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OSHA Memo Highlights Employer Actions That Discourage Injury Reports

OSHA Administrator Richard Fairfax has released a memo to guide whistle-blower investigators in regard to employer actions that discourage employees from reporting on-the-job injuries. The memo tells OSHA regional administrators and whistleblower program managers to look out for potentially discriminating policies that employers may have towards employees who report such injuries, including • Taking disciplinary action regardless of the injury’s circumstances. • Disciplining an employee for not adhering to a company rule about the time or manner of reporting injuries and illnesses. • Disciplining an employee for an injury that was the result of the employee’s violation of a safety rule. • Providing incentives not...

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DeWitt & Schrader Ponzi Scheme Lawsuit Announced by Starr Austen & Miller

View the Complaint Scott Starr of the Indiana law firm of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP,announced today that the firm has commenced a lawsuit against the independent certified public accounting firm, and one of its principals and employees, who were involved in rendering services for the Keenan Hauke Ponzi scheme on behalf of its client, the court appointed Receiver for Samex Capital Partners, LLC. The case is entitled “William E. Wendling, Jr., as Receiver for Samex Capital Partners, LLC v. DeWitt & Schrader, P.C., David M. DeWitt, and Matthew S. Hickey,” and was filed on July 9, 2012 in Marion County. Keenan...

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Scaffolding Safety Among Top Ten OSHA Violations

According the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 65 percent of construction workers - about 2.3 million - work frequently on scaffolding. And although scaffolds are used to provide a stable platform for elevated work, scaffolding still makes OSHA’s top ten list of safety violations each year. Why this is so is not clear. Some accidents can be prevented through training and regulation, but workers may ignore what they’ve learned. Workers still fall from scaffolding almost every day. Many injured workers point to planking or support giving way, or to slipping, or being struck by falling objects. Others note the environments that...

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What Constitutes Misconduct by a Bankruptcy Trustee?

Trustees in a bankruptcy situation are expected to conduct themselves in a fair and professional manner, especially to the creditors and bankruptcy inspectors involved in the process. To do otherwise can be costly. A trustee may argue that he or she can be duty bound to take a position detrimental to a major creditor. However, this can’t be simply for tactical purposes. A trustee is not considered in the same light as a typical litigant in a strictly adversarial proceeding. The trustee must conduct him or herself in a fair, impartial and even-handed manner at all times, following principles set out...

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Don’t Get Struck!

It’s always a good idea to review safety rules, especially when around equipment that could seriously injure or kill. Following is a safety checklist from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for preventing “struck-by” injuries. Struck-by dangers can involve objects ejected from a power tool, such as a nail gun, as well as rolling, moving or sliding objects, such as a moving vehicle. Here we cover the latter. Heavy equipment •    Stay away from heavy equipment in operation, and keep track of its location,     even if it’s not in use. •    Remain outside the swing radius of cranes and backhoes. •    Stay clear...

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Starr Austen & Miller Suspects the JOBS Act could Lead to Fraud Against Lay Investors

Mario Massillamany of the Indiana law firm of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP, announced an alert to the public today regarding upcoming changes in 2013 to private offerings laws with the recent enactment of the JOBS Act. The JOBS Act, formally known as the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, was signed into law by President Obama on April 5, 2012. According to Forbes, this Act has been heralded by many proponents as a way for small business owners and entrepreneurs to have more access to funding opportunities and to gather capital which can help them grown their businesses, and as a...

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Garfield Park Pool Chemical Spill Or Leak Causes Many To Go To Hospital

On June 21, 2012 around 2:00 p.m., there was a chemical spill or leak at the Garfield Park Aquatic Center, located at 2345 Pagoda Drive, in Indianapolis, Indiana's Southside. The Garfield Park public pool is a popular destination for kids and adults alike, such as on a hot day such as this. Although some reports are calling the problem to be a chemical leak or spill, at least one report from Shari Patton, a parent of three children swimming at the pool, described the incident as an "explosion." Of course, this story is still developing, so it remains to be seen...

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At Least One Injured In Two Semi Crash On I-70 In Hancock County

On June 14, 2012, around 7:50 a.m., two semis crashed around mile marker 99, on westbound I-70 between the Indiana 9 and Mount Comfort Road exits, located west of Greenfield, Indiana, in Hancock County. Indiana State Police report that one semi-truck was stopped in traffic as another approached it from behind. According to the report, the driver of the second semi hit the brakes, but knew he would not be able to stop in time so he swerved off the road, but the back of the semi crashed into the stopped semi sitting in traffic. One person was airlifted from the crash...

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Eugene McCall, Katherine Metzcus, Amber Garner and Keith Halicky Injured In Fatal Crash On Borman Expressway During Rush Hour

On June 12, 2012, at the beginning of rush hour on I-80 in Gary Indiana, DeAndre K. Perry, age 22, from Mishawaka, was driving a moving van which stalled in the middle right lane of the four lane interstate. Then, an unknown semitrailer side-swiped the driver’s side of the stalled vehicle. Shortly thereafter, Joshua Garner, 20, of Griffiths, Indiana, was driving his 1998 Dodge Dakota extended cab pickup, traveling west on I-80, at 4:59 p.m., west of Central Avenue, near the stalled truck. With his four passengers in the vehicle Garner attempted to change lanes, and in the process rear-ended the...

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Jacqueline Jansing Plus 1 Year Old Passenger Injured In Accident On U.S. 421 At State Road 47

On June 15, 2012, at approximately 1:40 p.m. Jacqueline Jansing and her one year old passenger were headed northbound on U.S. 421 in a Chevy S-10 pickup truck when they were hit, head on, by a vehicle driven by 17 year old Jordan Franklin. The accident occurred on U.S. 421 at around State Road 47, in Boone County, Indiana. Franklin had been heading southbound on U.S. 421, headed back to Fishers, Indiana, from a church camp in Clinton County. From preliminary reports it is believed that his vehicle veered off the road for an unknown reason, and then he overcorrected, thereby...

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