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Ag-Mart settles with parents in insecticide lawsuit

Ag-Mart Produce, a Plant City-based tomato grower, has settled a lawsuit with a farm-working couple whose baby was born without limbs. The settlement terms were undisclosed. Francisca Herrera and Abraham Candelario testified that they worked in Ag-Mart fields in Florida and North Carolina in 2004 …

House passes bill allowing guns in workplace parking lots

The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting employers from banning guns from their properties. HB 503 guarantees employees the right to keep legally owned guns locked inside their cars as long as they have permits to carry concealed weapons …

And you thought the prisoners were crabby before

The Michigan State Department of Corrections has announced plans to ban smoking by prisoners and staff early next year. About 70% of the state’s more than 50,000 prisoners are smokers …

Prithee, hast thou a light for my pipe?

When Minnesota’s ban on smoking in restaurants and bars took effect in October, some astute restaurateurs noted it provided an exception for actors, who may light up during performances. Since then, about 30 establishments have made productions of themselves, printing up playbills, posting “Stage Entrance” and “Props Dept.” signs, and generally making merry …

Good health incentives in the workplace

Q. Our staff is wondering why we haven’t implemented a wellness program at work to motivate people to learn and practice good health habits. Are there any restrictions on this? …

USAA’s wellness message resonates with employees

More than 85% of USAA’s employees have signed up for its wellness program, which focuses on nutrition, exercise, disease prevention and smoking cessation. San Antonio-based USAA also offers employees an annual health risk appraisal and free health screenings …

Mystery neurological illness plagues slaughterhouse workers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given a name to an illness suffered by employees in pork processing plants in Minnesota and Indiana: progressive inflammatory neuropathy …

Drug testing after a workplace accident

Q. Last week, one of our employees drove a piece of equipment into a shelving unit. The employee caused substantial damage to the equipment and the products on the shelves. He could have seriously injured a co-worker. The employee’s supervisor reported that the employee’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot. Can we require the employee to submit to a drug test? — S.S., White Bear Lake …

OSHA’s visit to Imperial Sugar too late, unions say

OSHA has announced it will conduct combustible dust inspections at thousands of U.S. factories in the wake of an explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth that left 12 workers dead and dozens badly injured. A preliminary investigation revealed the Feb. 7 blast was caused by airborne sugar dust in a basement area …

Oakland, Hayward manufacturers hit with labor and safety violations

The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency has issued numerous citations and fines totaling more than $500,000 for labor and safety violations at nine Alameda County companies …