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Archive for the ‘Safety & Health’ Category

National Safety Month Free Employer Tools

Each June, the National Safety Council encourages organizations to get involved and participate in National Safety Month. NSM is an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. Each week carries a theme that brings attention to critical safety issues.

2012 Weekly Themes
Week 1: Employee wellness and PALA+ Challenge
Week 2: Ergonomics
Week 3: Preventing slips, trips and falls
Week 4: Driving safety

The live webinars are only $119 and come with a great deal of information! The recorded webinars are free! Check them out yourself and I know you will to use some of the excellent tools. Great job NSC!

Categories: Safety & Health

Employer Relies on Hearsay Evidence to Support an the Issuance of a Restraining Order Against an Employee in Order to Prevent Workplace Violence

January 16, 2012 Leave a comment

This case represents one of the scariest scenarios related to workplace safety. Apparently, after being terminated, the former nurse employee and her husband returned to the hospital where she worked to visit some former patients. When told she was not to be in the nurses’ area, her husband made threats to the managing nurses. The court eventually upheld a three-year “stay away” injunction over the plaintiffs’ complaint that the Court relied on hearsay statements to issue the injunction. The statute involved, which is similar to that found in many states, allows an employer to seek a temporary restraining order and an injunction on the behalf of an employee who has already suffered violence or a credible threat of violence carried out in the workplace. The employer may obtain a temporary restraining order if the affected employee files an affidavit that, to the satisfaction of the court, shows reasonable proof that an employee has suffered unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence by the defendant, and that greater irreparable harm would result to an employee.

The question in this case is whether typical rules of evidence (like those related to hearsay) apply to this type of procedure. The court ruled that due to the unique and expedited context pertaining to a workplace violence injunctions that the typical rules of evidence do not apply. Kaiser Foundation Hospital v. Jeff Wilson, 4th Appellate District http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/D058491.PDF

Lesson to employers: You have an obligation to seek these types of injunctions should you catch wind of a credible threat. Remember, the last thing you want is to have any regret afterward because you did not make every effort possible to prevent violence, even if based on hearsay statements.

Categories: Safety & Health

A Timeline of American Employee Rights

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Inc. Magazine did an excellent article on the history of the workplace you can read by clicking here.

OSHA’s Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers

Heat illness can be deadly. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. These illnesses and deaths are preventable.

This webpage is part of OSHA’s nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather. The educational resources on this website give workers and employers information about heat illnesses and how to prevent them. There are also training tools for employers to use and posters to display at their worksites. Many of the new resources target vulnerable workers with limited reading skills or who do not speak English as a first language. OSHA will continue to add information and tools to this page throughout the summer.

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html

Categories: OSHA, Safety & Health

Department of Labor Web Tool Helps Employers Understand OSHA Recordkeeping

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new Web tool to help employers understand their responsibilities to report and record work-related injuries and illnesses under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. 

The OSHA Recordkeeping Advisor helps employers and others responsible for organizational safety and health quickly determine whether an injury or illness is work-related; whether a work-related injury or illness needs to be recorded; and which provisions of the regulations apply when recording a work-related injury or illness.  To help employers in making these determinations, the OSHA Recordkeeping Advisor relies on their responses to a series of pre-set questions. 

You may access the OSHA Recordkeeping Advisor from the DOL web site at: www.dol.gov/elaws/osharecordkeeping.htm.

Categories: OSHA, Safety & Health

Floods and Tornadoes: Keeping Disaster Site Workers Safe During Cleanup and Recovery Operations

Here is some helpful info from OSHA on keeping workers safe during flood and tornado recovery operations:
www.osha.gov/OshDoc/flood-tornado-recovery.html#guides

Categories: Safety & Health

Beat the HEAT

The DOL issued a press release which provides plenty of sound advice “If you’re working outdoors, you’re at risk for heat-related illnesses that can cause serious medical problems and even death,” said Secretary Solis at stops in Anaheim, Calif.; Tucson, Ariz., and Las Vegas, Nev. “But heat illness can be prevented. This Labor Department campaign will reach across the country with a very simple message – water, rest and shade.” Each year, thousands of outdoor workers experience heat illness, which often manifests as heat exhaustion. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, which killed more than 30 workers last year. Heat can be a real danger for workers in jobs ranging from agriculture and landscaping to construction, road repair, airport baggage handling and even car sales. OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training.

Categories: OSHA, Safety & Health