This Week's Facts:
Tips Abound for
Many people use Labor Day as an excuse to get out of town one last time. Whether you’re camping, hitting the beach or going for a boat ride, the federal government has safety tips to fit your activity. One great site to visit is Recreation.gov. It allows you to locate parks and facilities around the country where you can camp. While it’s getting a little late to make reservations, you still have a chance!
Those who are going swimming will want to check out the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) from NOAA. You can go here for information on coastal water temperatures from around the country. Yes, the Great Lake region is included in this, so even if you’re sticking close to home this can help you! Check this out ahead of time to see if you can handle the water temperature.
If you’re going boating, the US Coast Guard has a great site for boating safety. It includes links to boating safety courses, information on the dangers of carbon monoxide and even what you need to know about life jackets and float planning.
Finally, maybe you’re staying home this year and celebrating with a barbeque. If that’s the case, be sure to check out this site from the USDA about the proper handling of food. Labor Day is a great excuse for a mini-vacation. Just make sure you stay safe!
Friday Facts Editorial Team:
As people around the country welcome the first long weekend of the school year, we thought we’d dedicate this issue of Friday Facts to Labor Day.
The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City. It was organized by the Central Labor Union and celebrated with a demonstration and a parade. After this success, other unions around the country were encouraged to take up the idea. And take it up they did. More and more unions pushed for the holiday; municipal laws mandating a Labor Day quickly followed. This led to legislation at the state level. New York was the first state to propose an official Labor Day, but Oregon was the first state to pass actual legislation in 1887. By 1894, 27 states had laws designating Labor Day and President Grover Cleveland signed the recognition of the holiday into law. For more information on Labor Day, be sure to check out the Department of Labor's Labor Day 2010 site. This is a really neat site that includes a video – available in English and Spanish – entitled “The state of the American worker,” Labor Day History, DOL accomplishments and more.
You also may be interested in Labor issues and unions in general. Be sure to check out the data on Union Membership from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, you can see minimum wage laws (as of July 1 2010) from around the country here.
The Indiana Department of Labor has a federally recognized program to help Indiana’s small business owners! The Indiana Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (INSHARP) offers recognition, rewards and support to employers that operate excellent safety and health management systems. Being INSHARP certified is an accomplishment that will make small business owners more competitive among peers as a model worksite for occupational safety and health. Not only will your business have an advantage over other non-participating businesses, but receiving INSHARP certification will exempt your business from some programmed IOSHA compliance inspections for the certification period. There are standards and criteria to be certified, but a minimum will address OSHA’s 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines.
Click here to see a listing of current INSHARP businesses. For more information about the program, view the brochure or contact a consultant. Workplace safety is vital to maintain a successful business as well as complying with labor laws.
We’ve all worked at something – whether to make a living, advance a career or simply stay afloat in the rocky sea of life. A number of federal and state agencies cover labor- and career-related topics that are useful to librarians, staff and patrons alike. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the Occupational Outlook Handbook in English and Spanish every year. With it, patrons can see the education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job and working conditions for hundreds of U.S. jobs. It also directs readers to job market research in their home states. For Indiana, this agency is the Department of Workforce Development, which maintains the interactive Indiana workforce profiles website Hoosiers by the Numbers. It also features the website IndianaCareerConnect.com, which provides free current job listings by geographic location and provides tips for job seekers. In Indiana, the Department of Labor exists independently of Workforce Development and oversees enforcement of state wage, health & safety, and child labor laws. It also reports on the state’s occupational injury, illness and fatality data annually in INReview.
As librarians and information professionals, we are in a unique position to provide patrons assistance in furthering their educations and employment prospects – at no charge! We play a crucial role in providing a gateway to better information and the chance to live a more productive life. The Census Bureau’s Labor Day 2010 feature tells us the numbers behind the celebration – how many people in the labor force today, how we get to work, what kind of jobs we hold, and how much we make at our jobs.
Just in time for Labor Day, the latest edition of Outdoor Indiana is available at most DNR properties, Borders and Barnes & Noble stores around the State. The latest issue rocks! The cover photo shows a rock containing a sea scorpion fossil from the Indiana State Museum’s collection. Make your plans now to enjoy Indiana’s beautiful fall colors and interesting landscapes!
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