OSHA not Responding to Steinzor

Why_Not-Jail

Rena Steinzor is a professor at the University of Maryland Law School and she has just published a book entitled Why Not Jail?  Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction. In her book she takes OSHA to task for failing to do their job when it comes to prosecuting repeat and willful offenders when these offenders are responsible for the loss of lives.

Steinzor claims that OSHA only refers a very small number of cases for prosecution to the Justice Department.

One of the most obvious examples, she states is the death of four workers at the Dupont Chemical plant in TX.

Professor Steinzor argues that OSHA, in fact, helps big corporations avoid prosecution by labeling their disregard for safety as “Serious” rather than “willful”. “Willful” would allow the justice department to prosecute the companies with criminal recklessness. Labeling a violation as “serious” means that the company is immunized from criminal recklessness charges.

OSHA’s response to her book, so far, has been to ignore it altogether.

When OSHA chief David Michaels was asked directly about the book his only response was to say that it was “simply wrong”. When asked what parts were wrong he responded “Many parts of it”. When asked for further clarification he refused to continue the discussion and asked that¬† they simply “move on”.

When a company is unwilling to spend what is needed to protect their workers, not because they can’t afford it but because they are more interested in profit than in the lives of those who make that money for them, these companies should be subject to criminal charges.


Partnership Aids Residence Prepare for Disaster

The American Red Cross, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Endowment for Financial Eduction (NEFE) wants to make sure that you are prepared when the next disaster strikes, not just physically but also financially.

Ready

In a joint effort, the three organizations have put together a 52 page guide entitled “Disasters and Financial Planning – A Guide for Preparedness and Recovery” that you can download for free.

The guide contains 6 chapters that cover the following:

Chapter 1: Making a Disaster Plan
Chapter 2: Protecting Your Property
Chapter 3: Protecting Your Health and Life
Chapter 4: Protecting Your Loved Ones
Chapter 5: Protecting Your Records
Chapter 6: Recovering from a Disaster

We can all hope that we never actually have to make use of this document but, if disaster strikes, you’ll have a lot more peace of mind knowing that you are in fact, ready.

 


Viral Video Prompts Drone Safety Push

A video of a gun attached to a drone and firing has put renewed emphasis on drone safety.

The video was uploaded to youtube by 18 year old Austin Haughwout and has already been viewed over 3 million times. It was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to make drones fire guns or drop bombs and everyone knows it.

Inn Connecticut, for example, a state Senate bill was unanimously passed this year that would effectively outlaw the use of fire arms on drone, either by the general public or by the police. Time ran out in the legislative session before the bill could be passed but it’s on the top of the “Must get to immediately” list when the new session starts up again in February.

Part of what’s ironic is that the Connecticut police chief Anthony Salvatore has been studying the issue for 2 years now. While they were studying the issue Austin Haughwout was building one.

While the video has had everyone up in arms (pun intended), it was determined the Austin hadn’t actually broken any laws which is, in itself, a big reason why we need to put some laws in place before it’s too late.



July is the most fatal month of the year

Did you know that July is the deadliest month of the year? Fatalities increase by up to 11% over the mean yearly average.

Why?

  1. Increased road traffic as families goes on vacation means more accidents and more fatalities
  2. As temperatures rise more and more people, especially children, try to cool off in pools, lakes, rivers and in the ocean. This means an increase in drownings.
  3. Finally, speaking of rising temperatures, heat waves like the one that we’ve been experiencing across much of the country means increased deaths due to heat strokes.

All of the above are preventable. Driving more carefully and patiently, paying more attention to children when they are around water and following basic safety precautions as relate to heat stroke can make July as safe as any other month.



Ironic!

In 1974 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission planned on distributing 80,000 lapel buttons promoting toy safety. They were recalled because they had sharp edges, contained lead paint and posed a choking hazard. That’s irony!


Ride Shotgun to up your odds of survival in a crash

Car manufacturers have made great strides in helping drivers survive crashes. They have, at the same time, extended that safety to the passenger side. We have only to look at drivers and passenger air bags, which often include side airbags, to see this.

In all this time, however, they have, by and large, ignored the back seat altogether. Statistics tells us that you have a 46% greater chance of dying in a car crash when you are riding in the back seat than if you are riding up front, even if you are wearing a seat belt at the time of that crash.

Considering the fact that children aren’t even allowed to ride up front, isn’t it time that we start paying attention to safety measures in the back seat as well?

Some strides have been made (See the 2011 Rear Inflatable Belt, for example) but we still have a long way to go.


Are Tattoos Toxic?

Tattoo
We tend to believe that the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for the safety of everything and anything that goes into our bodies. Truth is, however, that many things slip by them and never make it onto their clipboard until it’s too late. This has certainly been the case for vaping and, it now appears, tattoos.

The truth of the matter is that the FDA has never gotten involved in determining the safety of tattoos and has never approved any ink for injection into the skin.

This is somewhat shocking when you consider that almost 40% of us have tattoos.

Is it possible that tattoos might be toxic?

Studies have shown that many of the colors used in tattooing actually contain heavy metals. Red, for example, often contains mercury, a substance that never leaves the body and continues to build up over the years eventually causing mercury poisoning.

The FDA has recently begun to post fact sheets pointing out the toxicity of inks. The problem isn’t just heavy metals. Many inks contain methanol, formaldehyde, antifreeze, aldehydes and detergents. These are being injected under the skin, finding their way into the bloodstream.

Finally, a recent study found that tattooing might be the most common way that the Hepatitis C virus is transmitted. People with tattoos are the 4 times more likely to report having Hepatitis C than those without tattoos.

Those are some serious considerations if you are thinking about getting a tattoo.


When Your Marriage Almost Costs You a Finger

If you’ve watched the Tonight Show this week, you have seen Jimmy Fallon sporting a bandage that covers his left hand and goes all the way up his ring finger. Jimmy joked about giving everyone hit fours after they returned to work when the writer’s strike was over but what happened to him is anything but a joke.

Jimmy Fallon almost lost his ring finger… specifically because he was wearing a ring. Because of his celebrity status he has been able to raised awareness about something known as “Ring Avulsion”.

Here’s what happened… Jimmy tripped over a carpet in the kitchen and in an attempt to catch himself on the table his ring caught on the edge of the table and almost ripped his finger off. Ring avulsion, which is the technical term for what happened to him, is admittedly rare but can be extremely serious. People have lost their finger, had the skin stripped off the finger, had their finger dislocated and any number of other minor to severe injuries. In Jimmy’s case his finger was only saved after a lengthy operation that involved grafting a vein from his leg.

You can learn more about ring avulsion by simply Googling it but beware of clicking on the images tab unless you’ve got a strong stomach.

Any machine operator will tell you that machinery and wedding bands don’t mix.

http://www.saferingz.com/ hopes to put an end to ring avulsion. Check out their site for an array of wedding bands that look like the real thing but are made of silicone.

Your partner may want you to wear that symbol of commitment on your finger but it shouldn’t cost you a finger.