News Digest 5-9-2022


Tennessee fails to advance PTSD benefits for firemen

A Tennessee legislative effort to require local governments to provide workers’ compensation benefits to professional firemen formally diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder has failed to win approval as the legislative session ended. However, the PTSD issue has become a cause for the state’s professional firemen, and a re-tooled version may appear in the next session. FireChief


Colorado legislature approves extending public health whistleblower protections

Colorado two years ago established protections for people who report public health concerns in their workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those protections may become permanent under a bill lawmakers approved last week, which would prohibit retaliation against workers for reporting any workplace health and safety concern or violation of health and safety rules, rather than only protecting reports related to a declared public health emergency. All Colorado House Democrats voted for the bill and all Republicans voted against. The Gazette (Colorado Springs)


Safety inspectors can’t keep up with construction accidents in Massachusetts

Two incidents at Boston worksites last week that resulted in injuries to four construction workers are putting a new spotlight on safety. According to the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), there are 38 Fed-OSHA inspectors in Massachusetts, roughly one for every 91,210 employees. WBZ (Boston)


Tampa Electric pleads guilty to violations in deadly 2017 power plant explosion

Five contractors and one Tampa Electric Company employee were removing debris from a slag tank when an accidental explosion happened in late June of 2017 at the Big Bend Power Station electrical power plant. Two people died in the explosion and three others died later after being rushed to the hospital. TECO has submitted a plea agreement in federal court, stating the company was guilty of violating Fed-OSHA standards that resulted in the five deaths. WTSP