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Safety/Health

Workplace genetic testing raises discrimination concerns

12/01/2007

Advances in genetic research have renewed attention on the workplace implications of genetic testing. Genetic research has many potential benefits. But there is growing concern that employers with access to genetic information may use it to discriminate …

Keeping employees safe when serving alcohol at company parties

12/01/2007

Q. I’m an HR director and I’m planning our company’s holiday party. What is our liability as the host if we serve alcohol? …

Safely serving alcohol at company parties

12/01/2007

Q. I’m an HR director and I’m planning our company’s holiday party. What is our liability as the host if we serve alcohol?

HR pros, take note: Doing your job isn’t ‘Protected activity’

12/01/2007

Employees whose jobs involve telling their employers that they may be violating laws aren’t necessarily protected from retaliation under North Carolina law or under the federal Title VII—if the reporting concerns areas covered by the Civil Rights Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act …

Survey says half of refineries as dangerous as BP Texas City

12/01/2007

According to a recent survey, the same kinds of conditions that preceded a deadly March 2005 accident at BP Products North America’s Texas City refinery are pervasive in refineries across the nation. The survey polled union leaders at 51 refineries, representing 49% of the U.S. refining capacity …

Must you pay for employees’ work boots and other personal safety gear?

11/20/2007

For years, employers have wondered what kind of personal protective equipment they must furnish and what employees must pay for themselves. After eight years, OSHA has issued a final rule that spells it out. There’s good news for employers.

Recommendation to drop charges in Ag-Mart pesticide case

11/01/2007

Administrative Law Judge Joe Webster has recommended that the state drop all but 17 of the 369 charges of pesticide application violations against Florida-based Ag-Mart, reducing the company’s fines to $6,000 from nearly $185,000.  Ag-Mart was cited in 2005 for a slew of worker safety violations …

Houston firm to pay millions to settle criminal charges

11/01/2007

A subsidiary of a Houston-based energy firm has agreed to pay $15 million to resolve charges stemming from a 2004 pipeline explosion in Walnut Creek, CA, that killed five workers …

Drug-Resistant superbugs: How to protect your work force

10/23/2007

An easily acquired staph infection called MRSA now causes more deaths per year than AIDS—19,000 people in 2005. HR can play an important role in minimizing the very real risk of MRSA infection at work. The best prevention: cleanliness. Here’s how.

Discipline employee who refuses to abide by safety rules

08/01/2007

Q. One of our shop employees was not wearing his safety glasses during a Michigan OSHA (MIOSHA) inspection, for which the company was cited. Our company has a rule requiring employees to wear safety glasses in the plant. Were we wrongly cited? — T.B.