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News (102)


New U.S. Guide Aids Transgender Workers

WASHINGTON--Caitlyn Jenner may be the world's most famous transgender face, but she's not the only one—and all transgender workers have federal protections, regulators are reminding employer...


Wage Theft at Home in Construction

AMHERST, MA—It's not fraud; it's a new business model.


Researcher: Build Safety on Openness

BOSTON—Construction sites are filled with dangers that change constantly, so why isn't that high-stakes ebb and flow passed to the crews at risk?


Vigils, Videos Mark Day of Memorial

WASHINGTON, DC—Every day, about 12 U.S. workers are killed on the job, while millions more each year suffer work-related injuries and illnesses—a toll that government and worker groups recom...


Road Workers Free Dangling Toddler

SINGAPORE—Two migrant construction workers are being hailed as heroes after rescuing a toddler dangling by her head from the balcony of a second-floor apartment in Singapore.


OSHA Turns to Cell Tower Safety

WASHINGTON, DC—The rising death toll from maintenance and construction of communications towers is drawing new attention from federal health and safety regulators.


U.S. Urges Smoke-Free Workplaces

ATLANTA—Whether it's smoldering tobacco or gurgling vape, the federal government wants it out of the workplace, even in smoking-intensive industries like construction.


Apple Shifts Stance on Felony Offenders

CUPERTINO, CA—Saying it "may have excluded some people who deserve a second chance,” the world's richest company has reversed course on a controversial policy that had blocked some construct...


Hard Hat Rules Pit Religion v. Safety

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is challenging federal regulators on dueling rules that require Amish workers to wear hard hats in some industries but not others.


Apple Bars Offenders from Construction

The world's largest company, led by a gay chief executive vocal about discrimination, is suddenly on the defensive over its decision to bar convicted felons from construction work on its $5 ...


2 Fined for 38 Confined-Space Hazards

A temp staffing agency and contractor near Puget Sound, WA, are facing stiff fines for allegedly sending temporary workers into fuel tanks with no controls in place.


'Booze and Snooze' Scandal Rocks Plant

The world's largest wastewater treatment facility has suspended at least nine workers after a plant security officer accidentally broadcast a slur- and obscenity-laced description of a secre...


In Construction, 1 in 8 Unauthorized

Despite a slight shift from blue collar to white, unauthorized immigrant workers remain a major force in U.S. construction and building, particularly at the lower ends of those industries, a...


Foes Fight U.S. Contractor 'Blacklist'

An executive order requiring contractors to disclose their labor-law violations will be burdensome and expensive, say numerous opponents calling on President Obama to withdraw the plan.


Feds Urge New Controls in Paving Work

After a decade of research, federal health and safety officials have announced recommendations to curb exposure to respirable crystalline silica for workers involved in asphalt pavement mill...


IN Aims to Repeal Public Works Base Pay

Public-works construction crews would lose their 80-year-old base wage protection under a bill now working its way through the Indiana State Assembly.


Scaffold Law Critics Gain Steam in NY

A longtime effort to revamp New York State's 19th-century Scaffold Safety Law is gathering new momentum, fueled by two new bills, 25 legislative sponsors, and a "Reform Day" in the capital t...


Construction Set to Fill 225k+ Jobs

Construction firms from Los Angeles to London will be posting "Help Wanted" signs by the hundreds of thousands in the years ahead, according to two new job forecasts.


Deadly Fall Racks up $511K in Fines

After a 22-year-old apprentice fell to his death, a structural steel subcontractor faces $511,000 in penalties—accused not only of failing to provide fall protection, but also of allowing wo...


Trench Fatality Preventable, OSHA Says

A North Carolina contractor faces a $123,200 fine for what authorities called the preventable death of a 22-year-old worker in a trench at Fort Bragg, NC.


Chemical Maker Fined for Deadly Release

Tipped by a news report of an accident, federal regulators have levied $87,780 in new penalties against a Georgia coatings chemical plant with a decade-long list of health and safety violati...


N. America to Lead Silica Sand Boom

Uncle Sam may be worried about silica, but North American industry apparently is not, as the region prepares to lead the global growth of silica sand through 2018, according to a new market ...


Injury Reporting to Increase Jan. 1

It shouldn't take three employees hospitalized at once before an employer is required to report the accident that led to it, federal safety officials say.


DOL Offers $100M for Apprenticeships

High-skilled, high-growth industries will get $100 million in grants to expand apprenticeship programs, the U.S. Department of Labor announced.


OSHA: 3M Americans Injured on the Job

Burns, amputations, fractures and other serious injuries darkened the work day for three million U.S. private-sector employees in 2013, the government reports.


Rule Protects Contractors’ LGBT Workers

Catching up with many states and large companies, the federal government has extended anti-discrimination protection in the contracting workforce to sexual orientation and gender identity.


Revealing Bum Raps and 'Bum-Cracks'

Forever maligned as sexual harassers of women walking by, construction workers now say they are tired of being treated like sex objects. Sort of.


Painting JV Cleared; Suspension Lifted

The bird calmly stayed put—while the workers were there, and even after they left. And the one worker's lone fake card could have fooled anyone, especially in his stack of real ones.


Repeat Hazards May Cost Yards $142K

One shipbuilder and one ship repair facility have each been hit with a dozen health and safety violations after exposing workers to numerous fall and other hazards, federal officials allege....


Steel Company's 3 Plants Facing Fines

An Ohio steel manufacturer faces $77,000 in proposed fines after federal safety officials discovered amputation and fall hazards following employee complaints alleging unsafe working conditi...


NIOSH Trumpets Ways to 'Buy Quiet'

Construction work is not just dangerous; it's deafening, warn health officials, who are sounding an alarm to save what's left of workers' hearing.


Repeat Hazards Hit Company for $62K

An Ohio powder coating facility repeatedly accused of exposing workers to amputation hazards now faces $62,400 in proposed penalties, according to federal safety officials.


Study: Painters, Trades in Demand

A good painter is hard to find, America's employers report. So are other tradespeople and professional positions across the construction industry, according to a new survey by the Associated...


MIT: Diversity Pays, Even if Unpopular

Like it or not—and some workers do not—a workplace with gender equality will benefit the organization most in the long run, a new MIT study concludes.


Workbook Knows the Score on Safety

Preventing job-site accidents requires drilling into indicators that can flag hazards long before an incident occurs, according to a new workbook designed to help employers do just that.


Job Boom Spurs Calls for More Training

U.S. construction unemployment, which neared 20 percent at the height of the recession, has now shrunk to just seven percent, with 230,000 jobs added in the last year, a new analysis shows.


Latino, Contractor Work Deaths Rise

Deaths of Hispanic workers surged, and construction fatalities remained stubbornly unchanged in a new report that otherwise bore good news for U.S. workplace safety.


Rare Order Targets Painter Intimidation

The U.S. Labor Department has gone to court to stop alleged harassment and threats by a New England painting contractor against employees in a long-running wage dispute.


PPG Awards $340K in Scholarships

The PPG Industries Foundation has awarded more than $340,000 in scholarships in 2014 to 54 U.S students who live in communities where the company operates.


Backlash Stalls OSHA Reporting Rule

Widespread employer concern over the public reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses has prompted U.S. regulators to rethink the plan.


Investigation Nets $1.6M in Back Pay

A staffing agency for oil field and maritime facilities in the Gulf Coast will pay 1,543 current and former temporary employees more than $1.6 million to make good on back wages, the U.S. De...


Feds Suspend Painting JV for Fraud

An industrial painting joint venture has been suspended from government contract work following charges of destroying protected nesting sites and hiding employment of undocumented workers on...


U.S. to Order Contractor Disclosures

Federal contractors will have to own up to a wide range of labor law violations before receiving future work with the government, under a new order issued by the White House.


$148M Metals Hub Plans Detroit Digs

A new $148 million federally funded lightweight-materials manufacturing and research “ecosystem" is headed for the Motor City.


Corrosion Salaries Head Up and Down

North American corrosion professionals are significantly outearning their European counterparts, according to a new survey by NACE International.


Contractor to Pay $292K for OT Wages

A California concrete and asphalt paving contractor has agreed to pay $292,184 in overtime back wages after failing to accurately record and pay employees for hours worked, the U.S. Departme...


Construction Can’t Snuff Out Tobacco

Smokeless tobacco use remains a rampant and growing problem in the construction industry, even as cigarette smoking declines, new research shows.


Company Cited Again for Cave-In Danger

For the second time this year, a Chicago engineering company is facing federal fines of over $100,000 for allegedly exposing workers to trench cave-in hazards on a water and sewer line proje...


Jitters Amid U.S. Job Improvement

Construction unemployment in the U.S. has dived to a seven-year low, sparking another call for increased training to head off labor shortages during the industry's recovery.


Report: Infrastructure Jobs Underplayed

Infrastructure jobs account for 11 percent of U.S. employment, but the typical shovel-ready focus overlooks the much larger workforce needed for long-term operational jobs, a new report says...


Solvents Tied to Later Brain Problems

Time supposedly heals all wounds, but it may not be able to repair the brain problems caused by longtime on-the-job exposure to industrial coatings and other solvent-based products, a new st...


On Construction Day, a Safety Snapshot

Engineers and trades workers are racking up the highest death rates in construction—two of many sobering statistics laid out Wednesday (April 23) on the seventh annual Construction Safety Da...


Contractors Act to Avert Labor Pinch

A new plan aims to combat a shortage of skilled construction workers by pushing legislative and regulatory reforms that would make it easier to establish career and technical training progra...


Crashes Hit 45% of Work Zones

Nearly half of U.S. highway contractors report that their work zones were struck by motor vehicles during the past year, according to a new study by the Associated General Contractors of Ame...


Bill Hooks Contractors for Sub Pay

If your sub or labor temp agency is shortchanging its workers, is that your problem? It will be—at least, in California—if one legislator has his way.


Study: Workers Ready to Leave Jobs

Construction, engineering and building employers should step up their game if they want to head off a mass exodus of workers this year, a new survey suggests.


New Contractor Hiring Rules Begin

Federal contractors must now comply with affirmative-action benchmarks for hiring veterans and people with disabilities, after a legal bid failed to block one of the rules.


Contractor Settles Painter Wage Case

A longtime Pittsburgh-based industrial painting company has agreed to pay more than $25,000 in back wages and damages to 26 painters who were defrauded of their rightful pay, the Department ...


Game of Drones: Tomorrow’s Job Site

Drones, all the rage for everything from missile strikes to package delivery, may soon be keeping an eye on you—if not replacing you—at work.


Employers Call to Withdraw Silica Rule

Construction employers across the industry are urging the federal government to withdraw its proposed rule on silica exposure, saying the measure is “significantly flawed” and “will do littl...


Bridge Worker Killed on Stadium Project

One bridge worker drowned and another was serious injured when the man-lift to which they were tethered toppled from a floating dock and vanished into the Brazos River in Waco, TX, authoriti...


High Court: No Pay for Donning PPE

Donning and doffing personal protective equipment and getting to and from the worksite are a normal part of a worker's day and do not merit extra pay, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decl...


Wage Hike Ordered for U.S. Contractors

Employees of federal contractors will see an increase in their minimum hourly pay to $10.10, under a new Executive Order signed by President Obama.


Pipeline Project Yields Human Skull

Work at an Indiana pipeline construction site has been halted over the discovery of a human skull this week.


Air Shower Reduces Dust Exposure

A new mobile air shower can reduce worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica by removing dust from worker clothing in 30 seconds, according to Bellwood, PA-based HalenHardy.


Deep Freeze Spurs Worker Alert

With the “Polar Vortex” clamping killer cold on much of the United States, safety advocates are issuing warnings and resources to protect those who work outside.


25% of U.S. States Raise Hourly Wage

Thirteen states raised the minimum wage for workers on Jan. 1, bringing to 21 the number nationwide that are now paying workers above the federally mandated minimum.


Now, a Crew You Could Take Home to Mom

No caffeine, no nicotine and no swearing. New Year’s resolutions? Maybe, but they are also the ground rules for construction workers building a new Mormon temple in Philadelphia.


Fines, Education Follow Wage Fraud

"Do as I say, not as I did" will be a Chicago contractor's message for peers, as the company pays a hefty fine and agrees to educate others after defrauding nearly 100 workers of their fair ...


Cancer Study Backs Silica Plan

Millions of American workers, including abrasive blasters and construction laborers, could benefit from a federal proposal to limit silica exposure on the job, concludes a new study publishe...


‘Fatal Inequality’ Seen on Jobsites

Construction is dangerous for all workers, but Latinos and immigrants are more likely to be killed on the job and less likely to speak up about its hazards, a new report warns.


Contractor Ends Minority Case for $875K

A U.S.-based multinational contractor will pay $875,000 to settle discrimination claims involving hundreds of African American, Hispanic and Asian American job applicants.


Nuke Owner Rebuked for Workers’ Crimes

A bizarre plan by two senior nuclear reactor operators to rob an armored car—and then actually commit a carjacking—has led to federal sanctions against the U.S.’s top nuclear operator for la...


OSHA Urges Self-Regulation on Chemicals

Admitting that its own standards are inadequate, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is urging employers to take their own steps to protect workers from deadly exposure to haza...


Silica Rule Comment Period Extended

Opponents of a federal proposal to limit worker exposure to silica have won additional time to comment on the plan, but the rest of the process is moving forward as scheduled, regulators say...


Lip-Syncing Oil Rig Crew Goes Viral

Life at sea can get lonely and boring—unless you happen to be on an oil rig with a crew full of karaoke masterminds.


Report: World Cup Push Risks Workers

Workers' safety and lives are being sacrificed to Qatar's dash to build infrastructure and venues in time for the 2022 World Cup, an international labor group charges.


Falls Again Top OSHA Violations

Employers may not be getting the message about fall protection, according to a new ranking that keeps those violations well atop a new Top 10 list of federal health and safety citations.


4 Firms Cited in Death at Nuke Plant

Facility owners, managers and contractors alike are being held responsible for a crane collapse that killed one worker and injured eight others at Arkansas's Nuclear One Power Plant in March...


OSHA Publishes Proposed Silica Rule

Federal officials are now inviting public comment on a controversial proposal to limit worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica.


AkzoNobel Plans New Wave of Downsizing

AkzoNobel continues to shrink its European footprint, with a new plan to close more than half of its German offices in the wake of recent divestments.


Report: Crew Conflict Proves Costly

Do you shrug off hot tempers and crew dust-ups as a normal part of daily life on a job site? If so, stop shrugging and start soothing, because those beefs are costing you a lot more money th...


Battle Lines Drawn over Silica Rule

A showdown is quickly shaping up over a new federal proposal to limit worker exposure to crystalline silica, pitting a new group of construction employers against organized labor and safety ...


CO Detector Hard Hat Takes Award

A construction hard hat that incorporates a carbon monoxide sensor has won an award for its inventors at Virginia Tech University.


2013 Corrosion Salaries Set Records

Call it a rust-to-riches story. Corrosion careers are paying better than ever, with record-high average annual salaries for professionals in the United States, Canada and the European Union,...


Halliburton Admits Destroying Evidence

Halliburton Energy Services Inc. will become the third corporation to plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 offshore workers and un...


Suits Claim Shipyard Guest Worker Abuse

A new series of federal lawsuits accuses shipbuilder Signal International of swindling and mistreating hundreds of Indian guest workers recruited for work in the United States.


OSHA to Target Key Coating Chemical

Federal health and safety authorities have announced a new crackdown on worker exposure to a chemical widely used in protective and marine coatings.


Ergodyne’s Brim Adds Protective Shade

A new hard hat brim provides neck and face UV protection for workers who are exposed to the sun.


Painting Contractor Cited in 2nd Death

A New York industrial painting contractor who lost two transmission tower painters in two deadly falls two years apart is now facing $35,000 in fines for new federal safety citations.


Contractors Decry Immigration Plan

U.S. construction industry groups are banding together to fight sharp limits on “guest worker” visas in an immigration agreement now emerging in Congress.


7 Workers Perish during Tank Cleaning

Seven workers have died while cleaning a tank at a brewery in Mexico City for Grupo Modelo, the parent company of Corona beer, the company has confirmed.


RR to Pay $350K for Worker ‘Retaliation’

The Union Pacific Railroad has been ordered to reinstate an award-winning 30-year employee who was accused of wrongdoing and summarily fired after he reported an on-the-job injury.


Fired, Injured RR Workers to Get $1.1M

Norfolk Southern Railway Co. has been ordered to pay more than $1.1 million and clear the records of three employees, including a bridge worker, whom it allegedly fired after they were injur...


Immigrant ‘Crisis in Construction’ Seen

Half of the construction workers in Texas are undocumented, and seven in 10 are foreign-born—a dire situation with safety, social and economic implications for the entire industry, a new rep...


New Rule to Protect Ship Whistleblowers

Shipboard painters, blasters and other workers will soon have new federal protection from retaliation over complaints about their working conditions, under interim final rules issued by the ...


Bill Urges Action on Combustible Dust

Five years after a combustible-dust explosion killed 14 workers in Georgia, legislators are again demanding that federal safety regulators set standards for such hazards.


Plant Collapse Kills 1, Injures 1

One worker has died and another has been injured after the collapse of a coal-fired power plant being demolished in Pampa, TX.


Tank Worker Killed, 2 Hurt at SC Plant

Authorities are investigating the death of a contract worker who was cleaning a fume tank at a South Carolina paper mill owned by Resolute Forest Products.


Award-Winning Apps Offer Hip Path to Safety

Are you more likely to date a supermodel or die in a fall? Do you work with a Safety Jackass? Above all, do you have a clue how to handle that mystery chemical you're about to use?


EPA Withdraws New Cadmium Rule

Under pressure from producers, the U.S. government has reversed a brand-new rule that would have increased safety disclosure requirements for products containing cadmium, used in some protec...


Transocean Fined $1.4B in Gulf Blast

The world's largest offshore drilling contractor will pay $1.4 billion in fines and plead guilty to environmental crimes to resolve federal civil and criminal cases stemming from the 2010 De...


 
 
   

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