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Safety/Health

Labor Department seeks more funds to boost enforcement

06/08/2009

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ budget request to Congress includes funds to hire nearly 1,000 new employees, 670 of whom will be investigators. The plan calls for 200 more wage-and-hour Labor investigators and 160 additional OSHA gumshoes.

Small institution tackles big premium hikes

06/05/2009

When the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management got socked with back-to-back health premium increases of 21.9% and 19% in 2004 and 2005, respectively, its HR execs knew it was up to them to help the employees get healthy.

Lawsuits on the rise: Audit your policies to prevent litigation

06/05/2009

The economy is a shambles, and employers are doing everything they can to stay in business. That includes terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs. Nearly every one of those moves carries litigation risk. Have your company’s personnel policies and practices had a checkup lately? A comprehensive audit is one of the easiest ways to spot problems.

Can we make employees pay for work uniforms?

06/05/2009

Q. Are there any laws that prohibit me from charging my employees for their mandatory work uniforms?

OSHA: Record injuries from ‘horseplay,’ team-building

06/01/2009

If your organization is required to keep track of employees’ injuries, take note of two OSHA interpretation letters.

Are you ill prepared? 13 steps to stay ahead of the H1N1 virus

06/01/2009

In light of the H1N1 virus pandemic scare, now’s the time to make sure your organization has an effective pandemic plan in place. As public health officials prepare for a vaccination campaign this fall, here are 13 steps you can take to deal with H1N1.

Employers must record at-work ‘horseplay’ injuries

05/27/2009

If your organization is required to keep track of employees’ injuries, take note of a new OSHA interpretation letter. It confirms that injuries suffered at the workplace as a result of “horseplay” and certain other nonwork-related activities must be recorded in OSHA logs, as long as the injury meets regular recording criteria.

And you think your office fridge is gross!

05/27/2009

Maybe you’ve joked that the contents of your workplace refrigerator constitute a toxic-waste cleanup site. At the AT&T building in San Jose last month, that was no joke.

Threats at work: You can punish, even if weapon turns out to be a toy

05/27/2009

You probably have workplace rules that ban weapons in the workplace and don’t allow employees into the building with guns or knives. And that rule probably spells out that you will terminate an employee who threatens or displays a weapon at work. But what if the ‘‘weapon’’ turns out to be a toy?

Extra cheese please, but hold the snot

05/27/2009

As Michael Setzer stuck a piece of cheese up his nose and placed it on the Domino’s sandwich he was preparing, he mugged for Kristy Hammonds’ camera. After Hammonds’ video received more than 550,000 hits on YouTube, the pizza chain mobilized quickly to contain the damage.