Tag Archive for ‘Safety’
Big railroads are often targeted by complaints of illegal retaliation against whistleblowers who disclose safety hazards or report on-the-job injuries. A recent $1.25 million damage award to a former BNSF Railway Co. employee spotlights what critics say is the unjust punishment sometimes meted out to railroad workers who report injuries or safety problems.
After years of inaction, federal regulators are trying to crack down on the use of cheap novelty helmets linked to thousands of motorcycle crash deaths and injuries in recent years.
Table saw accidents are painful, life-changing and expensive. Each year, more than 67,000 U.S. workers and do-it-yourselfers suffer blade contact injuries, including more than 33,000 injuries treated in emergency rooms and 4,000 amputations. Yet the power tool industry has failed to adopt available technology that could dramatically reduce the number of accidents.
It’s estimated that as many as 754 people die each year in states with mandatory helmet laws because they wore novelty helmets instead of safe headgear, which amounts to nearly one in six rider fatalities. Marketers of novelty helmets are unapologetic, dismissing safety concerns and saying they simply are accommodating consumer demand.
When we think of bullying, school kids come to mind. But columnist Gael O’Brien reports that bullying is also a growing problem on the job. By one estimate, more than 54 million people will be bullied in U.S. workplaces this year. The toll can be high for individuals and organizations. “It creates such a toxic environment,” says one executive,”that it undermines anything you are trying to accomplish from a business perspective.”
Consumers who prefer less industrial alternatives can choose “green” or “natural” products that claim to be chemical free, but what actually goes into them is often unclear.
Sustainability initiatives are most successful when they’re on the agenda of the board of directors. Alice Korngold examines how that’s being handled at consumer goods giant Kimberly-Clark, where the board has not only endorsed an ambitious Sustainability 2015 plan but has also asked how the plan can be accelerated.
Investment firm Walden Asset Management recently researched and compiled quotes from sustainability and corporate responsibility reports by several dozen companies in a wide range of industries. The exercise showed, says a Walden executive, that attention to such issues has become vitally important for a company’s business, and that transparent reporting is, as one CEO said, one of “the prices of doing business today.”