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May 2010 Archives

"Are Airliners So Automated That Pilots Are Becoming Complacent?"

The title question was posed by a recent New York Times article examining a trend of behavior in the cockpit that is both alarming because of its prevalence, and disturbing because of its potential for disaster: pilots relying on automated piloting systems to do their job while they shift their attention elsewhere.

Nine Chicago-Area Hospitals Shown To Have Significantly Higher Than Average Infection Rates Amongst Patients, Including One With The Highest Infection Rate In Illinois

The Chicago Tribune published an investigative report yesterday on the unusually high infection rates reported by nine Chicagoland hospitals for the year 2009, and the results, released in the newest issue of the Illinois Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care, are alarming. The infections at issue are bloodstream infections associated with the insertion of central lines into patients in the medical or surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at each hospital.

U.S. Dept. Of Labor's OSHA Announces Alliance With Mexican Consulate In Chicago In An Effort To Heighten Safety Standards For Latino Workers In Illinois And Wisconsin

Mexico's Consulate General in Chicago has signed an alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to foster a partnership aimed at providing Mexican and Latino workers in Illinois and Wisconsin with access to training, education and resources that seek to both protect workers' rights and advance health and safety in the workplace.

U.S Department Of Transportation's FMCSA Launches National Pre-Employment Screening Program Granting Employers Access To Drivers' Inspections And Crash Records

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today the launch of its Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP), a uniform investigatory system that will allow commercial motor carriers access to the crash and inspection records of all candidates seeking employment as commercial vehicle drivers.   

Illinois Driver Polishing Her Nails In Traffic Found Guilty Of Hitting, Killing Woman; Just One Day Before, The 25th State Passed Ban Cracking Down On Distracted Driving

     On May 5, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood announced that Wisconsin had become the 25th state in the U.S. to ban texting while driving, calling distracted driving "an epidemic" responsible for killing and injuring thousands of people every year. That statistic is a very unfortunate reality for the family of Anita Zaffke, the 56-year-old woman killed on May 2, 2009, when she was rear-ended on her motorcycle by Lora Hunt, who admitted to painting her fingernails while driving prior to hitting Zaffke near Lake Zurich, Illinois. LaHood's announcement of Wisconsin's driver texting ban came just one day before a Lake County jury found Hunt guilty of reckless homicide on May 6.

OSHA: 14 Workers Are Killed Every Day On The Job; President Obama Declares April 28 "Worker's Memorial Day"

President Barack Obama, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), proclaimed April 28, 2010 to be Worker's Memorial Day to celebrate and preserve the memory "of those who have been killed due to unsafe working conditions." This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well as the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt: "We Can Never Stop Working Toward That Next Level Of Safety"

At the 2010 World Aviation Training Seminar on April 27th, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Randy Babbitt delivered a speech that focused on the crucial role that human involvement plays alongside the ever-advancing realm of flight technology. In his speech, Administrator Babbitt underscored the point that the availability of flight technology should supplement, not replace, human awareness and involvement with all flight operations. "The expectation is that even with the auto pilot engaged, the human pilot is too," Babbitt said to the attendees at the Orlando seminar.

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