In a first-ever action, a company and its former managers were criminally prosecuted for institutional harassment associated with suicides among the company’s employees.
In a judgment last month, the Paris Criminal Court sentenced France Telecom to a fine of 75,000 euros - the maximum penalty – for institutional harassment that had spread from the leadership to the rest of the company in 2007-2008.
"OSHA will continue to use BLS data for enforcement targeting within its jurisdiction to help prevent tragedies," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. "Inspections for OSHA were up, and we will work with state plans so employers and workers can find compliance assistance tools in many forms or call the agency to report unsafe working conditions. Any fatality is one too many."
After increasing steadily from 2005 - 2015, workplace suicides in the U.S. hit a new record high in 2016 – 291 – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A total of 1,719 male and female workers committed suicide on the job between 2003 and 2007. Those numbers only takes into account suicides that occur at work.
Among occupational groups, male employees of construction and mining companies had the highest suicide rate: 53.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2015, up from 43.6 in 2012.
With suicide rates rising in the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing the establishment of 988 as a national 3-digit number to help people access suicide prevention and mental health services. While a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline already exists – and can reached at (1-800-273-TALK) – FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says an easy-to-reach number would result in more people getting the assistance they need.
The idea sounded fishy to Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman. She was not about to put her name on a ghostwritten article for a medical journal. But she was curious, so she played along for a while.
An associate professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, Fugh-Berman was contacted in 2004 by a medical communications firm working for drug maker AstraZeneca with a proposition: Would she like an author credit on a forthcoming article to be submitted to a journal?
The NSC issues guidance for employers and cannabis use among workers; the NYPD tries a new strategy to combat police depressions and the AIHA partners with international organizations to help clear the (indoor) air. These were among the stop stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
Unsafe shortcuts lead to worker deaths, how to liven up safety trainings and the feds limit opioid prescriptions for injured workers. These were among the top occupational safety and health stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
September 9-15th, 2018 was National Suicide Prevention week. Workplace suicide and mental health in general are often underrepresented in workplace health and safety discussions. However, globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability (WHO, 2017). In the US, the suicide mortality rate increased by 24% from 1999 to 2014, particularly among middle-age adults.
For decades, when a member of the International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, or SMART, (formerly the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association) had a personal problem, they would turn to a fellow member for help. For small issues, friends and mentors dispensed good advice just fine.
Among the articles in the April 2020 issue of ISHN Magazine, we get some expert advice on how to strengthen safety by emphasizing equipment reliability, discuss the methods that really work to identify hazards, consider ergonomic options in the materials handling industry, and much more.