Cavalcade of Risk and other new briefs

April 7th, 2010 by Julie Ferguson

The 102nd edition of Cavalcade of Risk is posted at Political Calculations, where blogger Ironman offers a rating for each post based on topicality, information quality and readability. Check it out.
More on the West Virginia Mining tragedy – On Monday, we were thrilled to hear of the miracle of the surviving miners in China, only to learn of the terrible disaster for West Virgina’s miners a few hours later. Question of the day: Four years after reforms, why another mine disaster? For ongoing news and developments on the West Virginia mining disaster, follow Charleston, WV reporter Ken Ward’s blog Coal Tattoo and follow his Twitter feed
The Tesoro refinery explosion – Overall, it’s been a tough week for catastrophic workplace accidents. On Friday, 5 workers were killed in a Washington refinery blast.The Chemical Safety Board wonders why deadly tragedies are still occurring with alarming frequency, despite lessons learned 5 years ago from the BP tragedy. “”We are concerned that we are seeing a repeat of issues that we thought had (already) received widespread communication and attention,” said Don Holmstrom of the federal Chemical Safety Board, which investigates manufacturing accidents involving hazardous chemicals.” Are some industries just inherently dangerous? “By comparison, not one of the nation’s 103 nuclear-power plants has had a major accident in 30 years, said Bresland, of the Chemical Safety Board.”
OSHA – In Risk and Insurance, Steve Tuckey writes about OSHA’s deeper bite and what it will likely mean to employers. Among other points made in the article, Tuckey cites last year’s GAO study of more than 1,000 occupational health practitioners, which found that: “More than two-thirds of the respondents observed worker fear for reporting an injury or illness, according to the survey. In addition, a third of the practitioners said they were pressured by employers to provide insufficient treatment to workers or to hide or downplay work-related injuries or illnesses. Moreover, half the respondents said they were pressured to downplay the injury so that it would not be reported to OSHA, the survey also found.”
Medical marijuana & insurance – You know a business has arrived when it supports an industry trade journal: Marijuana Business Reporter focuses on the burgeoning, legitimate medical marijuana industry. It currently features an interesting insurance-related interview with Mike Aberle, the national director, medical marijuana specialty division for Statewide Insurance Services, a Sacramento, CA company that insures dispensaries and other services in the medical marijuana industry: Underwriting Medical Marijuana. (Thanks to Risk & Insurance for the tip.)
Are your internships legal? – Jared Wade of Risk Management Monitor talks about When Unpaid Internships Become Illegal. In this tough economy, there has been an upsurge in the number of organizations trying to expand the definition of “internship” to get free labor – often in direct violation of state or federal labor laws. Joel W. Rice of the law firm Fisher & Phillips offers guidance in regards to the Department of Labor’s six criteria for gauging whether or not an unpaid internship is legal. For more on this topic, see Jeffrey Hirsch’s post at Today’s Workplace: Unpaid Internships.
Asbestos awareness – John Gelman tells us that it is National Asbestos Awareness Week and he follows up with some related posts on the topic: the first deals with the launch of Libby Care, an expansion of Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD). His second post is about a NJ Appellate Court ruling which Upholds $30.3 million mesothelioma verdict.
Same forum, different name – If you are on LinkedIn, the Work Comp Forum has had a name change to avoid confusion with other entities with a similar name. It’s the same great group hosted by Mark Walls, but it now sports a different name: Work Comp Analysis Group
Sense of humor deficit syndrome (SOHDS) – Joe Paduda continued his tradition of featuring an April Fool’s posting on his blog. Apparently, not everyone appreciates Joe’s sense of humor.Our next question for Joe: when work-related, is SOHDS compensable?
Quick takes