New safety mandate kicks in for oil industry
Oil companies and offshore contractors have had 13 months to comply with a year-old government mandate requiring broad safety management systems designed to reduce human errors and to shrink operational risks. But on Tuesday, the clock winds down, as the federal government begins enforcing its requirement for Safety and Environmental Management Systems — or SEMS programs — that are meant to force oil and gas companies to systematically identify risks at every stage of their work
California OSHA regulations versus federal OSHA
If you’re just launching operations in California, or already have workers there, it’s essential to know the key differences in the California OSHA regulations versus the federal ones. For the most part, they’re more stringent than the federal OSHA rules, and cover such varied areas as Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPPs), recordkeeping, hazardous chemicals, and ergonomics. In a BLR webinar titled “Cal/OSHA vs. Federal OSHA: The Key Differences Multistate Employers Must Be Aware Of,” Todd Hunt, Esq., outlined some of the key differences that employers who have employees in California – even if your headquarters is not there – need to keep in mind.
OSHA focuses on ‘intolerable’ worker safety at nursing homes
The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has released detailed data on injuries and illnesses at nursing home facilities that the OSHA administrator is calling “intolerable.” The incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work in 2010 for health care support workers increased 6 percent to 283 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, almost 2 1/2 times the rate for all private and public sector workers, at 118 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.
OSHA questions SeaWorld San Diego killer-whale trainer as safety hearing resumes
The second week of a legal hearing examining the safety of killer-whale trainers at SeaWorld Orlando opened Tuesday with government lawyers summoning a trainer from SeaWorld San Diego to the stand. John Black, lead lawyer for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, questioned Ken Peters about several dangerous incidents that Peters has been involved in during his 18 years as a killer-whale trainer at SeaWorld’s California park. In each case, Black noted that Peters and fellow trainers were able only after the fact to determine the specific negative indicators from their whales that suggested the animals were about to behave dangerously, either because the trainers missed the “precursors” or because they were not yet aware of them.
Questions two decades after Hamlet chicken plant tragedy
A 1991 fire that began in a deep fryer at a chicken plant in Hamlet took the lives of 25 workers. The tragic incident led to an overhaul of state workplace safety regulations and shed light on problems with the North Carolina inspection process. Two decades later, some safety advocates say budget cuts are causing current lags in inspections.
Survey: Company execs anticipate rise in whistleblower claims
Littler Mendelson, P.C. (Littler), a nationwide employment and labor law firm representing management, has released results of its National Whistleblower Survey. With the new financial incentives for whistleblowers created by Dodd-Frank in effect, the survey revealed that companies are increasingly concerned about whistleblowing activity. An overwhelming majority of respondents (96%) indicated they are either very concerned (27%) or moderately concerned (69%) about potential whistleblower claims and 73% identified whistleblowing and retaliation as emerging risk areas.
Group protests work conditions at fruit packer in Livonia
Conditions and complaints against a Livonia fruit packing company were the subject of a protest outside state OSHA offices on Monday. The group — consisting of current and former employees, as well as union representatives, immigration reform activists and state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, and the Rev. John Pitts Jr. — spoke before filing complaints about conditions at the Mastronardi Produce plant.
OSHA cites Utica-area feed processor after employee death
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Harbor Point Mineral Products in Utica for 21 violations in the wake of their investigation into the death of a Mohawk man working at the facility. 24-year-old Craig Bernier died when he was engulfed in cotton seed in a silo at the facility.
Legacy Farms worker’s condition improved, OSHA probe continues
The condition of a construction worker hurt at Legacy Farms Thursday has improved, a family member said, though he faced two surgeries yesterday and has at least a month left in the hospital. The 42-year-old was crushed at the East Hopkinton project when two Bobcat-type vehicles backed into him and collided, Cruz has said. He suffered internal bleeding, a detached jaw, collapsed lungs, a lacerated liver and broken shoulders, ribs and facial bones.
Puncture: Exposure for bloodborne pathogen exposure
A dedicated and hard-working nurse is going through a normal shift. Checking vital signs, updating medical records, administering medications, comforting patients, drawing blood samples, inserting IVs, and then OUCH! What just happened? Is that a red dot underneath the glove? This can’t be right… One such story has been protrayed in the film Puncture. According to Roger Ebert’s review, “Puncture dramatizes this dilemma with its based-on-life story about two low-rent Houston lawyers who take on the personal injury case of Vicky (Vinessa Shaw), a nurse who contracts AIDS after an accidental stick.”This scenario has unfolded thousands of times among health care workers, often with tragic results. The CDC estimates that about 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur annually among health care workers in hospitals—with nurses the most affected healthcare occupation.