Killing regulations endangers jobs and workers
With tens of millions of Americans still out of work and searching for jobs this new year, our nation’s elected leaders need to get serious about putting Americans back to work. Unfortunately, there’s nothing serious about the supposed “job creator” bills that the House of Representatives passed along party lines late last year, unless your goal is to do serious damage to the government’s ability to protect Americans through sensible rules and protections.
Getting ready to react to Fukushima
Reacting to Japan’s Fukushima disaster, the nuclear industry is preparing to present regulators with a streamlined package of voluntary safety improvements that it says could be put into effect quickly — although they would not be certified as formal nuclear standards regarding specific threats. On Friday, representatives of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s policy group, plan to meet with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to propose improvements in the industry’s “flexible mitigation capability” for a variety of hazards. Those might be earthquakes or flooding — although probably not from a tsunami, as was the case at Fukushima Daiichi in March — or some other hazard peculiar to the plant’s location, like a sandstorm.
‘One death in our mines is one death too many’
Here is what Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in his State of the State speech to summarize his promised mine safety reform legislation: Just as we must continue to mine coal, we must make certain that our miners are safe. We have created a new rock dusting laboratory. We have increased the number and the salaries for our mine inspectors. We are re-checking our rescue chambers to make sure that they are safe. And, we have diligently worked to determine the causes of the Upper Big Branch disaster to make sure a disaster like that never happens again!
Why all this stress data will be the death of us
Stress can be a good thing — a motivator, a survival mechanism — until it reaches levels where the body can’t cope with haywire hormones, whipsawing enzymes and misfiring neurotransmitters. Then stress becomes a health problem. Then it becomes high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, cardiac arrest, insomnia, death, death, death.
Pepsi Beverages pays $3.1M in racial bias case
Pepsi Beverages Co. will pay $3.1 million to settle federal charges of race discrimination for using criminal background checks to screen out job applicants — even if they weren’t convicted of a crime. The settlement announced Wednesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is part of a national government crackdown on hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics.
Nike factory to pay $1m to Indonesian workers for overtime
A Nike factory has agreed to pay $1m in unpaid overtime to Indonesian workers in a move that could force other suppliers of multinational companies to follow suit. Nearly 4,500 employees at one of the sportswear group’s suppliers, the PT Nikomas shoe plant in Banten province, will be compensated for close to 600,000 hours of overtime clocked up over the past two years.
US Department of Labor notifies workers of 17 facilities associated with Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act about potential eligibility under EEOICPA
The U.S. Department of Labor is notifying former workers of 17 facilities associated with the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act about compensation and medical benefits potentially available to them under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act, which is administered by the department’s Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation. Survivors of qualified workers also may be entitled to benefits.
Village Pantry victim’s family outraged, barred from meeting Wednesday
An Indianapolis family is outraged after being barred from a meeting about increasing safety measures for convenience store workers. The Department of Labor will hold what they call a “working meeting”, involving convenience store representatives Wednesday. It comes partly in response to the shooting of Marcy Birnell, a Village Pantry employee who was shot in the head by a teenager during an attempted robbery back in October. Her family is fighting for a law to require companies to provide more protection.
Owner of NH gunpowder firm charged in death of 2
The owner of a New Hampshire gunpowder factory has been indicted on criminal charges stemming from an explosion at the Colebrook plant that killed two workers. Sixty-two-year-old Craig Michael Sanborn, of Maidstone, Vt., was indicted last week in Coos Superior Court in Lancaster on charges of manslaughter and negligent homicide.
Lucky Friday workers face year-long mine closure
Hecla Mining Company said this morning that it would close the Lucky Friday silver mine for a year to clean its main shaft as required by federal regulators, a move that will put 200-some miners and contract workers out of jobs. Federal mine inspectors, who are investigating accidents at the Mullan, Idaho, mine, closed down Lucky Friday’s main shaft last week as a result of hazards associated with sand and gravel buildup in the shaft. The vertical shaft is the underground silver mine’s main entrance and exit, and hauls both workers and materials.