaw: Even when wrongdoing is reported, fear, friendship or fame often interfere with taking action. Whistleblowing laws give encouragement and job protection to people in the workplace who report illegal or immoral acts to the proper authorities. But nothing in those laws ensures that an organization will investigate, stop such acts or report them to law enforcement authorities for possible prosecution.
Rules lag amid deadly dust blasts
Each year, people are killed and maimed by explosions of finely powdered wood, metal or chemicals at factories around the country. Safety experts have studied the threat posed by dust at industrial sites for nearly a decade, yet tighter regulations are still years away. Among the reasons for the delay are a cumbersome rulemaking process and disagreement among federal agencies about how to best tackle the problem. Meanwhile, workers continue to die.
Possible Cal/OSHA budget cuts could slow probes
The state Department of General Services has revealed a plan to eliminate more state cars used by inspectors and consultants to perform worksite safety inspections and enforce health and safety laws. Over the past three years, various agency’s resources have been cut such as losing cellphones, office space, 50 cars and now another 85 cars.
Ind. regulators scrutinize convenience store chain
A convenience-store chain that reached a settlement with state regulators earlier this year over workplace safety concerns is facing renewed scrutiny following a recent shooting at one of its Indianapolis stores in which a clerk was critically wounded. The Oct. 21 shooting came four months after Village Pantry settled allegations that it had failed to create and maintain “reasonably safe” working conditions at another Indianapolis store, where a clerk was shot and killed during a robbery two years ago.
SeaWorld, OSHA expected to return to court this week
SeaWorld and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are expected to go back to court this week for the first time in about a month. SeaWorld is fighting a $75,000 fine from OSHA for willfully neglecting safety. They are also fighting to allow their trainers to stay in the water with the killer whales at the park.
As SeaWorld safety hearing resumes, feds focus on killer-whale shows
In mid-September, just as lawyers for the federal government began making their case that animal trainers at SeaWorld Orlando should not be allowed to have unprotected contact with the park’s killer whales, the presiding judge asked a seemingly innocuous question. “Are you talking about only during shows?” Judge Ken Welsch asked John Black, a lawyer with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Yes, Black responded. As soon as Black answered, the lead lawyer for SeaWorld turned to her team and smiled. The exchange illustrates the tightrope OSHA is walking as it defends a potentially industry-altering citation leveled against SeaWorld last year following an investigation into the death of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau.
Want to be a whale trainer? What your life is worth, part one
As the day grows closer for SeaWorld’s continued court case against the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), which found them guilty of negligence in the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau last year, several ex- SeaWorld employees have stepped forward to share their experiences. As these former trainers relayed their experiences, I found my stomach turning at the thought of the danger that faced them daily, the low wages, and the lack of benefits that they accrued.
Metro employees overworked, fatigued, report says
Metrorail employees in safety-critical jobs — including train operators, supervisors and maintenance technicians — are working longer hours than allowed, a workload that a joint analysis says could lead to fatigue and accidents. The Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC), which monitors safety at Metro, partnered with the transit authority for five months to study how it manages fatigue among its employees.
County recommends $500,000 fine against Lamont composting facility
County staff have called for land use fines totaling at least $500,000 against the Lamont composting facility where two brothers are believed to have inhaled fatal doses of toxic fumes last month. The fines are among several recommendations released Thursday in preparation for a public hearing Tuesday on whether the Board of Supervisors should revoke, suspend or modify Community Recycling & Resource Recovery Inc.’s county-issued operating permit.
Why millennial women are burning out at work by 30
Today, 53% of corporate entry-level jobs are held by women, a percentage that drops to 37% for mid-management roles and 26% for vice presidents and senior managers, according to McKinsey research. Men are twice as likely as women to advance at each career transition stage.