News Digest 4-12-2021


Flash: Californian Picked to Head Fed-OSHA
There is about to be a new gun running Fed-OSHA. He is a Californian. Click here to find out who it is … Cal-OSHA Reporter


New Hampshire House raises age on heart, lung disease benefits for firemen

The New Hampshire House on Friday approved a bill that would raise the age from 65 to 70 for workers’ compensation for heart and lung disease in firemen, whom supporters of the bill say are retiring later. Opponents of the bill say the change will lead to more claims for workers’ compensation and increased insurance costs for municipalities. AP


Two plead guilty to payroll tax, workers’ comp fraud

Two men recently pleaded guilty in Jacksonville, Florida to avoiding payroll taxes and construction industry workers’ compensation requirements. Federal prosecutors say they established shell companies purported to be involved in the construction industry, then obtained workers’ compensation insurance policies to cover a minimal payroll for fake employees. According to the Department of Justice, they then “rented” the insurance to work crews who had obtained subcontracts with contractors on projects across Florida, in the $1.4 million scheme. Construction Dive


More than 3,600 US healthcare employees died in COVID-19’s first year

A 12-month investigation by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News, the most complete accounting of U.S. healthcare employee deaths, has found that more than 3,600 frontline employees died in the first year of the pandemic. Widespread shortages of masks and other personal protective gear, a lack of testing, weak contact tracing, inconsistent mask guidance by politicians, missteps by employers and lax enforcement of workplace safety rules by government regulators all contributed to the increased risk faced by employees in this industry, the yearlong series of investigative reports concluded. Bemidji Pioneer


Customs officials have seized over 20 million counterfeit masks this year

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have seized more than 34 million counterfeit masks since the start of the pandemic, but the last few months have seen an “exponential increase” in counterfeit mask seizures. The counterfeit masks resemble N95 respirators, considered the most effective mask in preventing coronavirus transmission, but don’t offer the same level of protection. KCCI