Our cover story this month touts an important LHSFNA service that our signatory contractors need to know. We hope LIUNA’s business managers and agents will make sure they do.

The story is about site visits, one of our most direct and valuable services for employers. Construction is a dangerous business, and every worksite has its own hazards. Companies can minimize these dangers through a combination of general safety programs and site-specific safety analysis. Here at the LHSFNA, we have safety professionals who visit company sites to help contractors see the sore spots and take corrective action. For help, just give our Occupational Safety and Health Division a call.

We also take a look at a look at the sharp rise in trench fatalities. It shot up unexpectedly last year and calls us to pay more careful attention to the way we manage trench operations.

Antidepressant medicines are popular, beneficial treatments for people with depression, but their increasingly widespread use among children has produced a heightened risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. We review the situation following the recent Federal Drug Administration caution.

A key player in the nation’s ongoing effort to resolve its asbestos litigation crisis – South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle, the Senate Minority Leader – lost his bid for re-election last month while the Republicans improved their narrow Senate majority. This could increase prospects for adoption of a national compromise on this difficult issue, but on terms more beneficial to asbestos companies and their insurers than to victims. We review the debate that will be rejoined in the next session of Congress.

Lastly, it has been a good year of significant progress for our Fund in our efforts to assist our signatory contractors, LIUNA business managers and our health and welfare funds. We thank you for your support and wish you a safe and happy Holiday Season.