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EEOC complaint process changes issued

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), issued final rules updating how it processes complaints made by employees and job applicants charging federal agencies with discrimination, including changes to class proceedings.

NLRB: Prohibiting discussion of work investigations unlawful

In yet another decision likely to face resistance from employers if appealed to the federal circuit courts, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Banner Health System, ruled that the common employer practice of prohibiting employees from discussing ongoing investigations violates employees' right under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to engage in concerted activity. The ruling applies to union and nonunion employers since both are covered by the NLRA's protection of concerted activity among any employees.

Online presentation aims to educate CMV drivers about fatigue

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine on July 12 announced an online presentation for commercial motor vehicle drivers on the causes and consequences of driving while fatigued.

The presentation also can be viewed on YouTube.

BLS: Manufacturing, utility workers most at-risk for hearing loss

Hearing loss rates among workers in the manufacturing and utilities industries have decreased in the past six years, but both rates remain more than four times that of private industry overall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The single greatest subsector rate in 2010 was primary metal manufacturing (33.8), followed by air transportation (24.7) and food manufacturing (22.9).

The article also details other studies into hearing loss and outlines recent OSHA efforts to help reduce the risk.

Sleep deficiency tied to pain in health care workers

Lack of sleep may worsen musculoskeletal pain and functional limitations among health care workers, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health Center for Work, Health and Well-being.

The study did not conclude that lack of sleep causes pain, but in a NIOSH blog entry, the researchers said sleep deficiency may be caused by work and, conversely, pain and functional limitations may keep someone from getting enough sleep.

The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Study links shift work to vascular problems

Shift work increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to new research from Western University in London, Ontario.

Compared to daytime work, shift work was associated with a 23 percent higher risk of heart attack and five percent higher risk of stroke.

Demanding jobs increase female risk of heart attack

Women in high-stress jobs have a higher risk of heart attack, according to a study from Harvard University.

Medical counseling helps workers with back pain return to work

Workers on medical leave who receive reassurance and medical advice on staying active may return to work sooner when suffering low back pain, according to research from the University of Leuven. Workers who were reassured their pain would resolve with time and were told to avoid bed rest and remain active were more likely to return to work, the study abstract stated. Only four percent of workers who received counseling did not return to work in a year, compared with eight percent in the control group.

Study finds work schedules may contribute to obesity among nurses

Nurses who work long hours, are on call or have a high workload may be at higher risk for obesity concludes a study from the University of Maryland.

In the adverse schedule group, obese nurses reported less sleep and exercise; they also were more likely to care for children or dependents, the study abstract stated.