Half Million Texas Workers Not Covered by Workplace Insurance

by Guy L. Watts II on 04/24/2014

At least a half-million Texas workers have no occupational insurance coverage, either from workers' compensation or from a private equivalent, Texas Department of Insurance officials said Tuesday.  Texas is the only state in the country where the decision to carry workers' compensation insurance or a private equivalent is voluntary for companies of any size. All other states mandate occupational insurance coverage. Workers’ Compensation and Non-Subscribers In Texas, if an...
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Federal Investigation Finds Lax Oversight a Factor in Deadly Texas Plant Explosion

by Francisco Guerra, IV. on 04/22/2014

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released the preliminary findings of its investigation at a news conference this week, just a few days after the anniversary of the West fertilizer plant explosion. Federal investigators determined that a lack of oversight and regulations at the local, state, and federal levels contributed to the deadly fertilizer plant explosion that devastated a rural Texas town last year. The plant explosion was one of the worst industrial accidents in Texas...
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Medical Devices for Kids Often Only Tested on Adults

by Mikal C. Watts on 04/15/2014

Medical devices have proven useful in the treatment of a variety of diseases, but few of them have been specifically approved for use in children. The 2007 Pediatric Medical Device Safety and Improvement Act was passed to encourage pediatric device development. Most medical devices approved for pediatric use since the Act was passed were never tested on children, according to a new study. Almost all pediatric medical devices considered had solely been tested on people age 18 and...
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Feds Reach Record Environmental Contamination Settlement with Anadarko

on 04/10/2014

The U.S. Justice Department has reached a record $5.15 billion settlement with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. for the cleanup of thousands of long-contaminated mining sites nationwide. An estimated $1 billion will go to the Navajo Nation for the cleanup of 50 contaminated mine sites on the country’s largest American Indian reservation in northeastern Arizona.  The settlement resolves a legal battle over Tronox Inc., a spin-off of Kerr-McGee Corp. Anadarko acquired Tronox in 2006. The...
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PG&E Facing Criminal Charges in San Bruno Explosion

by Mark A. J. Fassold on 04/07/2014

PG&E Corp. said it expects to face criminal charges in the 2010 explosion in San Bruno, California that killed eight people. The company is the owner of California’s largest utility. The event was the result of natural gas pipelines exploding. The expected cause of actions from the U.S. Attorney’s Office include violation of federal regulations on record keeping, pipeline integrity management and identifying threats leading to the explosion and deaths. PG&E says the charges...
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