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Daughter’s Severe Burn Injuries Set California Mother On Crusade For Burn injury Awareness, Regulations

A California mother whose teenage daughter was severely burned by a container of bio-fuel that lacked a flame arrester on its mouth has become one of the leading voices in the nation for burn injury awareness, safety, and legislation. Margaret Priest Lewis described to MomZette the horrific event at her Sonoma, California, home in 2014 that forever changed the lives of her and her daughter. In June of that year, Nicolette Lewis, 16, her twin sister Ally, and two friends were about to roast marshmallows and make s’mores in a portable, ventless bio-ethanol fireplace.  Mrs. Priest told MomZette that they ... Read More

Seafood fraud harms consumers, honest businesses, and the environment

Seafood fraud is rampant in the U.S. according to an extensive two-year scientific study led by the conservation group Oceana, but almost nothing has been done to curb the problem until now. Recognizing the special threats that seafood fraud poses, some states have started taking measures to crack down on fraudulent seafood labeling and selling. According to Oceana, one-third of more than 1,200 seafood samples it collected nationwide and sampled for the study were confirmed through DNA testing to be mislabeled. Samples sold as snapper and tuna accounted for the most fraudulently mislabeled types of seafood. In fact, only seven ... Read More

NHTSA reconsidering how it publicizes automaker fines

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering changes in the way it publicizes penalties against auto manufacturers after it failed to publicize collecting millions of dollars in fines from Ford Motor Company for its failure to notify agency regulators in a timely manner of a safety defect in some of its sport utility vehicles. NHTSA officials launched a preliminary investigation on July 17, 2012 of Ford Escape SUVs made in 2001-2004, following consumer complaints of poorly performing accelerator pedals. Eight days later, Ford notified the NHTSA that it planned to recall more than 423,000 of the Escape models. ... Read More

Senate Committee passes bill to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT workers

A bipartisan bill that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has passed a Senate Committee by a vote of 15 to 7. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, received the support of all 12 Democrats and 3 Republicans on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). According to the Huffington Post, the committee spent just 10 minutes discussing the bill before voting it forward. The Committee Chairman, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), said that the speed at which the bill passed ... Read More

Panama City Beach parasailing crash triggers safety regulation debates

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. –Two Indiana teenage girls parasailing in Panama City Beach were critically injured Monday when the line that tethered them to the boat snapped, sending them crashing into the side of a high-rise condominium building. The incident, caught on video, has re-ignited a statewide debate on parasailing safety and whether the industry should remain self-regulated. Sidney Renea Good, 17, of Roanoake, Ind., and Alexis Fairchild, 17, of Huntington, Ind., were parasailing with Aquatic Adventures Monday when the towing line broke and high winds carried them overland. Video shows the girls slamming into one building before hurling into ... Read More

Most fireworks injuries and deaths occur in June and July, U.S. safety officials report

In 2012, six men died as a result of fireworks-related injuries and another 8,700 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related wounds, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CPSC officials released the latest fireworks safety report last week ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, which is traditionally when the majority of the injuries occur. According to the report, more than 5,000 Americans were treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012. More than half of the reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head, and ... Read More

Babies forgotten in the backseat of hot cars: 2013 set to match deadliest year on record

It’s probably the worst fate that can fall upon any young child in modern times, being forgotten and left in the backseat of a hot car, where temperatures rise to deadly levels within minutes. And in almost every such deadly incident, dozens of which occur every year, parents are left to face to a lifetime of inconsolable grief and guilt, and even possible prison time. Sadly, this year is set to be one of the deadliest years on record for children who are accidentally locked inside vehicles on hot days, the Huffington Post reports. Every year, on average, 38 children ... Read More

California sues BP for ignoring, breaking state’s anti-pollution laws

California Attorney General Kamala Harris and district attorneys from eight California counties have filed a civil lawsuit against BP and its subsidiary Arco over what appears to be a chronic habit of violating state laws controlling the handling of hazardous materials and hazardous waste. The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, accuses BP Products North America, BP West Coast Products, and Atlantic Richfield Co. (Arco) of flouting state laws since 2006 by failing to maintain, monitor, and inspect underground fuel storage tanks at about 800 BP and Arco gas stations throughout California. The lawsuit also accuses the energy companies ... Read More

OSHA orders reinstatement of pilot fired for reporting safety concerns to FAA

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered the reinstatement of a pilot who alleged he was fired over his unwillingness to participate in fraudulent activity on the job and for reporting his concerns to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The pilot’s employer, Northern Illinois Flight Center, was also ordered to compensate the pilot more than $500,000 in back pay, benefits, and damages. According to OSHA, “the whistleblower, a pilot from Illinois, was dismissed after contacting the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss violations of the pilot certification process.” The pilot alleges his employer asked him to falsify an ... Read More

Railroad companies ordered to compensate workers fired for reporting injuries, work dangers

CHICAGO, ILL–Two railroad companies must pay three workers a total of nearly $651,000 in back wages and damages after terminating them in retaliation for simply reporting workplace injuries and safety concerns, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported. According to OHSA, one employee of Central Illinois Railroad, a conductor, was injured in August 2008 when a knuckle that connects railroad cars allegedly broke, causing the railcars to suddenly jolt as they were being switched. The jarring motion caused the conductor to fall, knocking him unconscious and giving him multiple injuries to his shoulder, back, and head. The railroad ... Read More