Proposed law calls for more civil penalties
- The U.S. Department of Labor wants to revise current procedures for imposing and appealing civil money penalties established by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
- The act protects workers disabled by on-the-job injuries that occur in U.S. waters or in areas used for loading, unloading, repairing, or building vessels by providing compensation, medical care, and occupational rehabilitation services.
- The law also provides for payment of survivor benefits to dependents in the event a worker’s injuries cause or contribute to their death.
- The proposed rulemaking by the department’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs focuses on the process used to assess civil penalties to entities that fail to report worker injuries accurately and timely.
Decrease in occupational diseases
- The Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission commissioned the Occupational Diseases report on occupational disease incidents for 2021 and recent trends in reported cases.
- The number of COVID-19 reports across various surveillance platforms declined substantially from 2020 to 2021.
- More than half of COVID-19 cases were in the education and health sectors (51%), with 16% in local government and 10% in wholesale and retail trade.
- Nursing and residential care facilities saw the most coronavirus cases within the sector.
Phoenix airline workers file heat complaint
- Employees of Phoenix Sky Harbor filed an OSHA complaint against aviation support services provider Prospect Airport Services for allegedly not ensuring basic worker protections amid Phoenix’s record-high temperatures.
- The workers, backed by Phoenix Vice Mayor Yassamin Anasari, met outside Terminal 4, holding signs and photos depicting Arizona’s extreme heat.
- One man had a photo of a temperature gauge reading 113 degrees. One cabin cleaner said she was recently hospitalized because of the extreme heat.
- Officials say the complaint is to “hold major airlines and their contractors accountable.” Phoenix workers are also demanding that Congress pass the “Good Jobs for Good Airports Act,” which includes higher pay and benefits.
Michigan launches suicide awareness program
- the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction companies and labor leaders hosted an event to raise awareness and combat the rate of construction worker suicide.
- The construction industry has one of the highest rates of suicides among all occupations — four times higher than the general population.
- In Michigan, the construction and extraction occupation suicide rate was 75.4 per 100,000 people in 2019, according to state health statistics.
- With 191,000 construction employees in Michigan, MIOSHA is using Construction Suicide Prevention Week to encourage sites across the state to promote the importance of mental health in the workplace.