Video: Viral Work Safety Video Goes Full on Final Destination

At the end of April, a number of popular blogs posted a link to a disturbing workplace safety video from the 1990s.

Most workplace safety videos are cheesy and dull, more likely to induce yawns or eyerolls than anything else. That’s exactly what the United Safety Council was afraid of when the produced “Will You Be Here Tomorrow?”, a workplace safety video that’s genuinely terrifying. According to the official synopsis, “This eye-opening meeting opener will capture your employees’ attention and show them just how easily accidents can happen.”

While the graphic ’90s-era special effects and over-the-top acting might seem outdated today, the video is still on sale in the Accident Prevention section of the United Safety Council catalogue. According to the official description, this four-minute video was produced in 1994.

Gawker Media’s popular technology vertical Gizmodo picked up the story, describing it like this, “Neither Freddy Krueger nor Jason were ever as scary as the apparent horrors lurking in the average factory.”

The video is available on YouTube (Warning: Rated NSFW for Gore and Bloody Depictions of Workplace Accidents).

Yet while many Internet culture blogs have been having a laugh at the bloody video, it’s really no laughing matter. Workplace safety remains a top issue for many unions across the country, as well as the domestic oil and gas industry.

The video features a diverse group of workers having their limbs torn off by lathes, being impaled on spikes, being crushed to death under forklifts and inside balers, and more gruesome scenarios than should be possible to fit into a four-minute training video.

While the National Safety Council reports that overexertion and slip-and-fall accidents are the most common type of workplace injuries, anyone who works with heavy equipment faces serious health risks. Falling from heights, being struck by falling objects, and machine entanglement are all some of the most common workplace injuries.

And often, injured workers are the lucky ones. A recent study from the Ohio Safety and Health Administration found that 20.2% of workplace fatalities occurred in construction-related accidents — that’s one in five workplace deaths.

Facebook Brings its Money-Making Algorithm to Instagram

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and received a great deal of criticism because of it. Critics felt that the $1 billion purchase was poorly informed, considering the photo sharing social platform was producing zero revenue from its user base at the time. During that time, Facebook wasn’t doing so hot either, with their trading at an all-time-low.

But since then, Facebook has made a tremendous comeback and Instagram is undoubtedly part of this upswing. Over the course of the past year, the company’s shares have risen nearly 33%.

social media

Recently, Instagram’s algorithm changed, making its timeline switch from reverse-chronological to an algorithm-based feed that shows users content based on interaction history and photo popularity. This change takes a page out of Facebook’s book, as the social media giant underwent this change already, resulting in increased engagement and user growth.

And in a recent blog post by Instagram, the company pointed out that the average Instagram user misses 70% of their feeds; considering that 880 billion photos were taken in 2014 alone, many of which were uploaded to social media, this comes as no surprise. That being said, the new system results in a better, more well-curated experience.

But not everyone felt as hunky dory about the algorithm changes, as the changes will likely come at the expense of brands that use the photo sharing tool. Eat24, for example, deleted its Facebook page in protest of the Instagram changes and wrote a “break-up letter” to Facebook, accusing them of intentionally limiting the company’s ability to reach audience members organically and instead asked them to pay for promoted posts.

Regardless of whether or not brands are getting the short end of the stick, the algorithm-based timeline will encourage more ad spending from brands. And this kind of thinking has worked in Facebook’s favor in the past, as increased engagement and ad spending helped the company grow 44% in the last fiscal year.

Ben and Jerry’s Co-Founders Get Arrested in Political Protest in Washington, D.C.

If you are one of the 90% of Americans who regularly eats ice cream, then you most likely are familiar with the ice cream brand Ben and Jerry’s.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben and Jerry’s, were two of the roughly 300 protesters arrested in Washington D.C at a protest demonstrating about money in politics.

They were a part of the group Democracy Awakening, which is an organization that represents labor, peace, environmental, student, racial justice, civil rights, and money in politics reform movements.

Reported on NPR and released on their website, Ben and Jerry expressed in a statement that money in politics is an issue they deeply care about.

The company explains its stance: “At Ben and Jerry’s, we love dough so much, we invented Cookie Dough ice cream. But dough doesn’t mix well with democracy. In fact, there’s so much big money flooding into our elections in the United States that the voice of regular folks is being drowned out.”

The pair believes it is time to get money out of politics and that presidential nominee Bernie Sanders is the right person for the job.

They urge their customers to join a movement of citizens working to diminish the role of money in the political process.

The U.S Capital Police in Washington, D.C., charged Cohen and Greenfield with unlawful demonstration activity, then processed and released them on the scene.

This is not the first time these two have spoken out on political issues.

However, this presidential election is the first where they have personally made an ice cream flavor to help a candidate get elected. “Bernie’s Yearning” is a plain mint ice cream beneath a solid layer of chocolate on top.

Cannabis Marketing Makes Professional Debut in San Fransisico

Craft farmers, small batch, sustainability: these are the taglines for the world’s first major ad campaign for a cannabis brand.

Flow Kana, a San Francisco based brand that only sources sustainability grown, small batch boutique marijuana strands from independent farmers is behind this campaign in pot-friendly California.

Flow Kana is launching their ambitious campaign with the hopes of appealing to many different types of consumers who favor sustainable food. And their ad campaign to reach those consumers is just as diverse as the customers themselves. Considering that an estimated 71% of people look at the messages on billboards, the company expects to generate more than 15 million impressions with ads on bus exteriors and interiors, as well as advertisements at bus stations and on billboards.

Founder and CEO Michael Steinmetz seeks to bring awareness to the tens of thousands of Californian people, families, and collectives who comprise the state’s cannabis industry, which has up until recently only been run by small farmers and individual entrepreneurs.

With the possibility of legalization looming on the horizon, Steinmetz worries the value of the industry is in danger of being crushed by large corporations that bring a cheaper method of production to the table.

These methods have the potential to pose a threat to our environment and health.

Called “The California Way,” the marketing approach is a progressive step in the evolution of cannabis advertising. 

“The media partners that we have been working with have been happy to share this message that goes beyond ‘Hey, come celebrate 4/20 and get high,'” Steinmetz reports to Campaign US.

Their first marketing step is to relate to the wine industry’s approach, where there is a lot of emphasis placed on the product’s origin and appellation. Each cannabis product Flow Kana offers comes packed in a mason jar with brown paper tags attached with twine; the tags list the names and locations of the farmers who grew the buds.

This campaign is set to last for four weeks, but if it proves successful, Flow Kana will plan for a long term branding endeavor. 

Clinton Attacks Sanders Over Gun Safety Policy At Democratic Debate

In last night’s Democratic debate, the candidates inevitably clashed over something. This time, it was over one particularly hot topic: gun control.

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, when prompted to speak about her previous insinuation that guns from Vermont are responsible for gun violence in New York, started attacking Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders over his past votes against some gun control measures.

When asked if she was suggesting that Vermont (and therefore Sanders) was directly responsible for gun violence in New York, she said, “No, of course not — of course not. This is a serious difference between us and I want to start by saying — it’s not a laughing matter.”

Clinton highlighted Sander’s vote against a federal assault weapons ban and in favor of immunity for gun manufacturers.

“We need a president who will fight for common-sense gun safety reforms and what we have here is a big difference. Sen. Sanders voted against the Brady Bill five time,” Clinton said. “He voted for the most important NRA priority, namely, giving immunity from liability to gun makers and dealer — something that is the root of a lot of the problems we are facing.”

In the light of the past several years of an unprecedented amount of violent school shootings, from Sandy Hook to Virginia Tech, casting Sanders in such a light is a serious implication, indeed. Since 32% of adults own a gun, the debate is much more nuanced than it at first appears, even for Democrats for whom liberal policy is the forefront of their campaigns.

Sanders quickly countered that, “Back in 1988, I ran for the United States Congress’ one seat in the state of Vermont, I probably lost that election, which I lost by three points, because I was the only candidate running who said you know what, we should ban assault weapons, not see them sold and distributed in the United States of America.”

Sanders continued to note that he had a D-minus voting record from the NRA, and to assert that his being from a state which has basically no gun control makes him the best candidate to hand a consensus about gun control.

Clinton said that although Sanders may once have been against assault weapons, he had been a reliable supporter of the NRA ever since. When moderator Wolf Blizter asked Sanders if he felt he owed an apology to the families of the Sandy Hook massacre, he said no, and tried to clarify why he had supported legislation granting immunity to gun manufacturers.

“Now, I voted against this gun liability law because I was concerned that in rural areas all over this country, if a gun shop owner sells a weapon legally to somebody, and that person then goes out and kills somebody, I don’t believe it is appropriate that that gun shop owner be held accountable and sued,” said Sanders.

3 Experts Wedding Tips From Lauren Conrad’s New Book, ‘Celebrate’

Planning your dream wedding isn’t easy. Ask any recent bride and they’ll tell you that the process is both stressful and overwhelming. But reality star turned author/lifestyle guru Lauren Conrad recently managed to stave off the marriage planning madness when she planned her own wedding. As it turns out, Conrad is so skilled at organizing soirees that she recently released her new book, Celebrate, that shares all of her party planning tricks — from weddings to dinner parties.

In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, Conrad revealed that this was her ninth book published. Over the years, she has published a number of different kinds of books, from novels to how-to guides. However, this book was especially fun for Conrad to write, as it was part of her daily life.

“This party-planning guide has felt so natural because there’s so much in my life to celebrate right now,” said Conrad.

She continues: “With this book, I was able to compile all of the basics, so that the process becomes less complicated and everyone can focus on what they’re there to celebrate — and on having fun.”

Want to emulate Conrad’s stress-free wedding planning process? Here are three of her best tips:

  1. Inspiration is all around you.
    While 93% of brides use the internet to plan their weddings, Conrad recommends going beyond that. She writes:

    “The thing about a wedding is that it should really represent the couple that are getting married. I think it’s really fun to go to a wedding that’s a little different, so when you’re trying to come up with ideas it should be a combination of things that you’ve seen and that you’ve liked. Even when you’re attending other parties and weddings and you say ‘oh I really like how they did this’ — take notes as you go along.”

  2. Start planning with a timeline.
    Planning a wedding is stressful. But when broken down into checklist-sized chunks, it is way more manageable:

    “I was fortunate enough to have a wedding planner so she was really the one to keep me on schedule, but I would recommend for anyone planning a wedding to put together a calendar. I included one in my book, but it’s basically a check list of things you want to have done each month before the wedding, so that you can stay on track and you’re not running around at the last minute trying to get things done.”

  3. Try on as many dresses as possible.
    There’s no better time to look for a dress than right now!

    “One of the best parts of wedding planning is going to try on the wedding dresses, and you’ve got to be sure to give yourself enough time. So don’t be afraid to start looking right away. I think it’s important to try lots of different styles — for me personally, I always imagined my wedding dress being a ball of tulle, but then I went and tried on some similar styles and it looked ridiculous. So have fun with it, don’t put too much pressure on it, and even if it is different from what you imagined, that’s okay, it’s just whatever you feel comfortable in.”

The Population in South Florida Exceeds Six Million

The population in South Florida exceeded six million for the first time in history, according to a recent report.

The region is now the eighth most populous area in the United States, and it seems like it is increasing at an alarming rate. In Florida alone, about 1,000 people move there every single day, and over the last five years, about 500,000 people moved to the lower part of the Sunshine State.

Broward County has the highest growth with an 8.5% rise over the past few years, and now their population is at 1.9 million. Miami-Dade County, which is the most populous county in the entire state, saw a 7.8% increase and now has a population of 2.7 million.

Carlos Gimenez, Mayor of Miami-Dade County, told the Miami Herald that the diverse population leads more diverse people to the area.

“People are drawn here because it’s international,” Gimenez said. “We speak their language. We speak lots of languages.”

Most of Florida’s new immigrants are Cubans and Canadians, according to Ying Wang, a researcher for the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida. Wang said that 25% of all new Florida immigrants move to Miami-Dade County.

“We have a good environment for them. Their friends and family are here. We have good food, policies and a good work environment,” Wang said.

Orlando is one of the largest-growing metropolitan regions in the country as well. According to WFTV, the Orlando area added 60,000 new residents in 2015, which was the most in the country.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the vast majority — about 65% or over 335,000 people — of the new residents moving to these Florida regions have come from other countries. Only 2,659 people have relocated from the U.S. to move to these popular regions of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade.

OSHA Report of the 10,000 Severe Workplace Injuries Shows Disturbing Trends

In a recent OSHA document, the first to come out after a federal law required employers to report severe work-related injuries, has found a disturbing trend of “numerous reports of fingertip amputations among workers using food slicers.”

The first year of federally-required reporting brought news of the 10,388 severe work-related injuries reported in 2015. The report included 2,644 amputations and 7,636 hospitalizations.

Employers are required to report injuries involving eye loss, amputations, or hospitalization within 24 hours; fatalities must be reported within eight hours. In the past, the top cause for worker-related fatalities was transportation accidents, accounting for 42% of the total injuries in 2012.

Until this requirement, OSHA did not have all the facts or a good grasp on the situation at large. “Too often, we would investigate a fatal injury only to find a history of serious injuries at the same workplace. Each of those injuries was a wake-up call for safety that went unheeded,” said the OSHA report.

The new rule might not even be entirely accurate. “We think the actual number might be twice as high,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels.

Some of the other results included reports of a sanitation worker in a Missouri meat processing plant who lost both lower arms when cleaning a blender, a worker whose arm was amputated while he cleared a conveyor jam, and a woman whose arm was mangled by machinery in Chicago.

Those examples come from the private sector, but public agencies like the U.S. Postal Service also rank high on the list of groups reporting severe injuries.

The reports are largely done by the employers onsite; there are too few OSHA inspectors for the number of workplaces in the country. Micheals said that the agency has 2,500 inspectors, and yet there are seven to eight million workplaces.

Some employers use this to their advantage and try to cheat the system, which can be hazardous to employee health.

Peg Seminario, the AFL-CIO safety and health director, said, “The OSHA report shows that teh OSHA Severe Injury Reporting rule issued last year is a common sense regulation that is helping to target dangerous workplaces and to spot emerging safety and health problems that pose a wider threat.”

New Silica Rule to Protect Workers’ Health

The Obama administration will be implementing a new rule surrounding silica in order to potentially prevent 600 deaths in the United States each year.

Crystalline silica is a dust, 100 times smaller than a grain of sand, that comes from granite and sand, and it can affect workers’ lungs. Under the silica rule, the feds will be lowering the amount of silica dust that companies can legally expose to its workers.

The Huffington Post reports that workers, labor unions, and health experts have been lobbying for standards like these for decades — 45 years, to be exact.

Tom Ward, a Detroit bricklayer, lost his father to this disease. “When I became an apprentice, I didn’t think I would be exposed to the same hazard that killed my father.”

“All of you who have been suffering,” Ward added, “your voice has been heard.”

According to HomeAdvisor, cleaning up construction sites can cost anywhere from $150 to $950, but the deadly disease hidden in the dust of those sites causes many more problems.

The diseases and ailments caused by exposure to silica dust — lung cancer, kidney disease, silicosis, and emphysema — are expensive to treat as well, so the Occupational Safety and Health Administration believes that these new regulations will save between $3.8 and $7.7 billion.

According to OSHA, approximately 2.3 million U.S. construction workers are exposed to silica dust.

The new rule will reduce the allowed exposure to silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. However, Business Insurance reports that some workers are skeptical about the new rule.

“There’s definitely concern that there’s not going to be a way to get to this limit,” Matthew Linton, of Holland and Hart L.L.P. in Denver, said. “Obviously, OSHA disagreed and moved the rule forward anyway.”

Patrick Devine, a construction worker in Ohio, is worried about achieving these goals of the silica plan. “It’s hard to argue with the science,” Devine said, “but it’s the feasibility, the economic impact it will have, that is the argument.”

The National Association of Manufacturers also criticized the new rule, saying it’s “fundamentally flawed” and relies on “appallingly out-of-date economic data.”

David Michaels, the head of the OSHA, was asked about these criticisms. “Industries typically overestimate the true cost of new regulations,” Michaels said, but he won’t underestimate the importance the rule will have on workers’ health.

“This is the most important health standard OSHA has issued in decades,” Michaels stated.

Obama Grants 61 Convicted Felons a Second Chance

President Barack Obama officially shortened the sentences of 61 imprisoned drug offenders on Wednesday, March 30.

The President of the United States has the power to grant pardons and commutations to convicted felons that he believes “deserve a second chance.” The 61 inmates, many of whom were nonviolent offenders, and more than one-third of whom were serving life sentences, will be released as early as July 28.

As the first active president to visit a federal prison, Obama has now commuted 248 inmates, which is more than the past six presidents combined.

“Throughout the remainder of his time in office, the president is committed to continuing to issue more grants of clemency as well as to strengthening the rehabilitation programs,” reported White House counsel Neil Eggleston.

On a mission to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system, the president sat down with former inmates who had been granted clemency and asked them about the challenges of re-entering society. He found that several of them have pursued careers in law, and many of them got married and had families.

“Their stories are extraordinary,” Obama said. “We’re all imperfect. We all make mistakes.”

Obama has made criminal justice issues a major priority at the end of his final term in office, though he has always called for getting rid of strict sentences for drug offenses. He argues that punishments have been excessive and incarceration rates are far too high.

Opponents of the president’s clemency initiative are critical of Obama’s stance, worried that violent criminals will be released “en masse onto the streets.”

The president’s view on drug-related crime and sentencing does have supporters in both the Democrat and Republican parties across the nation. Last fall, California voters passed Prop 47, a bill that reduced drug possession and non-violent thefts from felonies to misdemeanors.