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SOX doesn’t protect safety whistle-blowers

A federal court in North Carolina has refused to add another legal avenue disgruntled employees can use to sue. The court said even after recent amendments that expanded the scope of the law, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act doesn’t protect whistle-blowers who report what they believe are serious safety violations at work.

Can we terminate worker to keep domestic violence from spilling over into our workplace?

Q. We have learned that one of our employees has been subjected to domestic violence and has a restraining order against her boyfriend. We are concerned that the man might become violent in our workplace. We are considering terminating the employee to make sure that our other employees are safe. Does such a termination raise any legal issues?

BWC awards $40,000 grant to Ashtabula company

Ashtabula-based Iten Industries has received a Safety Intervention Grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to purchase lifting equipment designed to reduce workplace injuries.

Worker’s heat-related death leads to OSHA fine

OSHA has slapped Symmetry Turf Install­­ations with two citations for serious safety violations after one of its employees died of heat stroke.

DOL stats: Workplace fatalities fell in 2011

The number of workplace fatalities fell by 81 last year, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. In 2011, 4,609 U.S. employees died on the job, compared to 4,690 in 2010.

Lesson of Hurricane Sandy: It’s time to update your crisis-management plan

Hurricane Sandy is a powerful reminder: Natural (and man-made) disasters can threaten at any time. Smart employers make contingency plans so they can stay up and running even when normal work operations are disrupted. Here are eight key pieces to a crisis-management plan, which you can coordinate with the appropriate departments.

OSHA won’t let Illinois whistle-blowers be railroaded

Three whistle-blowers will collect more than $650,000 after two different railroads fired them following workplace accidents. OSHA concluded the three men were wrongfully accused of safety violations to divert blame for workplace hazards.

OSHA sanctions SeaWorld after orca trainer death

OSHA has ordered Orlando’s SeaWorld marine park to change the ways in which trainers and orcas interact following the death of orca trainer Dawn Brancheau.

Control employee cellphone use–an accident waiting to happen


More and more employees use cellphones and smartphones to get their work done, something many employers encourage in the name of greater efficiency. But there’s a downside: significant safety and financial risks created by employees who use mobile devices while driving. Here’s some common-sense perspective on protecting your employees … and your bottom line.

Brighton Beach condo collapse draws OSHA fines

OSHA has cited SP&K Construction, a Brooklyn contractor, for safety violations in connection with a fatal structural collapse in Brighton Beach. The accident, which killed one worker and injured four others, occurred Nov. 8, 2011.