United States Department of Labor

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January 2, 2014
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Workers Are Our Family Business

United States Department of Labor: 1913-2013 - 100 Years. Then, Now, Next.

In the lives of prominent Americans, there is often a spouse whose nurturing presence is a driving force behind their achievements — and that is no less true for secretaries of labor. Perhaps the most well-known spouses of labor secretaries are longtime senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, who is married to Secretary Elizabeth Dole; and Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the husband of Secretary Elaine Chao; but there are many others who have made unique contributions to the extended Labor Department family. One of them was Mary Jane Quisenberry Wirtz, wife of Secretary Willard Wirtz. Born in Illinois and raised in Missouri, Mrs. Wirtz was a pioneering figure who spent much of her life dedicated to advocacy for people with disabilities. She was a member of the Executive Committee of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped in the early 1960s and later became chairman of the board of directors of Project Earning Power, which at that time was one of the largest organizations fighting for employment of people with disabilities. She was also a lively and well-liked fixture in Washington's social life. Growing up during the

Disability advocate and wife of Secretary Willard Wirtz, Mary Jane Quisenberry Wirtz. Click for a larger photo.

Great Depression, Mrs. Wirtz made her clothes by hand, and she continued to design her own fashions into adulthood, with her clothes becoming something of a personal trademark. In 1963, newspaper columnist Drew Pearson called her "one of the 10 best self-dressed women in the world." In 2000, the department's library was dedicated in honor of both Mrs. Wirtz and her husband. She died in 2002. The tradition of dynamic spouses of labor secretaries who have made important social contributions continues today: Ann Marie Staudenmaier, who is married to Secretary Perez, is a prominent lawyer who works on behalf of the homeless in Washington D.C.

Read More About Mrs. Wirtz
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View the Centennial Video
Suggest a Centennial Moment

Work In Progress: The Best of Our Blog

Each week, this space will bring you the best from our (Work in Progress) blog.

Top 10 Countdown: Our Most Popular Blog Posts in 2013: As the year came to a close, we looked back to compile the 10 blogs that most got people talking in 2013. These blog posts cover a diverse range of subjects — retirement planning, women veterans, removing barriers to employment for the long-term unemployed — and represent the breadth of activities that the department undertakes on behalf of workers. The blog posts are ranked based on page views, but they also demonstrate the power of social networks like Twitter and Facebook for starting conversations and sustaining public engagement on important issues. Make sure to follow @USDOL on Twitter or like us on Facebook in 2014 for the latest blog updates and department happenings throughout the new year.

Caring for Wounded Warriors: An All-Hands-On-Deck Enterprise: Following the 2013 Warrior Family Symposium, an event co-sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America and the National Defense Industrial Association, Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training Keith Kelly writes that caring for our wounded warriors, and making sure they have the kind of support they deserve, is an all-hands-on-deck enterprise, and he highlights some of the important services that the department provides to veterans searching for a new career.

50 Years Later: Women, Work and the Work Ahead: In the fall of 1963, the President's Commission on the Status of Women issued a groundbreaking report titled "American Women" that investigated the socioeconomic status of America's women. Here, Latifa Lyles, director of the Women's Bureau, reflects on the 50th Anniversary of that historic report and writes about a symposium held by the Women's Bureau to commemorate the anniversary and commission new studies on issues facing today's working women.

Books that Shaped Work in America

What Typing Cows Teach Us

"Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" is a wonderful children's book which tells the story of a labor-management dispute between Farmer Brown and his resident bovines. The cows, upon finding an old typewriter in their barn, air their grievances in typed notes to the farmer. The chickens follow their lead, and a strike ensues, leaving Farmer Brown with no milk or eggs. Eventually, through the mediation of a neutral duck, a compromise is reached and production resumes. Dozens of people from the public suggested the book for inclusion in "Books that Shaped Work in America." And by all accounts, it's destined to become a children's "classic." According to one member of the public who recommended the book for inclusion on the list: "This is a great book on many levels: First, it is a funny children's book; then it is a book about cooperation, meeting needs, working together to gain respect in the workplace. A great first primer on unionism and collective action."

Read the Blog Post
Books that Shaped Work in America

Hiring People with Disabilities

Some real workplace progress was made in 2013. According to an Office of Personnel Management report, more people with disabilities are in federal service than at any time in the past 32 years. The increase moves the federal government one step closer to meeting President Obama's goal of hiring 100,000 people with disabilities in five years. But it's not just about setting goals, noted Secretary Perez in a recent blog post. "It's about changing attitudes and lives," he wrote. "It's a moral and economic imperative. And for our country to remain competitive in the 21st-century global economy, we simply can't afford to have so many people out of the workforce who can and want to work, pay taxes and contribute to our economy."

Read the Secretary's Blog Post

Giving Back in Detroit

Detroit Job Corps Center career technical training staff and students along with the student government association present a check from their penny war fundraiser to the Volunteers of America. From left: Donyell Davis-El, instructor for office administration; Erica Medvinsky, Volunteers of America representative; Stanley Keys, student government association vice-president and  Richard Attieh, student government coordinator. Click for a larger photo.

The Detroit Job Corps Center staff and trainees helped to make Christmas merrier for six Detroit-area families. The trainees raised $750 for the Volunteers of America "Adopt a Family" program, which provided five families with gifts, clothing and food for Christmas. Trainees participated in a "penny wars competition," where the dollar amount raised was matched by their student government association. In addition, Job Corps management staff adopted a family of six consisting of children ranging from three months to nine years of age, whose home was destroyed. The management team brought the family clothing, toys and gift cards. The "Adopt a Family" program has helped tens of thousands of families, children and seniors in southeastern Michigan since 1993.

Employee Benefit Plan Lawsuit

The Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit to recover losses to the Miller's Health Systems Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The suit alleges that PBI Bank Inc., the trustee of the plan, authorized the purchase of company stock for $40 million, an amount far in excess of the fair market value of the stock. The suit also alleges that PBI Bank approved financing for the transaction at an excessive interest rate and violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by approving the purchase of stock by the plan. The lawsuit seeks to require PBI to restore all losses suffered by the ESOP, plus interest. Miller's Health is a Warsaw, Ind.-based company that manages long-term care and assisted living facilities.

Read the News Release

Partnering with Faith Community

Engaging with stakeholders is a key part of publicizing wage protections available to workers. In an effort to strengthen one such partnership, Laura Fortman, principal deputy administrator for the Wage and Hour Division, recently met with Arise Chicago, a group affiliated with Interfaith Worker Justice. Along with staff from the Chicago district office, Fortman discussed ways to provide more training and materials to those helping vulnerable workers, and how advocates can better connect the agency to workers in need. The Wage and Hour Division has had a relationship with Arise Chicago for years, having successfully collaborated with industries such as car washes and restaurants.

Learn About Protections for Restaurant Workers
Learn About Protections for Car Wash Workers

Mine Rescue Team Certification

A mine rescue team hones its skills during a simulated mine emergency. Click for a larger photo.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration published a notice in the Federal Register on Dec. 27 announcing updated instruction guides for advanced coal mine rescue team training. The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 requires MSHA to update these criteria every five years. According to Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations, mine operators must certify the qualifications of coal mine rescue teams annually. Revised Instruction Guide IG7, "Advanced Mine Rescue Training — Coal Mines" includes best practices, handouts, visuals and text materials for the classroom. New Instruction Guide IG7a, "Advanced Skills Training — Activities for Coal Mine Rescue Teams" includes additional exercises for more hands-on skills training to improve team performance when responding to a mine emergency.

Read the Federal Register Notice
View the Revised Instruction Guides

A Shared Vision of Apprenticeship

The Office of Apprenticeship hosted the first in a series of webinars on Dec. 12 that is designed to promote its new vision of apprenticeship. The webinar provided an introduction to a report published earlier this year. The report, A Shared Vision for Increasing Opportunity, Innovation, and Competitiveness for American Workers and Employers, features a set of innovative solutions and recommendations to expand quality Registered Apprenticeship through a combination of proposed policies, partnerships and leveraging the strengths of today's "innovators and trailblazers" of the national apprenticeship system. Members of the apprenticeship, education and workforce communities participated in the webinar.

Access the Webinar Materials
Watch the Apprenticeship Video

Skills to Pay the Bills

Skills to Pay the Bills Cover. Click to view the resources.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy has developed two free career development resources to help young workers — both with and without disabilities — hone vital workplace skills. Called "Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success," the series includes a curriculum, videos and a discussion guide. Targeted at youth ages 14 to 21, the resources include modular, hands-on activities that focus on six key skills: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving, and critical thinking and professionalism. The materials can be downloaded from the website or ordered by mail.

View the Resources
Read the Blog Post

Federal Mobile Trends

In its Mobile Gov Blog post on Dec. 31, the General Services Administration talks about federal agency trends it saw in 2013 in the development of public facing mobile products. Among the trends it highlights is the Labor Department's Digital Government Strategy mobile implementation and the accessibility of the agency's APIs, or application programming interfaces.

Read the Blog Post

Weekly UI Claims

The department reported that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial Unemployment Insurance claims was 339,000 for the week ending Dec. 28, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average was 357,250, up 8,500 from the previous week's revised average.

Read the News Release

Upcoming Deadlines & Events

Open Funding Opportunities

EBSA — Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities Seminar

January 7 — New York, NY

OASAM — Vendor Outreach Session

January 22 — Washington, DC

OFCCP — Best Practices for Corporate Management Compliance Evaluations

February 12 — Memphis, TN

OFCCP — Common Problems Areas for Federal Contractors

January 16 — Houston, TX

OFCCP — Construction Companies and OFCCP Compliance

January 22 — Detroit, MI

OFCCP — Laws Enforced by OFCCP

February 19 — Detroit, MI

OFCCP — Moving Toward Compliance with Section 503 and VEVRAA

January 16 — Webinar

OFCCP — Scheduling and AAP Requirements

February 21 — Houston, TX

OSHA — Public Meeting on Proposed Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

January 9 — Washington, DC

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What's New

Reaffirming the Importance of Long-Term Unemployment Benefits

In a Dec. 24 interview with the Baltimore Sun, and on a conference call three days later with two-dozen reporters from across the country, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said "it would be literally unprecedented" if Congress fails to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program that provides benefits to long-term jobless Americans. Perez said that Congress approved the program with broad bipartisan support in 2008, when the U.S. unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. The current unemployment rate is 7 percent. He added, "The hole that this Administration inherited in the Great Recession was a deep one. And when you're in a hole, you stop digging. We must maintain these emergency benefits in order to continue climbing our way back to a fully healthy economy." Perez also noted that when Congress reconvenes on Jan. 6, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will bring up legislation to extend unemployment insurance and move it toward a vote. "Congress can do the right thing in the new year and renew this program," said Perez. "It will help people who want to be employed. It will help families keep going. It will help create economic growth for the nation."

Read the Interview
Listen to the Press Conference Call
Read the Blog Post

National News

What is the Minimum Wage in Your State?

Who Makes What: Minimum Wage Up In 13 States (1/2014). Click for a larger photo.

The start of the new year brought an increase in hourly earnings for low-wage workers in 13 states. In 2013, voters in New Jersey and lawmakers in New York approved measures to raise their state minimum wages to above the federal hourly rate of $7.25 per hour. In Connecticut and Rhode Island, where the state hourly minimum was already above the federal rate, lawmakers acted again to raise minimum wages. The minimum wages in nine other states are pegged to inflation and automatically increased on Jan. 1. In all, 21 states and the District of Columbia now have minimum wage rates higher than the federal rate. "What we're seeing around the country is a recognition that hardworking, low-wage workers need a raise," said Secretary Perez. "Hopefully this state-based momentum will spur Congress to act so that all of this country's low-wage earners receive a boost to their income. It's an economic and moral imperative that no one who works full-time should live in poverty."

Learn Your State Minimum Wage
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International Scene

Partnership Building with Mexico

Secretary Perez (L) and Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Eduardo Medina Mora following a discussion at the Labor Department. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

The close strategic partnership on labor issues between the United States and Mexico was the subject of discussion on Dec. 16 at the Frances Perkins Building. Secretary Perez, along with Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Carol Pier and Marcia Eugenio, director of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs' Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, met with a delegation led by Mexico's Ambassador to the U.S. Eduardo Medina Mora. The meeting was a follow-up to Deputy Secretary Seth Harris's visit to Medellin, Columbia on Nov. 12, when he met with Mexican Labor Minister Alfonso Navarrete at the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor. Two days later, Harris attended the International Forum on Employment and Social Security Public Policy, hosted by Navarrete in Mexico City, where Harris discussed the importance of innovation in the U.S. skills training system as a driver for growth and a necessity in a modern, developed economy. The discussion between Perez and Medina Mora was an important step in fostering future collaboration to benefit the lives of workers in both countries.

View the Slideshow
Read the Deputy Secretary's Blog Post

ILO Receives $5 Million Award to Reduce Child Labor in Burma

Two girls work in the Mawlamyaingyun region of Burma. Photo credit: © International Labour Organization/Crozet M. Click for a larger photo.

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs announced the award of a $5 million cooperative agreement to the International Labour Organization to implement a project to reduce child labor in Burma and support the Government of Burma's efforts to comply with international standards. "This project will develop effective strategies for reducing child labor in Burma," said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Carol Pier. "It will expand understanding of the extent and nature of the problem and help stakeholders in the country increase efforts to protect children." The project will support research and collection of data on the extent and nature of child labor in Burma, build the capacity of national and local organizations to carry out efforts to reduce child labor, implement pilot programs to remove or prevent children from involvement in exploitative labor, and raise awareness about child labor in the country.

Read the News Release

Promoting Workplace Gender Equality in Morocco

Through a cooperative agreement between the department and Management Systems International, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs will provide a $998,384 grant award to promote gender equality in the workplace in the Kingdom of Morocco. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the private sector, civil society organizations and the government of Morocco to empower women through increased recognition, promotion and enforcement of their labor rights. "Respecting the labor rights of working women and promoting gender equality in the workplace supports sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development," said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Carol Pier. "This grant will provide technical assistance to support stakeholders' efforts on these critically important issues." The grant is being awarded by ILAB's Office of Trade and Labor Affairs, which currently oversees approximately $76 million in technical assistance to improve worker rights, livelihoods and labor law compliance in more than 72 countries.

Read the News Release

Investing in Youth in Uganda

A project to help Ugandan youth develop marketable skills and serve as civic leaders will be funded by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs through a $3 million cooperative agreement with World Education, the department announced on Dec. 26. The project will address exploitative labor among youth under the age of 18 and provide them with formal education and training. It also will support and encourage them to take on leadership roles within their communities. "With the youngest population in the world, Africa faces the acute challenge of providing its young people with opportunities for decent work," said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Carol Pier. "This project aims to equip youth with the skills and resources they need to escape poverty and exploitative child labor and become leaders in their communities." The project will support President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative, which is focused on investing in the next generation of African leaders and strengthening partnerships between the United States and Africa.

Read the News Release
Learn More About the Young African Leaders Initiative

$5 Million Grant to Reduce Child Labor in Morocco

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs announced on Dec. 23 the award of a $5 million cooperative agreement to Creative Associates International to reduce child labor in Morocco, with a focus on the Marrakesh-Tensift-Al-Haouz region of the country. The project will promote children's participation in educational programs and deliver vocational training for youth of legal working age in areas such as farming and ecotourism. The project also will provide youth support to secure quality employment opportunities. "This grant will fund a multifaceted project to protect children and families in Morocco," said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Carol Pier. "Especially for those children at risk of engaging in the worst forms of child labor, education and vocational training hold the promise of a safer and more secure economic future." Creative Associates International will help build the capacity of government and civil society to reduce child labor, prevent youth from dropping out of school, and provide services to families to help them increase household resilience.

Read the News Release

News You Can Use

Working in a Winter Wonderland

Working in a Winter Wonderland: 4 Things to Know in the Snow. Read the Blog.

Winter is here, and many parts of the country already have been feeling its bite. For those who work in cold weather, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has important information to share. Employers should be aware of the dangers of working in extreme cold and snow, and plan accordingly. Working in snow and ice, and illnesses like hypothermia and frostbite, can be a serious threat. Proper clothing, footwear and training can help ensure a safe and healthy winter for outdoor workers. OSHA's winter storm page contains useful information on snow shoveling, walking on snow and ice, and many other weather-related topics.

Read the Blog
Visit OSHA's Winter Storm Page

DOL Working for You

DOL Program Offers Graduate Roadmap to Success

Romen Nelson. Click for a larger photo.

Romen Nelson experienced a rough time growing up, eventually spending some time in prison. His Washington State corrections officer suggested he enroll in Pioneer Human Services' Roadmap to Success training program, which is funded by the department. The program offers courses focused on developing the skills an individual needs to look for work, including professional communication and time management, job search strategies, answering questions about past criminal history, writing professional resumes and interviewing effectively. According to Nelson, the program totally turned his life around. "It gave me structure and a sense of responsibility and taught me what values I can offer an employer," he said. After graduating from the program, Nelson landed a job in manufacturing and will enter a two-year construction management program at a Seattle community college.

DOL in Action

New Jersey Dairy Company Settles Discrimination Charges

Cream-O-Land Dairy Inc. will pay $324,288 in back wages, interest and benefits to resolve claims of sex and race discrimination affecting 227 workers who applied for jobs at the company's dairy plant in Florence, N.J. A review conducted by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs determined the company used a hiring process that violated Executive Order 11246 because it discriminated against women, African Americans and Asian Americans who applied for warehouse positions in 2010. Under the terms of a conciliation agreement, Cream-O-Land will also make 24 job offers to the affected class members as positions become available.

Read the News Release

Ohio Manufacturer Cited for Amputation Hazards

Reliable Castings Corp. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 14 safety and health violations, carrying proposed penalties of $293,700. An inspection found workers were exposed to struck-by, crushing and amputation hazards at the Sidney, Ohio, aluminum die castings manufacturing facility. One repeat violation was issued for failing to de-energize an industrial robot and implement lockout/tag out procedures prior to performing servicing and maintenance work on the equipment. A similar violation was cited in April 2013 at the same facility. The company has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

Read the News Release

Kansas Glassware Company Cited for Lead, Other Hazards

Screen It Graphics of Lawrence, Kan., which conducts business as Grandstand Sportswear and Glassware, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 27 safety and health violations. An OSHA inspection was prompted by a referral from a local health department and conducted as part of the agency's national emphasis program for lead. Proposed fines total $119,000. OSHA conducted wipe samples and personal air sampling to detect lead, cadmium and inorganic arsenic in the facility that produces personalized bar and glassware, apparel and business items. The wipe samples detected all three contaminants, and personal air monitoring found airborne concentrations of cadmium above the action level.

Read the News Release

Inspection Finds Repeat Violations at Illinois Air Services Company

Integrated Airline Services Inc. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for two repeat safety violations at its Franklin Park, Ill., shipping and receiving warehouse. OSHA initiated an inspection in September 2013 after a complaint alleged the company operated powered industrial vehicles in disrepair. Proposed penalties total $55,000. Two repeat violations included failure to mount removable fuel tanks securely on powered industrial trucks to prevent them from jarring loose, slipping or falling during operation. The company also was operating vehicles with bad tires, missing and damaged panels and broken hydraulics. Similar violations were cited in July 2012 at the same facility.

Read the News Release

Two Employers Cited After Texas A&M University Building Collapse

Gamma Construction Co. and Ramco Erectors Inc. were cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with eight serious violations for failing to maintain the stability of a structure being erected to serve as the Texas A&M University equestrian shelter. The inspection began in response to the June 2013 building collapse that injured four workers. Ramco Erectors was cited for seven serious violations, with a penalty of $40,500. Gamma Construction, the project's general contractor, was cited for one serious violation, with a penalty of $6,300. "Employers erecting steel structures must follow proper procedures for bracing and ensure an erection sequence that maintains the building's stability," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin.

Read the News Release

Ex-AFGE Local President Sentenced for Embezzlement

The former president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1380 has been sentenced to 30 months of incarceration followed by three years of supervised release for embezzling more than $90,000 from the union. Danny L. Hubbard also was ordered to pay restitution and a $2,400 special assessment. Hubbard pleaded guilty in August 2013 to 24 counts of wire fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. An investigation by the Office of Labor-Management Standards found that, between November 2006 and May 2008, Hubbard embezzled money from AFGE Local 1380, a union representing federal employees who work at the Naval Support Center in Panama City, Fla. Hubbard wrote union checks out to himself for cash and to various stores for personal expenses.

Illinois Roofing Workers Exposed to Fall Hazards

Tip Top Roofing & Construction Inc. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for four safety violations, carrying proposed penalties of $103,000, after two workers were observed installing asphalt shingles on a residential roof at heights of 10 and 18 feet without fall protection. The June inspection at a job site in DeKalb, Ill., was initiated under OSHA's local emphasis program for fall protection. Since 2008, the Sycamore, Ill.-based company has been inspected five times, cited for similar violations, and cited for failing to provide abatement documentation to OSHA.

Read the News Release

Wrecking Company Hit with Fines for Asbestos Hazards

Thompson Building Wrecking Co. Inc., based in Augusta, Ga., was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for one willful and three serious safety violations following an inspection at a demolition jobsite. Violations included the employer knowingly exposing workers to asbestos-containing material; failing to conduct asbestos work, and its removal, within a regulated area to minimize exposure; not monitoring exposure levels during removal of asbestos-containing material; and exposing workers to inhalation hazards from unbagged asbestos-containing material. OSHA initiated the inspection after receiving a complaint. Penalties of $63,700 have been proposed.

Read the News Release

NYC Union Agrees to Rerun Election

The American Federation of Government Employees Local 1917 in New York City has agreed to conduct new nominations and a new election for the office of second vice president, as well as a new election for the position of fair practices coordinator. The election will be conducted under supervision of the Office of Labor-Management Standards no later than April 18, 2014. An OLMS investigation established that Local 1917 denied a properly nominated member in good standing the right to be a candidate, denied otherwise eligible voters the right to vote in the mail ballot election, and failed to provide adequate safeguards for voting by secret ballot.

Worker Burned by Electrical Arc Flash, Pure Power Technologies Cited

Pure Power Technologies LLC was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for one willful and seven serious safety violations after a worker was severely burned by an electrical arc flash. The maintenance supervisor was injured while servicing a 480-volt circuit breaker without proper electrical protective equipment at the company's Waukesha, Wis., iron foundry. OSHA has proposed penalties of $119,000. One willful violation was cited for failure to ensure protective equipment was used while operating the circuit breaker with the cover removed, thus exposing workers to electrical shock, arc blast and flash hazards.

Read the News Release

Company Hired to Remove Lead Exposed Workers to Health Hazards

FCC Environmental LLC of Fairburn, Ga., has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for nine serious health violations following an inspection at the Glock Inc. gun range in Smyrna, Ga. FCC Environmental was contracted by Glock to remove lead from its firing ranges. The violations included the employer's failure to certify the workplace hazard assessment for cleaning the gun ranges and traps, conduct an initial workplace assessment to determine airborne lead concentration, and establish and implement a specific respiratory protection program for workers required to wear full face respirators. OSHA initiated the inspection as part of the agency's national emphasis program on lead and has proposed $44,000 in penalties.

Read the News Release

Recurring Safety Hazards at New York Potato Chip Company

A Site-Specific Targeting Program inspection of Terrell's Potato Chip Co. Inc. in Syracuse, N.Y., revealed 23 violations of workplace safety standards. Terrell faces $115,500 in fines following an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Syracuse Area Office. The inspection identified several hazards similar to those cited during a 2009 OSHA inspection. The employer failed to ensure guarding on the operating parts of machinery, including a fryer, a peeler and packaging equipment; train workers on the unintended startup of machinery; secure stacked materials from collapsing or sliding; remove damaged electrical parts from service; and keep work areas clean and orderly.

Read the News Release

Furniture Company Faulted for Workplace Hazards

Complete Liquidations, doing business as The Furniture Exchange, was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for four repeat and 13 serious violations at the company's warehouse in New Brunswick, N.J. OSHA's investigation began in response to a complaint and resulted in proposed penalties totaling $71,280. The violations included the company's failure to provide adequate work space near electrical equipment, maintain exit routes free of obstructions, complete a workplace hazard assessment, and provide personal protective equipment and an eye wash station.

Read the News Release

Safety Hazards Found at West Virginia Supermarket

Wayne's Supermarket Inc. was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety hazards found at its grocery store in Mullens, W.Va. OSHA's September 2013 investigation began in response to a complaint and found 10 serious and five other-than-serious violations. The serious violations, carrying a $30,800 penalty, involve electrical hazards and the supermarket's failure to mark exits routes appropriately, ensure workers wore cut-resistant gloves when cutting meat, conduct a hazard assessment to determine the need for personal protective equipment, provide training on use of personal protective equipment and operating powered industrial trucks, and provide material safety data for each hazardous material onsite.

Read the News Release

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