Category Archives: Uncategorized

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DOL: Get a STEM Job With Less Than a 4-Year Degree

With rising cost of a 4-year degree, more people are asking: is a bachelor’s degree really worth it? The short answer is yes. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that most high-paying jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree for entry.

But there is a growing recognition that what workers really need are the right skills and credentials to fill specific jobs. To that end, more employers are creating apprenticeship programs to train employees on the job, and more workers are turning to community colleges for certificate programs or associate degrees required for certain in-demand fields.

So what are these jobs?

A number of them are in growing STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math. We’ve identified a number of STEM jobs that need less than a bachelor’s degree to get started, and also pay close to or above the median for all occupations in May 2015: $36,200.

Chart showing STEM jobs that don't need a bachelor's degree that are also growing the fastest, 2014-2024

Two different ways to look at which STEM jobs have brightest future over the next decade are to ask what jobs aregrowing the fastest (above) and will have the most openings (below). These numbers are projections calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics every few years. In both charts, we’ve included median pay as of May 2015.

Jobs that fall into both categories are web developerscomputer user support specialists and computer network support specialistscivil engineering technicians; and environmental science and protection technicians, including health.

Chart showing STEM jobs that don't need a bachelor's degree and that have the most projected openings, 2014 to 2024.

 

Among all STEM jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree, most are likely to need an associate degree for entry, butsurveying and mapping technicians may need only a high school diploma and on-the-job training, while computer user support specialists often enter the occupation with only some college.

Photo credit: opensourceway via Foter.com /CC BY-SA

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Port of Seattle Announces the 2016 Education Series Tours

The Port U Adult Education Series is a unique opportunity to tour the Ship Canal, Airport, Duwamish River and the port’s industrial Cargo terminals, and get a first-hand view of your local maritime and aviation industries at work. 

Each event focuses on the port’s role in the local and regional economy and the diversity of businesses supported by the port’s infrastructure, investment and activity. 

These events, including light refreshments at each, are free and open to adults 18 years and older. Priority goes to first-time Port U registrants. Those who register will receive a confirmation and driving and parking information by email.

Download the 2016 flyer

 

Duwamish River 101

When: Wed., Sept 14
Check in: 3:45 p.m.
Program: 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Bell Harbor Marina, Pier 66

The 5-mile-long Duwamish Waterway is important for commerce and jobs, fish and wildlife habitat, and public shoreline use areas. Learn about marine industrial commerce, the legacy of past industrial activities, fish and wildlife habitat restoration, and Superfund cleanup plans.

Partners: Lower Duwamish Waterway Group (Boeing, City of Seattle, King County, Port of Seattle), Alaska Marine Lines, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, Delta Marine Industries, Inc., and Vigor

 

Airport 101

When: Wed., Sept 21
Check in: 3:45 p.m.
Program: 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Sea-Tac Airport is the nation’s fastest growing airport. This will be an opportunity to meet Lance Lyttle, the airport’s new managing director. Learn about upcoming projects including the new International Arrivals Facility and Sea-Tac’s master planning effort that will define redevelopment over the next 20 years. A tour of the airport will include a visit to the south satellite’s U.S. Customs Area.

Partners: Delta Air Lines,  and U.S. Customs and Border Protection

 

Cargo 101

When: Wed., Sept. 28
Check in: 3:45 p.m.
Program: 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Port Headquarters, Pier 69

Tour Terminal 18 and learn about the movement of cargo from ship to truck to train. Hear longshore workers, and vessel pilots describe their roles in the supply chain and visit the BNSF intermodal rail yard to learn how shipping containers move between the port and the interior of the country.

Partners: SSA Terminals, BNSF Railway, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Puget Sound Pilots and The Northwest Seaport Alliance 

 

Ship Canal 101

When: Wed., Oct. 5
Check in: 3:45 p.m.
Program: 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Fishermen’s Terminal

Learn about the wide range of maritime industry businesses and support services that play a key role in making Seattle a focal point for commercial fishing, boat yards, and transportation between Alaska and the Lower 48 states. The Lake Washington Ship Canal is a bustling center of maritime activity.

Partners: Ballard Oil, Foss Maritime, Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, Western Towboat, Trident Seafoods, Coastal Transportation, and Vigor

 

     REGISTER NOW       

 

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DOL: Protecting the Safety and Health of Poultry-Processing Workers

For some workers, a simple trip to the bathroom could result in the loss of a job.

Poultry-processing workers are sometimes disciplined for taking bathroom breaks while at work because there is no one available to fill in for them if they step away from the production line. Some workers have reported that they wear diapers and restrict liquid intake in an effort to avoid using the bathroom.

No one should have to work under these conditions. All workers have a right to a safe workplace, and that includes access to readily available sanitary restroom facilities on the job.

And we have very clear standards on this issue: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide all workers with sanitary restrooms and prompt access to the facilities when needed. Further, employers may not impose unreasonable restrictions on employee use of toilet facilities. These standards are intended to ensure that workers do not suffer adverse health effects that can result if toilets are not sanitary or are not available when needed.

Poultry processing is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States, and readily accessible restrooms is only one of many problems that workers in this industry face. OSHA has found workers exposed to serious hazards in poultry processing plants, including exposure to dangerous chemicals and biological hazards, high noise levelsunsafe equipment, and slippery floors.

Poultry workers are twice as likely to suffer serious injuries on the job as other private industry workers and almost seven times more likely to contract a work-related illness. They are also at particularly high risk of developingmusculoskeletal disorders from the repetitive motions they perform on the job, with workers twice as likely to have a severe wrist injury and seven times as likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than the average U.S. worker.

These injuries and illnesses must stop. To protect workers in poultry plants, OSHA launched regional emphasis programs targeting these facilities throughout the MidwestSouthern, and Southeast states. Our goal is to reduce injuries and illnesses through outreach and enforcement activities, such as training sessions, public service announcements and targeted, comprehensive safety and health inspections.

Learn more about our work to protect poultry processing workers.

Dr. David Michaels is the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

 

First Lawsuit Filed After OSHA Shuts Down Work at Fraser Shipyards Due to Toxic Lead Exposure

Today’s post was shared by WC CompNewsNetwork and comes from www.workerscompensation.com

Madison, WI (WorkersCompensation.com) – This morning a federal lawsuit (Case Number: 16 cv 343) was filed in Madison, Wisconsin by James Holder, a 48-year-old welder and ship fabricator who was exposed to critically high and toxic levels of lead while working at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin. This is the first reported lawsuit to have been filed for the toxic lead exposure that occurred earlier this year at Fraser Shipyards, which was widely reported in the media in March of 2016 when OSHA shut down the worksite because of the toxic levels of lead that were present. The lawsuit names as defendants Fraser Shipyards, Inc., Northern Engineering Company LLC, and Ohio based Interlake Steamship Company, who were in charge of the retrofitting work being performed on the Herbert C. Jackson, a 690′ bulk carrier ship undergoing dry-dock work at Fraser Shipyards.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Holder was amongst dozens of workers who had started retrofitting work in January of 2016 aboard the 57 year-old vessel when they were exposed to toxic levels of lead. The lawsuit alleges that as the project progressed, workers began to make complaints of unusual illnesses afflicting them, but were falsely reassured by the defendants that there was "nothing to be concerned about." Workers continued to fall ill until OSHA ordered a halt to all work aboard the vessel in March. In Mr. Holder’s case, the levels of lead in his blood were more than 7 times the level recognized by…

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Cutting Corners in Construction Costs Lives

Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from blog.dol.gov

an image of the collapsed parking garage
an image of the collapsed parking garage

In the construction industry, precision matters – corners need to be square, lines have to be level and plans must be followed. Following the rules keeps buildings and people safe. But when construction companies cut corners, workers often pay the price.

That is exactly what happened in Jacksonville, Florida, in December 2007. A construction company called Southern Pan thought eliminating basic safety procedures would save time and money. The result? A six-story parking garage came crashing down, killing one worker and injuring 20 others. The worker who was killed, Willie Edwards, was only there that day because he decided to pick up an extra shift to buy Christmas presents for his children.

This horrific tragedy could have been easily avoided.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces construction standards designed to keep workers safe from building collapses like this. To keep a building from collapsing during construction, a process called “shoring” is used, which involves wood or steel beams to help support the weight of concrete and other construction loads.

In violation of OSHA’s construction standards, Southern Pan chose to remove most of the shores from the first two floors of the parking garage, ignoring blueprints that required all shoring to remain from top to bottom until the building was completed. The company then knowingly permitted workers, including Edwards, to work in the…

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WCRI Studies Compare Outcomes of Injured Workers Across 15 States

Today’s post was shared by WC CompNewsNetwork and comes from www.workerscompensation.com

Cambridge, MA (WorkersCompensation.com) – New studies published today by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) compare outcomes of injured workers across 15 states. The outcomes examined in these studies include recovery of physical health and functioning, return to work, earnings recovery, access to medical care, and satisfaction with medical care.

“The goal of the studies is to provide information about injured workers’ experiences with the workers’ compensation system. By examining outcomes of injured workers, policymakers and stakeholders can better understand how different state systems compare in order to identify and prioritize opportunities to improve system performance,” said Bogdan Savych, an economist at WCRI and one of the authors of the studies.

The research, Comparing Outcomes for Injured Workers, is a product of an ongoing, multiyear effort by WCRI to collect and examine data on the outcomes of medical care achieved by injured workers in a growing number of states. There are 15 individual studies for the following states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Below is a sample of the findings from the 15 individual state studies.

  • Florida: Workers in the state reported outcomes that were similar to the median study state on some of the key measures, but reported somewhat higher rates of…

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FDA approves first implant to treat opioid addiction

Today’s post was shared by Workers Compensation and comes from www.businessinsurance.com

(Reuters) — The first-ever implant to fight addiction to opioids, a class of drugs that includes prescription painkillers and heroin, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday.

The matchstick-sized implant, developed by Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and privately owned Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, is by design less susceptible to abuse or the illicit resale that plagues existing oral therapies.

Currently, two drugs are predominantly used to treat opioid addiction — methadone, which is dispensed only in government-endorsed clinics, and the less-addictive buprenorphine, which exists as a pill or strip of film.

The implant administers buprenorphine for up to six months after users have been stabilized on the oral form of the drug.

“I intend to make this the most successful implant that’s ever been marketed … and I think it’s absolutely possible given the unmet need,” Braeburn CEO Behshad Sheldon said in an interview ahead of the FDA decision.

Fewer than half of the estimated 2.2 million Americans who need treatment for opioid abuse are receiving help, according to the U.S. Centers for Human and Health Services.

Authorities investigating the death of singer Prince found prescription opioid medication on him, sections of the media had reported. The music legend died one day before he was scheduled to meet a doctor who specializes in addiction treatment, the doctor’s lawyer revealed earlier this month.

Braeburn declined to forecast the…

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8 Steps to Keep Workers Safe in the Heat

Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from blog.dol.gov

Keep workers safe in hot weather with water, rest and shade.
Keep workers safe in hot weather with water, rest and shade.

Forecasters are calling for above-average temperatures across much of the country this summer. Are you prepared to beat the heat?

Every year, thousands of workers become ill from working in the heat, and some even die. Construction workers make up about one-third of heat-related worker deaths, but outdoor workers in every industry – particularly agriculture, landscaping, transportation, and oil and gas operations − are at risk when temperatures go up.

Heat-related illnesses and deaths can be prevented. Employers and supervisors can save the lives of workers in hot environments by following these eight simple steps:

  1. Institute a heat acclimatization plan and medical monitoring program. Closely supervise new employees for the first 14 days or until they are fully acclimatized. Most heat-related worker deaths occur in the first 3 days on the job and more than a third occur on the very first day. New and temporary workers are disproportionately affected. If someone has not worked in hot weather for at least a week, their body needs time to adjust.
  2. Encourage workers to drink about 1 cup of water every 15-20 minutes. During prolonged sweating lasting several hours, they should drink sports beverages containing balanced electrolytes.
  3. Provide shaded or air-conditioned rest areas for cooling down, and empower workers to use them.
  4. Provide workers with protective equipment and clothing (such as water-cooled…

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Countertop Workers Face Silicosis Risk from Engineered Stone Countertops

Today’s post comes from guest author Leonard Jernigan, from The Jernigan Law Firm.

Engineered stone countertops, a popular fixture in today’s homes, pose a health risk to workers who cut and finish them. The danger stems from the material the countertops are made from, processed quartz, which contains silica levels up to 90 percent. Silica is linked to a debilitating and potentially deadly lung disease known as silicosis, as well as lung cancer and kidney disease.

While the countertops do not pose a risk to consumers in their homes, they do pose a risk to the workers who cut and finish them before they are installed. When the countertops are cut, silica particles are released into the air, which when breathed in by the workers can start processes leading to silicosis. Manufacturers of the engineered stone countertops assert that worker hazards can be reduced through the use of protective respirators and equipment designed to trap silica dust. Despite this assertion, many safety precautions taken by employers are often inadequate.

The first documented case of silicosis among countertop workers in the United States was reported two years ago. In countries such as Israel and Spain, where engineered stone products gained their popularity, many more countertop workers have been diagnosed with silicosis and have had to undergo lung transplants. The danger of silicosis in the construction industry led OSHA to recently issue new rules requiring construction workers’ silica exposure to be reduced by 80 percent beginning on June 23, 2017.

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Truck Replacement Program to Improve Air Quality Scraps 200th Truck

The Northwest Seaport Alliance and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency work together to reduce diesel emissions. The incentive program helping drayage truck owners purchase newer, lower-emission trucks to improve regional air quality recently replaced its 200th truck.

The Seaport Truck Scrappage and Replacements for Air in Puget Sound 2 (ScRAPS 2) is a joint program of The Northwest Seaport Alliance and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to reduce diesel particulate emissions in the region. It supports the NWSA Clean Truck Program’s target for all port-bound trucks to have model year 2007 or newer engines by Jan. 1, 2018.

About 2,500 trucks visit NWSA terminals each day. ScRAPS 2 encourages owners to replace trucks with engines manufactured between 1994 and 2006 with newer models built to meet updated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Trucks with engines built after 2007 emit 10 times less particulate pollution than older ones. The PSCAA and NWSA estimate that taking 200 older trucks off Puget Sound roads will result in an annual reduction of 9 tons of diesel particulates and 114 tons of oxides of nitrogen.

ScRAPs 2 reimburses eligible truck owners for part of the cost of a new truck and demolishes and recycles the older model at local vehicle recycling facilities. Truck owners who buy a truck with a model year 2010 engine or newer receive as much as $27,000 in return; a truck with a model year 2007 to 2009 engine yields up to $20,000.

Launched in May 2014, the program was expanded earlier this month to make it easier to qualify for trucks primarily serving the NWSA’s South Harbor. Now 200 trips to either the North or South harbor qualifies truck owners for the incentive program. The program has funding to replace an additional 125 trucks.

Previous ScRAPS programs in Seattle and Tacoma targeted trucks with engines built before 1994 and replaced more than 400 trucks.

Under the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, adopted in 2008, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma and Vancouver, B.C., committed to reduce emissions from all port-related sources—trucks, cargo equipment, ships and trains. The NWSA Clean Truck Program focuses on meeting the strategy’s goals for trucks.

ScRAPS 2 is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation/Washington State Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington State Department of Ecology and the NWSA.

Photo credit: Franck_Michel via Source / CC BY