Hilda Solis Resigns as Labor Secretary

On Jan. 9, Hilda L. Solis submitted her resignation as U.S. Secretary of Labor, telling her fellow Department of Labor employees that she is “proud of our work on behalf of the nation’s working families.” Solis’s resignation comes only weeks after EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced her own resignation on Dec. 27, 2012. “Leaving the department is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, because I have taken our mission to heart. As the daughter of parents who worked in factories, paid their union dues and achieved their goal of a middle class life, and as the first Latina to head a major federal agency, it […]

Researchers and Lab Workers Have a False Sense of Safety

A new study that found that laboratory workers have a false sense of safety is just the beginning of a larger conversation that the scientific community needs to have about improving lab safety. An international survey of more than 2,360 scientists and researchers conducted by BioRAFT, Nature Publishing Group, and the University of California Center for Laboratory Safety found that although they respect and understand the need for lab safety measures, in many cases their own lab practices often fall short.  The survey explored a wide variety of topics surrounding lab safety, including researchers’ general perceptions of lab safety measures and practices, whether they felt that they had […]

NFPA awards Isman Educational Grant to Austin Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team

NFPA awards Isman Educational Grant to Austin Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team January 9, 2013 – The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Safety Educational Memorial Fund Committee has selected the Austin Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team from Austin, Texas, as the recipient of the 2013 Warren E. Isman Educational Grant. “The Austin Hazardous Materials Response Team has demonstrated careful and effective methods and mitigation strategies in protecting their jurisdiction from hazardous material threats,” said Ken Isman, chair of the Warren E. Isman Task Force. “We are encouraged by their efforts and pleased to help them achieve further hazmat safety tasks and goals.” Grant recipients select […]

Walmart’s Search for Sustainability

In November 2011, Walmart opened its first U.S. store with 100-percent LED sales floor lighting in Wichita, Kan. Seven years ago, Walmart launched a sustainability effort that included working toward 100-percent renewable energy, creating zero waste and selling products that sustain people and the environment. Now, researchers at the University of Arkansas and the University of South Carolina are performing case studies to examine the issues Walmart experienced in implementing its broad sustainability strategy. “Companies have to think about sustainability as a systems problem – a problem not generally well understood,” David Hyatt, clinical assistant professor in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of […]

Gun Control Change We Can Believe In

As we ring in a new year, we remain shocked and saddened by the tragedy in Newtown. Unfortunately, Newtown now adds its name to a list of equally disturbing tragedies at the hands of mentally disturbed people possessing semi-automatic weapons: Columbine, Aurora, Tucson and Blacksburg (Virginia Tech). The public has responded by sounding a call to action and Vice President Joe Biden has been tasked with finding a better way forward, meeting this week with representatives of victims groups and gun-safety organizations as well as the National Rifle Association and other gun-owner groups as he drafts the Obama administration’s response to the Newtown shooting. Meetings with video game manufacturers and […]

Millions of Domestic Workers Worldwide Are Excluded from Workplace Protections

A new report from the International Labour Organization examines the labor abuses and workplace health and safety conditions of the world’s more than 52 million domestic workers. At least 52 million people around the world – mainly women – are employed as domestic workers, according to the first research of its kind conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Despite the size of the sector, many domestic workers experience poor working conditions and insufficient legal protection. Domestic workers account for 7.5 percent of women’s wage employment worldwide and a far greater share in some regions, particularly Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. Between the […]