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December 22, 2012
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Worker fired for refusing to enter trench with no cave-in protection

A company that terminated an employee who refused to enter a 15-foot-deep trench without adequate cave-in protection has run afoul of OSHA. The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against DKS Structural Services -- doing business as Don Kennedy and Sons House Moving Co. -- and owner Jeffrey Kennedy after OSHA determined that the Huntsville, Al. company had violated Section 11(c) of the OSH Act's Section 11.

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Oil, gas “Rig Check” inspection forms available

NIOSH has released “Rig Check,” a collection of 35 inspection forms designed to be used by rig workers during the inspection of tools and equipment on oil and gas rigs. The monthly inspection forms cover emergency response, electrical safety, fall protection, stairways and walkways, lines and slings, tools, hoses, chemical hazards, ladders and platforms, and other equipment used on oil and gas rigs.

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Raani Corp. supervisor refuses to call 911 for severely burned worker

New report on fatality reveals dangers faced by temp workers

A worker cleaning a Raani Corp.chemical tank in llinois last year was burned over 80 percent of his body when by a 185-degree solution of water and citric acid – and his supervisor refused to call 911. Carlos Centeno arrived at Loyola Hospital Burn Center 98 minutes later – after having first been driven to a local occupational health clinic by a co-worker. He died of his injuries three weeks later.

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Regulatory roadblocks of 2012 likely to remain in 2013

A government watchdog group says that anti-regulation lawmakers used procedural hurdles and attacks on science to block new federal laws standards in 2012  - and that they're likely to continue that strategy in the coming year. "Both efforts are likely to re-emerge next year,” predicts OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that monitors actions by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

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For winter travel, keep your tank full and your phone charged, says AIHA

Being prepared can help travelers avoid dangerous situations in winter, says the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), which is passing along some travel safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that are especially useful this season.

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Most workers would seek alternatives if health benefits are taxed

If Congress – in its quest to rein in the federal deficit – decides to tax workers’ health benefits, more than half of American workers would either switch to a less costly plan, shop around, or drop coverage, according to new research from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

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Elliott Berger to receive National Hearing Conservation Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Elliott H. Berger, M.S., Division Scientist for 3M’s Occupational Health & Environmental Safety Division, will be presented with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) Lifetime Achievement Award in St. Petersburg, FL, in February, 2013.

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Americans go to work sick - and spread the germs

Americans don’t like to take sick days – and when they’re sick, they don’t take steps to prevent co-workers from getting sick, too. Those conclusions come from a new study commissioned by Cintas Corporation, which found that 84% of U.S. adults who are employed have gone to work while sick. Of those, 45 percent don’t warn co-workers about their illness, and 45 percent don’t avoid direct contact – such as shaking hands – which could transmit an illness to others.

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No LO/TO gets NJ manufacturer severe violator status

OSHA has added Pandrol USA in Bridgeport, NJ to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) after the company was cited for 25 safety and health violations – including three willful. Proposed penalties total $283,500.

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USPS cited in heat-related death of letter carrier

OSHA has cited the U.S. Postal Service Truman Station in Independence, Mo., with a willful violation for failing to protect employees working in excessive heat. OSHA initiated an inspection in July after a mail carrier developed heat-related illness symptoms, collapsed while working his route and was taken to the hospital where he died as a result of his exposure to excessive heat.

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