Drilling through danger

Oil and gas companies typically leave management of their sites to subcontractors, a practice that dilutes safety standards and protects companies from liability, making an already dangerous job even more so, a Denver Post investigation has found. While companies such as Noble Energy, Encana and Anadarko are the face of the industry, its backbone is […]

Collapsed ditch that trapped worker had no safety protections in place

A ditch that collapsed, trapping and injuring a construction worker in Commerce City, Colorado on September 18, didn’t have shoring in place that could have prevented the accident, a possible violation of federal safety regulations. The man was buried up to his waist when the ditch collapsed. Denver Post

Labor Department probes Wells Fargo whistleblower complaints

The U.S. Labor Department is reviewing both open and closed whistleblower complaints against Wells Fargo amid allegations that the bank retaliated against employees who called the ethics line. Fed-OSHA has received “a number of” whistleblower complaints from Wells Fargo employees over the past five years, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in a letter to Elizabeth […]

Fed-OSHA increases scrutiny of whistleblower settlement agreements

Following the SEC’s lead, Fed-OSHA recently announced new guidelines that it will consider when deciding whether to approve settlement agreements reached during OSHA investigations of whistleblower claims. The catalyst for these changes is the perceived use of overbroad confidentiality or nondisparagement clauses that OSHA believes restrict or discourage an individual’s right to engage in a […]

Minnesota Security Hospital settles serious safety violations

The Department of Human Services will pay $20,000 in fines and will use $35,980 to improve employee safety training at the Minnesota Security Hospital. The amounts were determined in a settlement agreement with the state Department of Labor and Industry. The fines stem from two citations, one from August 2014 that found one violation and […]

Nebraska: State leaders respond to fertilizer storage ruling

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Fed-OSHA acted illegally when it issued new requirements for anhydrous ammonia storage without a public comment period. U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., said Fed-OSHA’s interpretive memorandum impacts approximately 3,800 agriculture retailers and would cost the industry in excess of $100 […]

Tennessee seeing spike in workplace fatalities

TOSHA reports that 22 Tennessee workers suffered fatal job-related injuries since January. “In the month of July alone, 10 Tennessee workers lost their lives in workplace accidents, devastating families, friends, co-workers and businesses,” said Steve Hawkins, TOSHA administrator. Roane County News [may require registration]