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IOSHA’s Top Ten Most Violated Health and Safety Workplace Standards

Is your workplace a safe and healthy place to be? Sometimes workplaces don’t follow all the necessary standards. Here are the top ten most violated health and safety standards from 2,300 inspections conducted by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) in 2010. The inspections resulted from formal employee complaints, referrals made by the media and other agencies, workplace fatalities, catastrophes and random inspections. Work sites inspected included factories and foundries, doctors ‘offices, grocery and convenience stores, and construction job sites. 10.  Fall protection training Employers must develop and implement fall protection training for any employee exposed to fall hazards (77...

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Managing Distractions is a Major Part of Truck Safety

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has commissioned two studies on commercial truck driver safety in 2012. The studies will look at some long-standing safety issues, with a focus on growing problems like distracted driving. One study will focus on loading dock wait times and their effect on driver fatigue. The other will examine possible links between driving behavior and how drivers are compensated. Whether such compensation is by load number or mileage numbers is believed to affect driver performance. How automobiles behave around trucks is also a safety issue. Distracted driving is increasingly a problem for all drivers, and can compound...

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401(k) Plan Sponsors Not Jumping Onboard With New Longevity Annuities

The Department of the Treasury and the Department of Labor have proposed new regulations focused on providing 401(k) plan participants more choices to invest in annuities that guarantee a stream of lifetime income. However the proposals aren’t enough to persuade plan sponsors to offer such "longevity annuities," experts contend. These annuity products give people the option to defer up to 25 percent of their account balances into an annuity that starts paying out further into retirement, such as age 80 or 85. A recent Aon Hewitt survey reported only 16 percent of plan sponsors offer such a choice. Martha Tejera, a...

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PTSD Happens in the Workplace as Well as on the Battlefield

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not just for soldiers. When people are seriously hurt in on-the-job injuries, it can leave mental as well as physical scars, and the mental trauma can be just as tough to deal with. Other workers who knew the victim, or witnessed a serious or fatal incident, can also experience symptoms of traumatic stress. After such an event, people may have difficulty concentrating, show signs of irritability, become hyper-alert to danger, have an exaggerated, startled response, or feel edgy. This is a normal reaction following a traumatic event. However, if these symptoms continue beyond 30 days,...

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State And Local Governments Get New Securities Protection

State and local governments issuing bonds will now receive more information regarding the risks involved with complex financial transactions along with potential conflicts of interest from municipal securities underwriters. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) has set down new regulations for underwriters designed to make sure state and local governments have the necessary information to make good decisions with securities transactions. Underwriters for negotiated offerings of municipal securities must now disclose to clients that are state and local governments the risks of complex financial transactions, along with potential conflicts of interest and compensation received from third-party derivatives and investments providers. The new rules,...

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How Do I Know if Investment Offers in Gold Stocks are Legit?

When the price of gold bullion goes up, so does interest in gold investments. A flood of marketing is unleashed throughout social media sites and the Internet in general about gold and gold stocks. But some of the golden opportunities being hailed actually have little value, and others are simply frauds. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has brought legal action against various precious metals firms engaged in schemes involving gold, silver and other precious metals, including a Florida firm that bilked investors out of more than $23 million. Clearly, there are prudent and not-so-prudent ways of taking advantage of gold investments....

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Truck Driver Fatigue Can Be Fatal

Most trucking accidents are caused by the error of truck driver who is impaired in some way, whether by alcohol, prescription drugs or, most commonly, driver fatigue. Although truck drivers have required rest periods as part of the Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service rules, economic factors cause many drivers to ignore such rest breaks and drive well beyond their limits. Most drivers are paid by the mile rather than with a steady salary, which causes them to rush deliveries and put as many miles as they can under their belts and ignore safety in order to improve their financial payoff. The...

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Starr Austen & Miller Investigating Kenmore Elite & LG Gas Dryer Recall

Scott Starr, of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP, announced today that the firm is investigating potential products liability claims related to LG and Kenmore Elite gas dryers, which have been recalled due to a fire hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) announced on August 21, 2012, that approximately 21,000 LG and Kenmore Elite gas dryers, sold between November 2009 through August 2010 are being voluntarily recalled because of a faulty gas valve. This valve may fail to shut off properly, which leads to the dryer continuing to be heated even after the dryer cycle is complete. This may result...

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Starr Austen & Miller Investigates GM’s SUV Recall For Door Fires Which Affects Indiana Consumers

Scott Starr announced today that the firm is continuing to investigate potential products liability claims related to General Motor’s announced recall of approximately 250,000 sports utility vehicles which have a door electrical problem which can cause fires. The defect reported is a door electrical problem which occurs when fluid enters the driver’s door module, which can eventually lead to the shorting out of the electrical components. These shorts can cause both the power door lock and powder window switches either to become completely inoperative, or to only work intermittently. Further, the short can cause overheating, and/or melting of the components which...

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Court Case Helps Stall SEC Move to Increase Fiduciary Standard for Stockbrokers

Court Case Helps Stall SEC Move to Increase Fiduciary Standard for Stockbrokers The push to make stockbrokers adhere to same fiduciary standard as financial advisers has been held up by court and broker challenges. Consumer advocates wanting to hold stockbrokers to the same client-first standard of care as investment advisers appeared to be successful last summer after a study by the Securities and Exchange Commission called for new rules along those lines. Stockbrokers, however, objected, saying providing advice was just one part of their business model and that they shouldn’t have the same degree of accountability for the client’s best interest in...

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