Today's NewsA nose-down plane landing, new legal developments in Deepwater Horizon disaster and a factory safety law passed in Bangladesh are among this week’s top EHS-related stories as featured on

Halliburton admits to destroying evidence in Deepwater Horizon disaster

Company will pay a fine, serve probation

Halliburton Energy Services has agreed to plead guilty and pay the maximum fine for destroying evidence in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, U.S. Justice Department announced yesterday.

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Lack of sleep a major cause of fatal NJ school bus-truck crash

Speeding, defective brakes also played a role

A school bus driver’s failure to observe a truck as it was approaching the intersection caused a 2012 collision in New Jersey that killed one student and injured fifteen more students and the driver, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

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NY contractor exposes workers to asbestos

Hospital who hired company cited, too

OSHA has cited the University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital and DGA Builders LLC, both of Rochester, for 14 serious violations of workplace safety and health standards, chiefly involving asbestos. The companies face a combined total of $53,200 in proposed fines, following an inspection.

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EPA expands list of safer chemical ingredients

Fragrance-containing cleansers added for first time

The EPA has added more than 130 chemicals to its Safer Chemical Ingredients List including, for the first time, 119 chemicals that use fragrance for commercial and consumer cleaning products.

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Oil rig continues to burn in Gulf

No workers injured in blaze

Firefighters continue to battle a burning oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico which broke out Monday night. News sources say the rig has partially collapsed because of a ruptured natural gas well. The 44 workers on the rig were evacuated into two lifeboats and no injuries have been reported.

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Transocean ordered to turn over subpoenaed documents to CSB

Owner of Deepwater Horizon has resisted subpoenas for nearly 3 years

The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans, Louisiana this week refused to grant Transocean Deepwater Drilling, Inc., owner of the Deepwater Horizon, a stay of a recent federal district court order that the company promptly turn over documents that the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has subpoenaed from the company for its investigation into the April 2010 explosion at the Macondo drilling facility in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Authorities aim for zero traffic fatalities along I-80 for rest of July

"More Cops, More Stops"

In an effort that stretches 2,900 miles across the continental U.S., law enforcement officers in 11 states are focused on preventing traffic deaths along I-80 throughout the remainder of July – typically one of the deadliest periods of the year on the busy route.

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After hot work fatality, DuPont improves safety procedures

Changes recommended by CSB

DuPont has adopted a new global corporate standard and developed stronger work requirements for hot work activities such as welding, cutting and grinding following a fatal hot work accident at the company’s Yerkes chemical facility in Buffalo, New York in 2010.

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NTSB looking into Monday’s nose-down landing at LaGuardia

Plane skidded 2,000+ feet

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating Monday’s nose-down landing of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

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Skipping breakfast may increase coronary heart disease risk

Here’s more evidence why breakfast may be the most important meal of the day: Men who reported that they regularly skipped breakfast had a higher risk of a heart attack or fatal coronary heart disease in a study reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

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Bangladesh passes new factory worker safety law

Does it go far enough?

In the face of international criticism over the dangerous conditions in its garment factories, Bangladeshi has passed a new law aimed at improving conditions – although the export-oriented factories which make up the bulk of Bangladesh’ garment industry are exempted from a major provision.

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Where you live in U.S. affects how long you live

Healthy life expectancies at age 65 highest in Hawaii, lowest in Mississippi

Residents of the South regardless of race, and blacks throughout the United States, have lower healthy life expectancy at age 65, according to a report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Oil worker dies after being struck by pressure line while servicing well

Halliburton fined $14,000

Halliburton has been cited by OSHA for two serious safety violations after a worker was fatally injured Jan. 19 when struck by a high-pressure line while servicing a well on an oil rig in Watford City, North Dakota.

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OSHA outreach campaign aimed at reducing MSDs among health care workers

40,000+ injuries per year

OSHA has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the hazards likely to cause musculoskeletal disorders among health care workers responsible for patient care. These disorders include sprains, strains, soft tissue and back injuries.

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Whistleblower to get his job back

Technician fired after reporting breaches of lead abatement protocol

Coit Services of Ohio has been ordered to pay $161,228 in back wages, compensatory damages and interest, plus attorney's fees, to a technician following an investigation by OSHA found that the Bedford Heights company violated the whistle-blower provisions of the Clean Air Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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Government watchdog group frustrated with Obama’s weak regulatory agenda

Silica exposure rule could see movement, though

The 2013 spring agenda published by White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) earlier this month fails to show a strong commitment to advancing public health, safety or environmental protections, according to the Center for Effective Government, a D.C. watchdog group.

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McCarthy, Perez confirmed as heads of EPA & Labor Dept.

After filibuster dispute is settled, Senate finally gets to work

A Congressional bottleneck that had been going on for years finally got some resolution last week when Senators voted to confirm Gina McCarthy as head of the EPA and Thomas Perez as secretary of Labor.

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USF shows students promise of occupational safety & health fields

By Mark Schreiner

When most people hear the phrase "occupational health and safety," they probably think of OSHA, the federal government organization that regulates workplace health and safety. Others may just think of researchers in huge moon suits, breathing through respirators like Darth Vader while they investigate some on-the-job mishap.

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