Browsing articles tagged with " Job Safety"
Mar 8, 2014
Mary Oso

Tropicana reaches five-year deal with Culinary, Bartenders unions – Las Vegas Review

The Tropicana said Thursday it reached tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract with Culinary Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, covering some 650 nongaming employees at the Strip resort.

The deal with between the hotel and the negotiating committee still needs to be ratified by the employees.

The Tropicana is the first independent hotel-casino to reach agreement with the unions on a new five-year contract to replace deals that expired in June 2013.

The unions had previously reached deals covering casinos operated by MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment that cover nearly 20 Strip resorts.

The Tropicana deal comes as union members prepare to vote on a strike authorization that could lead to walkouts at several Strip and downtown hotel-casinos.

“We are thrilled that our collaboration with Tropicana has resulted in reaching an agreement that is mutually beneficial,” Culinary secretary treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline said in a statement.

The economic package, agreed to by both parties, mirrors what was agreed to with MGM Resorts and Caesars.

Workers will keep their health insurance. Also, changes were negotiated for food and beverage operations to allow for flexibility in closed and distressed venues with the goals of reopening shops and bringing workers back to their jobs.

New housekeeping language will increase job safety by creating measures designed to deal with hazardous work conditions.

Employees covered by the contract include workers in food and beverage, housekeeping, cocktails and the bell departments.

A date for a ratification vote was not set.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

Mar 6, 2014
Mary Oso

‘Right to work’ laws would hurt Delawareans

Delaware’s snowy winter has been especially difficult for the thousands in our state who can’t find good jobs to support themselves and their families, or who feel trapped in jobs that don’t pay them enough to meet their needs and plan for their futures. They read about record days for the stock market, growing GDP or rising home prices, and they feel like they’re falling behind.

I see it every day in the district I represent, and my colleagues in Legislative Hall see it where they live also. It’s our duty to try to change things for the better during our terms in office, to put forth ideas that will broaden prosperity in our state and give the people we represent the best opportunity to provide for their families.

It’s also our duty to speak up when we hear others talking about ideas that we know will do more to harm the prosperity of Delaware’s middle class than they will to lift it.

Recently, some elected officials have suggested Delaware move toward becoming a “right to work” state, limiting workers’ ability to organize and negotiate.

A plan has been presented to designate stand-alone “right to work” zones at certain industrial sites in Delaware; zones where unions would be handicapped in their ability to represent workers’ interests and collectively bargain with the companies employing them.

Though the doctrine of “right to work” is presented as a pro-jobs, pro-worker concept, the term itself is misleading. In fact, “right to work” has almost nothing to do with the rights of workers, and everything to do with a certain partisan, anti-union message presented on behalf of big business.

I have lived in a union household my entire life. My dad was a union electrician for over 30 years. For many years, I worked in the office of a union contracting company. And my husband was a member of the United Auto Workers for 29 years until General Motors closed its Boxwood Road plant in Newport. One of these “right to work” zones being proposed is the former GM plant, which is right next to my district.

Several states across the country have adopted “right to work” laws of some form over the years, which means we can compare prosperity in states where organized labor is free to represent workers and states where workers’ rights to organize are curtailed.

A 2012 report from the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan agency of Congress, showed there is no conclusive evidence proving “right to work” laws spur job growth or reduce unemployment.

The CRS did find hard evidence that shows average wages are $7,000 lower per person in “right to work” states than in states that respect the role of unions. That is a huge hit for families when every dollar counts.

The report also cited research showing better records of on-the-job safety and lower rates of work-related injuries in states where unions are more active.

The union jobs that supported me and my family through the years are exactly the kind of jobs we wish we had more of in Delaware and across the country: a mix of skilled and unskilled positions that came with stability, good wages and benefits families can count on.

The rationale behind the “right to work” plans floated here recently is that companies will be more likely to locate in Delaware if they don’t have to worry about their workers someday attempting to negotiate their pay, benefits and working conditions. It’s hanging out a sign to the corporate world that says “Come to Delaware, where they’ll work cheap!”

That’s not the message I want to send to the thousands of people I represent who hope each day for a better opportunity, for fairness and for a chance to grab the next rung on the ladder.

Kim Williams represents the 19th District in the Delaware House of Representatives.

Mar 5, 2014
Mary Oso

An update from Cliffs Natural Resources

An update from Cliffs Natural Resources

Cliffs Natural Resources officials gave an update to community members this morning in Marquette.

Guests were treated to breakfast before new company president and CEO Gary Halverson spoke on topics like lowered operational costs in 2013. He also gave safety statistics, stressing the importance of on-and-off-the-job safety and how to achieve it.

“We have divisions and groups of people and mines that have gone for millions of man hours without having an incident so when you look at those individual track records I think we take each day at a time for each of our employees and what our employees can do to follow, to look at the hazards that exist and eliminate those and make sure that we don’t work unsafely,” Halverson said.

Halverson has been with Cliffs for just over three months and one of the first things he did was to shut down chromite and nickel development in Canada. He also spoke about the company’s environmental stewardship.

“And then in iron ore, in the U.S. side, we hit our stretch goals,” Halverson said. “And so that just means that, for example, Hibbing and Empire had zero water quality excursions in 2013. I think that’s a fantastic reflection on the management here.”

Cliffs recently announced that the Empire Mine operation will remain open through the end of 2016. Halverson credited those who worked hard to find ways to create and sustain growth in the region.

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Mar 4, 2014
Mary Oso

WA scrap yard fined $80000 after death

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Mar 3, 2014
Mary Oso

Dress for the job you want, not the one you have now – Sarasota Herald

When I went to the stockroom and saw the mess, I asked the VP if I could take some extra time at lunch to go home and bring some work clothes back so I could straighten up the stockroom after work. I stayed late and completely organized it.

When employees arrived the next day, the stockroom was in order, with everything in its place on the correct shelves. I dressed professionally every day thereafter. I was promoted two weeks later to the Office of Bank Money Orders, where I worked in solitude for 10 days to organize, sort, file and record years of old documents.

I was then promoted to three more departments and was offered a full-time position, with the additional offer of pay for night-school classes, which I accepted for one year before returning to college full time.

No matter which job I had, I showed up in a sports jacket, white shirt, pressed slacks and dress shoes. My parents told me to “look my best and do more than what is expected of you, and you will always succeed.”

I graduated with a degree in economics, finance and marketing, and became an entrepreneur, then a bank’s executive vice president, and finally a CEO of a large metro trade association. I am retired now, but I am an active volunteer student supporter in Florida. Tell recent college graduates to perform the positive instead of looking at the negative, and to not follow the crowd but set an example by leading.

A: Your advice is right on target, and your experience confirms it. It worked for you throughout your career, and it would work for any bright, new graduate with a strong work ethic.

Parents ingrain messages in their children, both positive and negative. Your parents built a strong and positive foundation of support for you, which is why you are able to share it with students today.

Values and work ethic translate into one’s personality, which is more important at work than the information obtained in school. Of course, a person has to be able to perform the job, but it’s often one’s personality that ties into positive results that help the person get ahead.

Pass on your parents’ advice to every student you meet. It should help put an end to the “entitlement attitude,” which will only lead to poor work relationships and a disappointing résumé.


Q: From everything I’ve read, I can tell my boss is bipolar. His mood swings are sudden and erratic, but I like the job too much to quit. What should I do?

A: Don’t be a slave to money. Know that he cannot change, and your emotional and physical health is crucial. If you can safely ignore his negative mood swings, stay. If the verbal abuse affects you, start a job search and be careful what you tell potential employers. If his moods swings turn physical, quit immediately, file for unemployment, report all the abusive incidents, and look for a new job. Safety comes first.

Email your questions to workplace expert Lindsey Novak at and follow her on Twitter I–truly–care.

Mar 1, 2014
Mary Oso

Address the Latest Oil & Gas Unconventional Health & Safety Concerns

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Unconventional Oil Gas Executives Sharing Up-to-Date Best Practices and Lessons Learned at the marcus evans 2nd Annual HSE for Unconventional Oil Gas Conference

February 28, 2014 —

SAN ANTONIO, TX — (Marketwired) — 02/28/14 — marcus evans, the leader in Oil Gas Safety Emergency Management Meetings, will host the 2nd Annual HSE for Unconventional Oil Gas Conference, April 8-10, 2014 at the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio, TX.

Via single track, case study presentations, panel roundtable discussions, the meeting will identify health and safety concerns for workers and provide a learning environment for HSE professionals responsible for these efforts.

Continuing from the very successful 2013 event, this meeting will enable delegates to drive the change towards technological advancements in hydraulic fracturing, job safety analyses, safety management systems, response planning, environmental regulations and concerns, motor vehicle safety, water waste management, contractor and sub contractor safety, bridging documents, training, compliance, industry strategies to obtain a better ROI, and more!

On site, join Heads of HSE from the likes of Pioneer Natural Resources, Atlas Energy LP, PDC Energy, Calfrac Well Services, ExxonMobil Corporation, Oasis Petroleum, Energen Resources, and many more!


The 2nd Annual HSE for Unconventional Oil Gas Conference was fashioned from direct feedback from past delegates who attended similar meetings in the marcus evans Oil Gas Safety Series, including the annual Offshore Safety Conference, Oil Gas Business Continuity Emergency Preparedness, and the Oil Gas Crisis Communications Conference.

Gain insight into marcus evans Safety Meetings by viewing this clip of interviews from the 5th Annual Chem Petrochem Refinery Shutdowns and Turnarounds 2013 Conference:

For more information on this conference to get a complete list of speakers or sessions, click on the conference brochure: or email Tyler Kelch, Marketing PR Coordinator at

About marcus evans

marcus evans conferences annually produce over 2,000 high quality events designed to provide key strategic business information, best practice and networking opportunities for senior industry decision-makers. Our global reach is utilized to attract over 30,000 speakers annually, ensuring niche focused subject matter presented directly by practitioners and a diversity of information to assist our clients in adopting best practice in all business disciplines.

Tyler Kelch
Marketing PR Coordinator

Copyright @ Marketwire

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Feb 28, 2014
Mary Oso

OSHA goes after Ohio Bell for punishing injured workers

CLEVELAND (PAI) – On Jan. 4, 2012, Todd Fensel, a customer service specialist for Ohio Bell, went out in the snow to check his truck.  He slipped on black ice and got hurt on the job.  Now, as a result, his name’s in a court case.

Snow covered the black ice and when Fensel slipped, he reached out to grab his truck to break his fall – and sprained his shoulder.  He reported the fall to his Ohio Bell supervisor the next day, and to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s hotline for workers to report on-the-job injuries. 

Ohio Bell, an ATT subsidiary, investigated and, one month later, suspended Fensel for a day without pay.  He’s not alone.  Here are three more examples:

  • John Parente, a customer service specialist at Ohio Bell’s Brooklyn Heights plant, missed the last rung coming down a ladder in December 2011. He fell, crashed into a metal conduit box, fractured a rib and was out for six weeks. Though “no safety rule or” section of Ohio Bell ladder policy “was cited,” the lawsuit says, Ohio Bell suspended Parente for a day without pay, too – three months later.
  • A dog bit Larry Locy, a customer service specialist in Columbus, while Locy was working in an alley in August 2012. He got his rabies shot and didn’t miss any work – until Ohio Bell hit him with a one-day unpaid suspension.
  • Eric Adams, a premises tech, came to a Columbus customer’s house in January 2013 to install a phone line. He climbed the wooden stairs, stepped on a piece of clothing and slipped and fell. Result: Bruises, contusions, a report to OSHA and, after a company investigation, yet another one-day suspension without pay.

After 13 such “blame the victim” suspensions without pay of workers who reported on-the-job injuries, the agency had had it.  It’s suing Ohio Bell in federal court in Cleveland for breaking federal law designed to protect whistleblowers.

The Ohio Bell case is one more example of how companies mistreat workers and then lie about it, especially where job safety and health is concerned.  And such lies and intimidation are not uncommon, says AFL-CIO Safety and Health Director Peg Seminario, a 30-year veteran of the field.

It’s also intimidating, she adds.

Now, however, the government may be moving beyond just lawsuits, especially since even if it beats Ohio Bell in court, the OSHA fines are small. Instead, the federal job safety agencies, OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration, are exchanging information about new rules to protect the whistleblowers and prevent the firms from intimidating them.

Joseph Main, the Mine Safety and Health Administrator , whose agency is OSHA’s counterpart for the nation’s coal mines and other mines, is drafting a memo about potential regulations against companies to stop such retaliation before it starts.

Meanwhile, OSHA is really pissed off at Ohio Bell, especially when it disciplines workers for reporting on-the-job injuries that would be considered under the Yiddish term pitsilach – “little things.”

“It is against the law for employers to discipline or suspend employees for reporting injuries,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, when his agency sued Ohio Bell on Feb. 10.

In several instances where Ohio Bell blamed the worker, the company said he violated its job safety standards, especially when around ladders. The court papers laconically note that Ohio Bell had no safety standards for workers around ladders.

“ATT must understand that by discouraging workers from reporting injuries, it increases the likelihood of more workers being injured in the future. And the Labor Department will do everything in its power to prevent this type of retaliation,” Michaels added.

Ohio Bell suspended 12 of the whistleblowers for a day each without pay, and suspended the other for three days without pay.  All reported on-the-job injuries. Two of the injuries put the hurt workers out for several months each, but the others put them out a day apiece – if that.  Several immediately returned to work after their accidents.

Five of the workers the company hit were in Columbus, two in Brooklyn Heights, two in Canton and one each in Akron, Cleveland, Gallipolis and Uhrichsville.

“The company alleged each employee violated a corporate workplace safety standard; however, OSHA’s investigation found the suspensions were a result of workers reporting their injuries.”

Photo: A lineman changes a transformer. Wikipedia (CC)

Feb 27, 2014
Mary Oso

OSHA cites Shippensburg foundry for repeat safety violations; Fines total $163240


Domestic Casting Co. LLC has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 26 alleged safety violations found at its Shippensburg foundry. The company faces $163,240 in proposed penalties for seven repeat, 16 serious, and three other-than-serious safety violations. OSHA initiated an inspection in August 2012 in response to a complaint.

“Compromising worker safety will not be tolerated. Domestic Casting continues to put its workers at risk of serious injury or possible death by not addressing and correcting these hazards,” said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA’s Harrisburg Area Office. “Employers that fail to uphold their responsibility to protect workers and provide a safe and healthful workplace will be held accountable.”

Carrying a $90,860 penalty, the repeat violations included open-sided floors and platforms that were not guarded with standard railings and other safety features; permanent, durable identification was not affixed to alloy steel slings; pulleys were not properly guarded; sprocket wheels and chains were not enclosed; electrical hazards; and pull and junction boxes and fittings were not provided with approved covers. The company was cited for similar violations in 2011 and 2013. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The serious violations, with a $72,380 penalty, include:

-Workers exposed to struck-by, fall, amputation, electrical and tripping hazards.

-Employees operating unrepaired cranes.

-Lack of frequent and periodic inspections performed on cranes, and lacking certification records of inspections.

-Platforms without standard railings and flights of stairs unequipped with at least one handrail.

-Employees accessing different structure levels without fixed stairs and ladders.

-Failing to ensure that loads transported by forklifts were secure.

-Rated load not plainly marked on each side of a crane, and pendant control boxes not clearly marked with identification of functions.

-No preventive maintenance program based on the crane manufacturer’s recommendation.

-Fixed ladders were not installed with appropriate clearance space in the path of travel.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violations, with no penalty, were due to stair rails without an immediate rail and damaged equipment parts. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Domestic Casting Co. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Harrisburg, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Harrisburg Area Office at 717-782-3902.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

Feb 26, 2014
Mary Oso

OSHA issues fines for safety violations at metal stamping plant


MILWAUKEE (WITI) – E.R. Wagner Manufacturing Co. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 14 safety violations, carrying proposed penalties of $106,000.

OSHA initiated an inspection of the Milwaukee plant in August 2013 under the Site-Specific Targeting Program, which focuses on facilities with a higher than average illness and injury rate.

Investigators found multiple machines in use at E. R. Wagner Manufacturing Co. that lacked machine guarding — which protects workers from amputation and other severe injuries.

One willful violation was cited for lack of machine guarding on a metalworking machine, which exposed workers to amputation hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Seven serious safety citations were issued to the company. Four of those violations also involve lack of machine guarding. The remaining three violations include inadequate lockout/tagout procedures, training and failing to certify periodic inspections of energy control procedures. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Additionally, six other-than-serious violations involve failing to inspect slings prior to use; lack of employee training on bloodborne pathogens initially and annually; failing to certify powered industrial truck training records; and failing to perform pre-shift inspections of forklifts. Additionally, forklift nameplates were not legible. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

E.R. Wagner designs, develops, and supplies quality casters and wheels, hinges and stampings, and tubular products to manufacturers and distributors worldwide. The company employs approximately 250 workers.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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