Monthly Archives: January 2012

Life Without Those Pesky Government Regulations Or Unions Or Even Minimum Wage

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CBS Sunday Morning ran a piece on Apple computer use of Chinese labor. It is a non-comedic version of the Jon Stewart piece I posted a week or so back. Same anti-suicide nets, same low wages, just no jokes. It is worth the 10 minutes it takes to view the video.

 

Is Your Workplace Making You Sick?

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New studies shed light on ways that workplace stress can be hazardous to your health.

Serious disabling medical conditions can arise from workplace stress. A recent study showed that people working long hours (11+) are more than twice as likely to experience major depression than those who work only 7-8 hours a day. Another study discovered that stressed workers have a 67% greater risk of heart disease. And other studies mention that “long working hours” lead to more risks of anxiety and a reduced ability to both think and sleep well.

Marianna Virtanen, one of the newest study’s authors, recently gave some tips to workers on ABCNews.com. One of her tips is to: “Make a distinction between work and leisure; don’t skip your holidays; take care of your health and well-being, especially sleep and exercise.” With Americans now working more hours than many of their counterparts in other countries, workers need to be proactive in taking caring of themselves.

But it isn’t just up to the workers. Psychological illnesses and depression cost companies money and result in less worker productivity, according to the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Without buy-in from employers and workers, the personal and corporate costs from psychological illness will never be reduced.

Unfortunately, Nebraska law Continue reading

Don’t Get Short-Changed On Your Work Comp Disability Payments

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Home from work due to a serious injury? Make sure you get your due TTD benefits.

In Nebraska, workers’ compensation law entitles you to 2/3 of your average wages when you are off work because of an injury. This average is based on your wages the 26 weeks before you were injured. This is known as temporary total disability (TTD).

How TTD Works:

If you are an injured at work, you are entitled to TTD so long as you are under a doctor’s care, that doctor has you on work restrictions preventing you from working, and your doctor has not placed you at maximum healing for your injury.

While off work for your injury, make sure you are getting the proper amount of money you are entitled to. Employers use many techniques to manipulate your wages to pay you less than you are legally entitled to.

Improper ways your Employer “miscalculates” your average wages to pay you less:

  1. Including weeks you worked minimal hours, short weeks, Continue reading

If You Get Hurt While Violating A Safety Rule, Can You Still Get Workers’ Comp?

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Safety RulesQuestion: I was injured at work while violating a safety rule. Am I still covered under workers’ compensation?

Answer: Yes, probably

Even you were hurt while violating a safety rule, you are probably still covered by workers’ comp. This is true whether you violated the rule by accident or intentionally.

However, your claim may be denied if your employer can demonstrated that:

  1. You have prior repeated violations of safety rules.
  2. You have been disciplined in the past for a safety rule violation.

Even in this case, you may still be covered, depending on the circumstances. But let’s face it, nobody wants to get hurt, so follow the safety rules at all times to stay as safe as possible on the job!

Corrupt Employers Are Ruining Our Country

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This interview by our good friend Leonard Jernigan is a really good way to understand the constant battle to take workers’ rights away and the history of this perpetual fight between working people and their employers.

In the video, Professor Jernigan talks to Sam Gold, director of the National Association of Injured Workers (NOIW) and producer of Injured On The Job.

You can see Professor Jernigan’s original post at his blog:  http://www.ncworkcompjournal.com/2012/01/corrupt-employers-just-keep-cooking-the-books/

Apple’s Inhumane Working Conditions Are Exposed

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When Henry Ford invented the Model T, he revolutionized manufacturing and in the process created tons of high-paying jobs for ordinary people. His wealth was shared.

When Steve Jobs and Apple invented the iPhone, they outsourced its manufacturing to Foxconn, a company that runs assembly lines in China. Aside from a few jobs at company headquarters and some sales and service positions at retail stores, the jobs are all overseas. The vast majority of the profits from the sales of Apple and other companies like it are going to the wealthy people who own Apple stock and a few extremely well-paid executives.

Jon Stewart details how life without “burdensome” regulations, “frivolous” lawsuits and labor unions means Chinese workers suffer so U.S. companies can build their products cheaper and accumulate more profits. Stewart’s investigative segment makes us all ask whether it is worth these inhumane conditions so we can get the next gadget for a few dollars less, or to pad the pockets of the wealthy a little more.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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www.thedailyshow.com
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How To Stay Safe On Snowy Roads

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Follow these tips to stay safe on winter roads.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a fantastic web page on how to stay safe if you have to work during or after a winter storm.

If the weather is poor, staying off the road is clearly the best thing to do. However, if you have to drive during a winter storm, here are some great tips OSHA offers on preparing your vehicle for dangerous weather.

Inspect your vehicle thoroughly.

  • Brakes: Make sure they provide balanced and even breaking. Check that the brake fluid is at the proper level.
  • Cooling System: Ensure the proper mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and water.
  • Electrical: Check the ignition and makes sure the battery is fully charged and that the connectors are clean. Check that the alternator belt is in good condition.
  • Engine: Inspect all engine systems.
  • Exhaust: Check the exhaust for leaks and that the clamps and hangers are snug.
  • Tires: Check for good tread depth and for signs of damage or uneven wear. Check inflation.
  • Visibility: Inspect exterior lights, defrosters, and wipers. Install winter wipers. _ Check your oil levels.

Bring a winter emergency kit including:

  • Blankets / sleeping bags
  • Cell phone
  • Windshield scaper
  • Snow brush
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Extra winter clothes
  • Shovel
  • Tow chain
  • Matches
  • Traction aids (sand or cat litter)
  • Emergency flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Snacks and water
  • Road maps

And keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle at all times!

OSHA’s page is a rich source of information and I highly recommend taking a look.

Think Before You Reach

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Work injuries aren’t always caused by major events like falls, explosions or fires. Sometimes even simple everyday actions like reaching for a tool can have serious consequences. Two injuries commonly associated with the simple act of reaching are Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and Rotator Cuff Tearing.

The Rotator Cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder. Rotator Cuff injuries can occur when tendons are over-stretched or over-worked, or when the tendons bump or rub against a bone in the shoulder.
Rotator cuff injuries can cause pain in the shoulder and upper arm and can be easily diagnosed by a doctor. Without proper treatment the symptoms can go on for years, and usually get worse over time.

To avoid a Rotator Cuff injury, Continue reading