If Congress Can’t Comply With OSHA, How Can the Rest of Us?

Good question, and the answer is probably that complying with the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) probably requires constant vigilance. An Office of Compliance inspection recently showed that 70 percent of all Congressional offices exhibit employee workplace safety violations. The good news is that most of the infractions are minor compared […]

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OSHA Set to Regulate Popcorn Butter

No word yet on what effect it will have on the popcorn you buy in the theater or microwave in a bag at home, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is set to regulate the use of diacetyl–the buttery-taste substance in commercial popcorn. Exposure to the chemical’s fumes can cause a horribly debilitating disease […]

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OSHA Seeks Public Commentary on Combustible Dust

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed  Rulemaking (ANPR) on developing a standard on combustible dust. OSHA has identified the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and its standard NFPA 652 as the basis for the new OSHA standard. An electronic comment form and instructions are available at www.regulations.gov in Docket […]

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DOL Releases 2010 Agenda: Welcome Back, Ergonomics

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its agenda for the coming year, and it has a few surprises to spring on American business. First (for discussion’s sake), the DOL wants each paycheck to come with a stub or explanation of hours worked, overtime paid and everything else that went into the computation of the […]

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David Michaels Confirmed by Voice Vote as OSHA Head

The Senate, without a committee confirmation hearing or discussion on the floor, has approved David Michaels as Deputy Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in other words, the chief of OSHA. Michaels was confirmed along with a host of other nominees in a simple voice vote. Michaels from the beginning was a controversial […]

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One in Four Believes a Co-Worker Capable of Violence

In the wake of the workplace murder of Yale student Annie Le and other tales of co-worker-initiated mass violence such as that at Ft. Hood, one in every four Americans believes a co-worker he or she knows is capable of violence, according to a new Rasmussen poll. According to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone […]

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GAO Faults OSHA for Its Injury-Illness Audits

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report faulting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for its handling of the injury-illness reports it collects each year from the nation’s businesses. Each year OSHA audits about 250 of the injury-illness reports it receives from approximately 130,000 high-hazard work sites in the United States. The […]

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Wal-Mart Agrees to Another $85 Million Wage Settlement

Wal-Mart has agreed to, and a judge approved, a plan to settle unpaid-wage lawsuits for up to $85 million. The lawsuits, 30 in all that were combined into one before U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro in Las Vegas, alleged time clock manipulation and denial of rest periods to workers in several states. Lawyers for […]

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BP Slapped With Largest Fine in OSHA History

BP is the recipient of the largest fine in OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) history–$87 million, or four times the previous record–for a 2005 accident at a refinery in Texas City, Texas, that claimed 15 workers’ lives. The fines were levied for BP’s alleged failure to correct 271 hazards ($56.7 million) and for another 439 "willful […]

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New HIPAA Breach Rule Breached by CalOptima

Provisions in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was part of the stimulus package passed in February, created new security and breach rules for those covered by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), but afforded everyone a six-month window to achieve full compliance that runs into 2010. […]

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