The Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled that a manufacturing company in Warren, Ohio violated a safety requirement in failing to give a worker proper safety equipment.
The justices unanimously rejected Glunt Industries’s argument that the electrical breaker that left its employee injured was not “equipment to be worked on” under Ohio law.
“We find that Glunt’s main breaker cabinet was ‘equipment to be worked on’ that was covered by (Ohio Administrative Code),” the court wrote per curiam.
Glunt had a power failure throughout its plant in Warren in April 2006. Thomas Hamrick, an electrician for Glunt, alleged that a supervisor told him to look into the problem. To do so, he went to the main electrical breaker cabinet in the plant. The cabinet housed two breakers, which were covered with separate panels. The right breaker was lower voltage than the one on the left, but there were no high-voltage warning signs.
The cabinet exploded while Mr. Hamrick was standing in front of it. He sustained massive head trauma.
Mr. Hamrick alleged his injuries were caused by Glunt’s violation of a specific safety requirement, when it failed to give him the necessary safety equipment.
The staff hearing officer who heard Mr. Hamrick’s case for the Industrial Commission of Ohio granted his application for more workers’ compensation benefits.
Glunt filed for a writ of mandamus to compel the commission to deny the benefits. The appellate court denied the writ. Glunt took the case to the Supreme Court of Ohio.
On appeal, Glunt argued that it had not violated the requirement because the requirement only applied to “equipment to be worked on.” It contended that Mr. Hamrick caused the explosion by opening that breaker.
The justices held that he was permitted to work on the lower voltage breaker, and that it was located directly beside the one Glunt alleged he was not permitted to be near.
“This alone negates Glunt’s claim that Hamrick’s mere presence at the main breaker cabinet was unauthorized,” the court wrote. “The evidence, moreover, suggests at least two possible causes for the explosion that implicate the cabinet’s lower-voltage right side — the side Hamrick was unquestionably authorized to service.”
Glunt claimed that its failure to provide safety gear was not the cause of Hamrick’s injury because even if it had been provided, Mr. Hamrick would not have used it. However, the justices rejected Glunt’s argument because it did not change that the company had failed to provide things necessary to safely complete the task.
The case is cited State ex rel. Glunt Industries Inc., v. Indus. Comm., case No. 2012-Ohio-2125.
Mr. Biden used an eastern Ohio car dealership as the backdrop to a speech during which he said Mr. Romney was wrong to criticize the government’s auto industry bailout. He also criticized Mr. Romney’s leadership at Bain Capital, telling the story of a Kansas steel plant that shut down with the loss of hundreds of jobs after Bain Capital bought it.
A company president’s job is to look out for investors, regardless of what that means for jobs.
“But that’s not the job of a president of the United States of America,” Mr. Biden said. “The job is much bigger than that.”
The mother of a fourteen-year-old girl who had cerebral palsy and weighed twenty-eight pounds when she died last year was sentenced today to nine years in prison.
Angela Norman was sentenced in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court in Dayton.
Ms. Norman, a Dayton resident, pleaded guilty last month to a first-degree felony count of involuntary manslaughter and to single misdemeanor and felony counts of endangering children.
A grand jury had indicted Norman on all three charges last November. The judge could have sentenced her to a maximum ten years in prison.
Via The Washington Post.
In 2010, Ohio election law was amended to require all parties to certify the names of their Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees at least ninety days before the general election.
The Ohio law is section 3505.10(B). It says the November ballot will include
the names of the candidates for president and vice-president certified to the secretary of state or nominated in one of the following manners: (1) Nominated by the national convention of a political party to which delegates and alternates were elected in this state at the next preceding primary election. A political party certifying candidates so nominated shall certify the names of those candidates to the secretary of state on or before the 90th day before the day of the general election.
Texas had a similar problem in 2008. The law required the names to be certified earlier than the date of the Republican and Democratic national conventions. The Secretary of State did not enforce the deadline, and in 2009 the Texas legislature repealed the deadline.
The Ohio legislature is still in session, so it could fix the problem if it wished.
Via Ballot Access News.
Within days of a drug-related slaying in suburban Cleveland, six men were indicted on charges that carried the possibility of a death sentence. Six months later, all pleaded to lesser charges.
In short, the men went from facing death to prison sentences typical for thieves.
Such scenarios are typical in Cuyahoga County, where prosecutor Bill Mason pursues dozens of offenders on capital charges each year at added cost to taxpayers and at the risk of some defendants ending up on death row for charges that would be minor elsewhere, according to an analysis of records by The Associated Press.
Mr. Biden said there is “life and hope in the heartland” as a result of the administration’s pro-manufacturing policies, which he said would do more to build a lasting economy than the profit-at-all-cost approach of firms such as the one Mitt Romney headed.
Mr. Romney’s message this week has focused on the nation’s growing debt. Mr. Biden talked about the debts Bain Capital loaded on to the companies it took over, such as GS Steel, a Kansas City plant. When Bain bought the company, it had $13 million in debt. When it filed for bankruptcy, it was $533 million.
While workers lost jobs, health care and saw pensions dwindle, Mr. Romney and his partners “walked away with at least $12 million on compensation.”
“Romney made sure the guys on top got to play by a separate set of rules. He ran up massive debts, and the middle class lost. And folks, he thinks that experience is going to help our economy?” Mr. Biden said.
Via The L.A. Times.
Ohio senators approved regulations for horizontal shale drilling on Tuesday in a bipartisan vote.
State Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) urged fellow lawmakers to get drilling moving. “Folks, we’re sitting on a mountain of money,” he said. “People who have been poor as church mice for 150 years are now going to be the latter-day Jed Clampetts.”
The energy bill cleared the chamber. It adjusts Ohio’s renewable energy standard, which set a timetable for utilities to meet usage thresholds, to include waste heat such as that generated from factory smokestacks.
Supporters say the bill balances environment, public health, and commerce by expanding chemical disclosure and water testing requirements. It goes next to the Ohio House.
The bill requires well operators to disclose the site from which they’ll draw water for blasting into the well to release oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids.
The legislation also requires well operators to disclose all chemicals that will come into contact with human water supplies during the drilling operation. Water samples must also be taken at all wells within 1,500 feet of any proposed horizontal well.
No Frack Ohio, a coalition of anti-drilling groups, said such provisions won’t help the public because reports won’t be prompt or specific. They said the oil and gas industry wrote the bill, which benefits them at the expense of Ohio residents.
Critics said the bill ignores disposal of wastewater from fracking. Disposal of the millions of gallons of chemical-laced water used in the fracking process has been tied to a series of earthquakes in the Youngstown area.
Ignoring this threat, Sen. Shannon Jones, the bill’s sponsor, said wastewater regulations would be addressed in separate legislation.
Via Business Week.
Teenagers in Ohio would be able to take driver’s education courses online instead of in classrooms under a proposed change being considered by lawmakers.
Teens younger than eighteen are required to have twenty-four hours in the classroom and eight hours behind the wheel with instructors.
Driving schools opposed to the change say it would allow teens to do the online work with little oversight, creating more opportunity for cheating.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association says fifteen of the twenty-six states that require teen driver education allow online training.
Via Toledo News Now.
Some 8,000 feet deep and 450 million years old, the Utica Shale has a lot of petroleum.
Although no one really knows how much there is, oil and gas companies are flocking to eastern Ohio, home to some of the shale’s most amenable portions.
It’s an experimental phase for the technology that makes shale extraction possible, too. Companies that have used horizontal hydraulic fracturing successfully in the Marcellus, Barnett, and other shales are still trying to figure out how to best use it in the Utica.
In Ohio, sixty-five Utica Shale wells have been drilled so far, each requiring 5 to 6 million gallons of water.
But as Utica drillers analyze early results, at least one company thinks water might be unnecessary, and that using a propane-based form of fracking might be more profitable.
That unnamed company has asked GasFrac Energy Services to frack two Utica trial wells in Ohio using LPG, short for liquid petroleum gas. Founded in 2006 and based in Calgary, GasFrac is the world’s only provider of LPG fracking.
LPG uses propane (and occasionally some butane) that’s pressurized to the consistency of a gel. Then, like water-based fracking, it’s injected through pipes at high pressure underground to release oil and gas by cracking open rocks using sand.
LPG naturally mixes with petroleum, so it returns to the surface with the oil or gas being extracted.
Fracking is controversial, because of concerns of potential risks to water supplies. LPG fracking eliminates the toxic “flowback” water that has to be reused, treated and discharged into waterways, or disposed of in deep injection wells, which have been linked to earthquakes in Ohio.
GasFrac argues that LPG is more environmentally sustainable and economically efficient, a claim that has drawn some skepticism.
Petroleum engineers in the 1960s and 1970s tried using propane fracking, but the potential for explosion left the technology uneconomical.
In Ohio, GasFrac’s spokesman said the company hopes to start the Utica wells by the end of the month.
It could be a proving ground for the technology.
While GasFrac has been keen to note in its recent marketing efforts that LPG uses no water, the technology’s profitability will ultimately determine its potential, said Michael Mazar, a financial analyst who follows the company for BMO Capital Markets. “The environmental benefits are secondary.”
Via Midwest Energy News.
Great. This program worked so well in Florida that it’ll be bound to work here, too.
The Senate Finance Committee set a Tuesday vote on a provision allowing three Ohio counties to administer drug tests to prospective welfare recipients. It’s among dozens of Senate changes to Gov. John Kasich’s midterm budget bill.
Backers say testing prospective recipients will make sure benefits are used for their well-being and the good of their families and not to subsidize a drug habit.
Opponents say the drug-testing program places an unfair burden on the poor and violates a section added to the Ohio constitution by voters last year.
The Healthcare Freedom Amendment, approved with 66% of the vote, was a reaction to a federal health care overhaul backed by President Barack Obama. The issue was broadly worded. It banned laws that compel participation in a “health care system,” which includes programs that enroll, manage or process individuals for health insurance, health care data, or health care information purposes.
So the Republicans argue that they must drug test, and that the state can have no participation in the health care system. I guess we should be used to them wanting it both ways.