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EEOC issues final rule implementing ADAAA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released its long-awaited final rule implementing the equal employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). These regulations, which take effect 60 days after their publication in the March 25, 2011 edition of the Federal Register, apply to all private and state and local government employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor-management committees.

Instead of providing a list of impairments that would consistently, sometimes or usually not be disabilities, as was done in the proposed rule, the final regulations provided nine rules of construction to guide the analysis of what constitutes a disability. Applying these rules of construction, the EEOC provided examples of impairments that should easily be concluded to be disabilities, including epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, HIV infection, and bipolar disorder.

More information on the new rule, including a fact sheet and Q&As, can be found on the EEOC's ADAAA website.

Work Comp sitcom coming

Blogs and news sites are abuzz with reports that Morgan Fairchild will star in a comedy pilot presentation called "Workers' Comp."

According to a Hollywood Reporter story, the program will center on a family-owned insurance business and the strange claims they manage. Filming should begin this month.

CDC module provides customized injury reports

A new module that provides cost estimates for injury deaths, hospitalizations and nonfatal injury visits to emergency rooms was released Feb. 25 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

The Cost of Injury Reports application, available through CDC's Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, allows users to create tables with medical information, work loss and combined costs based on a variety of factors, including geography, cause of injury, sex and age, body region.

Study: two pesticides associated with Parkinson's disease

Use of two pesticides – rotenone and paraquat – is linked to a significant increase in the likelihood of developing Parkinson's disease, indicates a study released by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Users of these pesticides developed Parkinson's disease approximately 2.5 times more often than non-users. The pesticides do not have any residential uses. Rotenone is only used to kill invasive fish species, and paraquat use is restricted to certified applicators, in part because previous studies suggest a possible link between the pesticide and Parkinson's disease.

Nurse toolkit aims to stem ER violence

A new toolkit is available to assist emergency rooms in mitigating workplace violence against staff.

The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is offering the online toolkit for free. The resource provides information on how to develop and implement a plan to manage violence and protect patients and staff in ERs and was developed as a result of an ENA study that found half of emergency nurses surveyed had experienced some type of physical or verbal abuse; in half of the physical abuse cases, no action was taken against the attacker. In about 75% of the cases, hospitals failed to respond to nurses' reports of violence.

EPA issues final boiler standards

EPA has issued final standards for boilers and certain incinerators that reduce toxic air emissions, but cost about 50% less than proposed rules issued last year. The final standards will require many types of boilers to follow practical work practice standards to reduce emissions of pollutants such as mercury and soot. These boilers are located at locations ranging from large industrial facilities to universities and hospitals. Because the final standards significantly differ from the proposals, The agency said it believes further public review is required and will reconsider the final standards under a CAA process that allows the agency to seek additional public review and comment to ensure full transparency.