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Things you should know

E-Verify postponed

While the House-passed version of the stimulus bill would have re-authorized E-Verify for five years, it was removed from the final bill. On January 28, 2009, the federal government agreed to temporarily postpone implementation of the rules requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify. The new implementation date is set for May 21, 2009.

Most employers require waivers for severance pay

An online survey by the Society of Human Resource Management found that nearly 75% of the human resource professional respondents required workers who were laid off to sign a form releasing their organization from liability for employment actions. Slightly more than one-third of employers offer salary continuation and health benefits as severance. Another third offer a lump-sum payment only. A smaller percentage offers a combination of lump sum payment and health benefits, only health benefits or only salary continuation.

Study finds Hispanics and new construction workers confused by OSHA’s terminology

Two new studies question whether Hispanic construction workers and those new to the industry understand the “jargon and acronyms” used in OSHA’s 10-hour safety training course. This is not an issue of language barriers or education levels according to the Purdue researchers who conducted the studies. It’s about jargon – understanding what you are talking about when you do the training. Even after training, many did not understand terms such as PTO (power takeoff), lockout/tagout and bird caging. The researchers recommend using visuals in training such as pictograms to help alleviate the problem.

Videos target oil, gas extraction workers

NIOSH has produced two short video clips intended for oil and gas extraction workers.
Take Pride in Your Job: Fall Protection urges workers never to be "un-clipped" when working at height. Take Pride in Your Job: Seat Belts reminds workers to buckle up whenever they are in a moving vehicle.

The videos feature oil and gas extraction workers sharing their personal stories about the use of seat belts and fall protection. They are designed for use in pre-shift or weekly safety meetings, NIOSH said.

Final rule allows vertical tandem lifts

OSHA published a final rule December 10, 2008 allowing marine terminal operators to vertically lift two empty containers, one atop the other. The rule goes into effect April 9, 2009. The new rule will permit using semiautomatic twistlocks for a vertical tandem lift of two empty containers as long as specific safeguards are followed.