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workers 59 articles

Airline attendants may soon receive OSHA workplace protections

Thousands of U.S. flight attendants may soon enjoy better workplace safety protections, thanks to a long-awaited proposal by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to open airline cabins to the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). For decades, flight attendants and other crew members who earn their living in the sky have not enjoyed the comprehensive OSHA regulatory standards and protections as most other U.S. workers, being bound instead to the Transportation Department’s FAA regulations. “Safety is our highest priority and that certainly extends to those who work in the transportation industry,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Under this ... Read More

Worker death leads to multiple fines for Mississippi nutritional company

A health and wellness company that makes omega-3 products for human and animal consumption was cited with 25 safety and health violations following the death of a worker who became caught in a rotating screw conveyer at the company’s Mississippi processing plant. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the workplace fatality triggered an inspection of Houston, Texas-based Omega Protein Inc.’s plant in Moss Point, Miss. Inspectors found 21 serious violations of safety and health regulations at the plant, in addition to four “other- than-serious” violations. OSHA deems a violation serious when it poses a substantial risk of ... Read More

Jury awards Illinois worker record $4.16 million for work-related fall injuries

CHICAGO, ILL—A DuPage, Illinois County court awarded a Chicago-area man $4.16 million for serious injuries he received while providing the city of Elmhurst an estimate on fixing a broken garage door spring. Court records state that Joshua Jaeger, 29, went to an Elmhurst Public Works garage in November 2009 to examine the repair needed. A city employee lifted Mr. Jaeger, a garage door serviceman, 16 feet into the air with a forklift. When Mr. Jaeger moved from one side of the platform to the other, the platform gave way, sending Mr. Jaeger crashing to the concrete floor below.  Mr. Jaeger ... Read More

U.S. worker deaths down slightly overall in 2011, but up in some industries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary report on workplace fatalities in the United States holds some good and bad news for the average American worker. According to the 2011 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), on-the-job deaths trended slightly downward overall in 2011, with some increases in certain industries and types of death. Preliminary records show that the rate of fatal work injuries in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time workers, down slightly from the final rate of 3.6 per 100,000 workers in 2010. Increases in the final data over the last three years have averaged 166 deaths (3 ... Read More

OSHA targets construction site fall hazards in the Southeast

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a program in four Southern states aimed at exposing fall hazards at construction sites, the agency’s Atlanta offices announced. The program, which kicked off on August 20, comes in response to an upward trend in the number of falling deaths within the construction industry. Construction work consistently ranks as one of the country’s deadliest occupations, according to Labor Department records, and falling hazards are mostly to blame. In fact, falls are one of the four leading causes of all workplace fatalities in the Southeastern U.S. In 2010, there were 264 ... Read More

Labor Rights Week focuses on safety and fair compensation for all workers

Friday, August 31 marks the final day of Labor Rights Week, a series of annual events organized by the U.S. Department of Labor to educate workers about their basic workplace rights and to raise awareness of workplace safety and fair compensation. The theme for the week’s events, “Promoting Labor Rights is Everyone’s Responsibility,” underscores the importance of partnerships between the Labor Department and other countries to educate migrant workers and their employers about U.S. labor laws. “Making America’s workplaces safe and fair for everyone is the hallmark of Labor Rights Week,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.” We’re committed to ensuring ... Read More

Exxon Valdez a deadly precedent for health of BP oil spill victims

When plaintiffs’ lawyers came to an agreement with BP in March, they wanted to make sure that coastal residents and cleanup workers facing medical problems tied to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill would be covered now and in the future. The settlement was divided into two classes, with one class devoted to economic claims and the other covering medical claims and setting up special programs to monitor and enhance the health of Gulf Coast residents, especially in some of its underserved communities. One of the key aspects of the medical agreement stipulates that coastal residents and oil-spill cleanup ... Read More

Alabama manufacturer gets steep OSHA fines for endangering workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Birmingham, Alabama, office has rebuked a fabrication company based in Albertville, Ala., for disregarding the health and safety of its employees by ignoring several federal safety regulations. OSHA issued 19 safety citations to FABCO Equipment Co. following an investigation at its Albertville facility. Penalties for the violations total $71,764. OSHA investigators identified the workplace hazards while conducting a follow-up investigation to one conducted in November 2009. The investigation resulted in one failure-to-abate health citation with a proposed penalty of $7,700, alleging the company failed to train employees in using and handling hazardous chemicals. OSHA ... Read More

OSHA hits U.S. Postal Service with hefty fines for endangering workers

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the U.S. Postal Service for workplace safety violations involving electrical safety hazards found at a Pittsburgh mail processing facility. OSHA proposed penalties of $299,500 for the violations. An employee complaint prompted the inspections, which OSHA launched in October 2009. Inspectors later cited the Postal Service with four willful violations incurring a fine of $265,000, two serious violations with a penalty of $9,500, and one repeat violation carrying a fine of $25,000. OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels said the Postal Service demonstrated a “blatant disregard ... Read More