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EEOC sets record in FY2012 for monetary recovery

The slow rebound of the economy has done little to dampen American employees' enthusiasm for filing EEOC discrimination complaints. U.S. employees filed 99,412 charges of job discrimination with the EEOC in fiscal year 2012, which ended Sept. 30. That's just 535 fewer than were filed in 2011, when the commission handled the most job bias complaints in its 47-year history.

While the number of charges declined slightly last year, the EEOC set a record in FY2012 for monetary recovery through its enforcement efforts, collecting $365.4 million from private-sector employers.

NIOSH provides tips for avoiding slips, trips and falls

Slips, trip and falls - the third most common cause of lost-workday injuries in wholesale and retail trade - occur due to factors such as slippery surfaces; loose mats or rugs; poor lighting; employee fatigue; and inappropriate, loose or poor-fitting footwear, according to NIOSH. A new fact sheet, Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls in Wholesale and Retail Trade Establishments, offers recommendations to prevent such injuries.

The tips address planning and workplace design, training, footwear, material handling and housekeeping.

California Department of Industrial Relations posts website to help explain reforms

To help employers understand the wide-ranging changes created by the new reform law, the California Department of Industrial Relations has posted a new information web page.

Michigan rules regarding independent contractors to change January 1, 2013

On and after January 1, 2013, services are employment if the services are performed by an individual whom the Michigan administrative hearing system determines to be in an employer-employee relationship using the 20-factor test announced by the internal revenue service of the United States department of treasury in revenue ruling 87-41. This is a significant change aimed at reducing misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

More information.

Fear of discipline may discourage injury reporting: Duke study

The reporting of injuries in the high-risk construction industry can be a challenge.

Injury reporting occurred 50% less when workers expected to face discipline for being hurt on the job, suggests a new study from Duke University. Researchers surveyed 1,020 carpenter apprentices in three union training programs. More than half - 58 percent - reported working at jobs that offered safety incentives for not being injured or negative consequences for being injured, according to the study abstract.

The study was published online Oct. 25 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Obese truck drivers have higher crash risk: study

Obese commercial motor vehicle drivers may have a higher risk of crashing than normal-weight truck drivers, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota.

Researchers studied the body mass index of 744 truck drivers and found those with a BMI of 35 or greater had a 43-55 percent higher risk of crashing. BMI is determined from a person's height and weight, with 18.5 to 25.0 considered "normal" weight and 30.0 or above considered "obese."

Researchers suggested that conditions related to obesity such as fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness and mobility limitations account for the increased crash risk.

The study was published in November in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention.