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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Shutdown Means No New Beer From Craft Brewers

October 9, 2013 2:02 pm | by Carrie Antlfinger and Todd Richmond, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tthe shutdown has closed an obscure agency that quietly approves new breweries, recipes and labels, which could create huge delays throughout the rapidly growing craft industry.             

Wyo. Coal-Fired Plants Top EPA New-Plant CO2 Limit

October 7, 2013 1:59 pm | by AP | News | Comments

The standards recently proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would require new coal-fired plants to exceed no more than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour.           

Changes In Chemical Management Part 3: Best Practices & Technology

October 4, 2013 1:06 pm | by Glenn D. Trout, President, MSDSonline | Articles | Comments

In order to appreciate where we are today, it’s helpful to understand the evolution of chemical compliance. Prior to 1970, chemical management was nearly non-existent. Then came OSHA and the EPA, setting the United States on a path toward greater workplace safety and environmental conscientiousness.

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Third Guilty Plea Expected In Explosives Case

October 3, 2013 2:22 pm | by Holbrook Mohr, Associated Press | News | Comments

An explosives recycling company employee is expected to plead guilty this month in the investigation into the handling of millions of pounds of military propellant blamed for the evacuation of a Louisiana town, a district attorney said Thursday.

UK Charges 6 With Multimillion Dollar Carbon Fraud

October 2, 2013 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

British prosecutors say six men have been charged over a massive pollution credit fraud scheme that cost the British government millions of dollars. The Crown Prosecution Service says the men created a string of dummy companies that traded in carbon credits, typically certificates which give polluters the right to emit a set amount of carbon dioxide in return for money paid to companies that fight climate change.

BP Executive Defends Spill Response Tactics

October 2, 2013 10:00 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A BP executive who led the company's efforts to halt its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico testified Tuesday that his decisions were guided by the principle that they shouldn't do anything that could make the crisis even worse. James Dupree, BP's first witness for the second phase of a trial over the deadly disaster, said his teams worked simultaneously on several strategies for killing the well that blew out in April 2010.

Toyota Acceleration Trial Draws To A Close

October 1, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A jury could begin deliberating as early as Tuesday to determine whether Toyota Motor Corp. should be held liable for the death of a California woman who was killed when her Camry apparently accelerated and crashed despite her efforts to stop.  

NC Man Gets 7 Years For Selling Fake Airbags

October 1, 2013 2:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Union County man accused of selling thousands of counterfeit airbags has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Prosecutors say Igor Borodin sold more than 7,000 airbags on eBay that he obtained from Chinese manufacturers. Borodin, 27, pleaded guilty last October to trafficking in counterfeit airbags and delivering hazardous materials for air transportation.

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Bozeman Company Cited For Safety Violations

October 1, 2013 10:17 am | by Matt Volz, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Bozeman company that produces brass casings for ammunition manufacturers and individuals who load their own ammunition faces a possible $45,500 fine for failing to protect its employees from lead exposure, federal workplace safety regulators said Monday.

Prosecutor: Greed Led To Deadly NH Plant Explosion

September 30, 2013 2:22 pm | by Lynne Tuohy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The owner of a New Hampshire gunpowder plant where two workers were killed in a May 2010 explosion was motivated by profit and greed and did not take adequate precautions to ensure employee safety, a prosecutor said in his opening argument as the trial began Monday for the Vermont man authorities blame for the fatal blast.

Judge Hears Claims BP Lied To U.S. About Oil Spill

September 30, 2013 2:20 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A trial over BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resumed Monday with a judge hearing claims that the company lied to federal officials and withheld information about the amount of crude spewing from its blown-out well. The focus of this second phase of the trial is on the company's response to the disaster, and billions of dollars are at stake because the two sides disagree over how much oil spewed into the Gulf in 2010.

Trial Set For VT Owner Of NH Gunpowder Plant

September 30, 2013 10:27 am | by Lynne Tuohy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The owner of a New Hampshire gun powder plant where two workers died in a 2010 explosion will argue in court that he cannot be guilty of manslaughter and negligent homicide because he was at a gun show in North Carolina when the fatal explosion occurred. The trial of 64-year-old Craig Sanborn, of Maidstone, Vt., starts Monday in Coos Superior Court in Lancaster.

Stand Out With Excellent On-Site Safety

September 30, 2013 8:01 am | by Konecranes | Articles | Comments

Though the foregoing examples focus primarily on how a strong safety culture can impress and reassure customers, the chief impetus behind building a strong safety culture is to protect a company’s most valuable asset: its employees.      

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Changes In Chemical Management Part 2: GHS Training Deadline Is Now!

September 27, 2013 8:01 am | by Glenn D. Trout, President, MSDSonline | Articles | Comments

Some might question why OSHA wants employees trained on the changes a year and half before chemical manufacturers and distributors have to make them, and the answer is because OSHA wants employees familiar with new label elements and the new safety data sheet format before they encounter them in the workplace. 

Japan Car Parts Makers In Price-Fixing Plea

September 26, 2013 2:29 pm | by Pete Yost, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nine Japanese auto parts manufacturers and two of their executives will plead guilty and pay $740 million in criminal fines for conspiring to fix the prices of more than 30 products sold to many of the world's largest automakers operating in the U.S., the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Violence Continues Over Pay Hikes In Bangladesh

September 23, 2013 9:56 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press | News | Comments

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas Monday in the third day of clashes with thousands of garment workers demanding better minimum wages amid escalating tension over the country's main export business. Police said the violence mainly took place in the Gazipur and Savar Industrial zones, just outside the capital of Dhaka. 

Senate Passes Bill To Avert Helium Shortage

September 20, 2013 2:12 pm | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

Break out the balloons. Congress moved a step closer Thursday to averting an impending shutdown of the federal helium reserve, a key supplier of the lighter-than-air gas used in a products ranging from party balloons to MRI machines.

Ex-Halliburton Manager Charged In Gulf Spill Probe

September 20, 2013 10:07 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A former Halliburton manager was charged Thursday with destroying evidence following BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a case that coincides with a guilty plea to a related charge by the Houston-based oilfield services company. Halliburton was BP PLC's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf in April 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

SEC Moves Toward Mandate On CEO-Worker Pay Gap

September 20, 2013 10:05 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Public companies would have to show the difference in pay between their CEOs and ordinary employees under a proposal advanced by federal regulators. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to propose a rule that would compel companies to report that information publicly. Companies would have to report the ratio between their chief executive's annual compensation and the median, or midpoint, pay of employees.

Changes In Chemical Management Part 1: OSHA Adopts GHS

September 20, 2013 8:01 am | by Glenn D. Trout, President, MSDSonline | Articles | Comments

Today over 43 million workers in over 5 million workplaces are covered by the HazCom Standard, which means OSHA’s adoption of GHS creates compliance issues that extend far and wide into American workplaces, especially  industrial facilities. The biggest changes that companies in the United States will see thanks to GHS adoption are to chemical classification, labels and safety data sheets.

Haslam: VW Tax Credits Not Contingent On Union Status

September 19, 2013 2:07 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tennessee has not made economic incentives for Volkswagen contingent on the German automaker rejecting the United Auto Workers union at its Chattanooga assembly plant, Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday. A top Democrat in the state House last week alleged that Haslam was trying to use economic incentives to sway Volkswagen against working with the UAW.

Court Upholds CA's Low Carbon Fuel Standard

September 19, 2013 2:06 pm | by Jason Dearen, Associated Press | News | Comments

A panel of federal judges on Wednesday upheld California's first-in-the-nation mandate requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected arguments from fuel makers that California's "Low Carbon Fuel Standard" discriminated against out-of-state producers.

WI Senate Passes Lemon Law Changes

September 18, 2013 1:29 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Wisconsin state Senate has voted to tighten the state's lemon law, which covers when consumers can sue auto manufacturers. The Senate passed a bill Tuesday would remove the ability to receive double damages in such cases and shorten the deadline for bringing a lawsuit from six years after purchasing a faulty vehicle to three years.

Appeals Court Sides With Spirit AeroSystems

September 18, 2013 1:27 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal appeals court sided Tuesday with Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. in a labor dispute stemming from the way the Wichita-based aircraft parts maker evaluates employee performance. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the district court properly refused the union's efforts to compel arbitration over the issue.

Fastener Standards Today: Improving Quality

September 17, 2013 4:17 pm | by Dick Seidl, Global Applications Engineering Director, Stanley Engineered Fastening | Articles | Comments

Fasteners are essential to modern life; it is easy to forget just what an important role they play. Automakers have reported that the majority of their warranty costs arise from fastener related issues – ranging from the simple rattle in the dashboard coming from a loose tapping screw to a major recall resulting from mis-torqued high strength fasteners in the steering system. Many problems relate back to the not-so-simple fastener.

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