Chevron’s health and safety specialist admits taking $6,000 bribes to be lenient to sub-contractor, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – A health, environment and safety specialist with Chevron Singapore accepted $6,000 in bribes from a sub-contractor in return for being lenient in supervising his work on the company’s lube oil blending plant.

Cheow Hock Mun, 49, a permanent resident, pleaded guilty on Friday (Oct 9) to two charges of corruption. Another corruption charge will be taken into consideration during sentencing next month.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Eric Hu said Cheow had accepted the money from Lim Gim Chuan, the managing director of LGC Engineering and Contractors, between April and July 2015.

Cheow was in charge of all safety and security matters at the Chevron’s plant in Jalan Buroh, and oversaw the issuing of permits and training of workers at the plant.

There were occasions when he did not approve permits to workers and made several safety checks on site, “many of which were not mandated or required”, said DPP Hu, adding that Cheow had also refused to conduct training for some workers.

The court heard that Cheow had also stopped work for two to three hours and directed materials to be moved to a warehouse, even though these could be barricaded and placed near an excavation site.

“Lim was aware that Cheow was the overall in charge of safety at the lube oil Blending Plant, and that he had the authority to make things difficult by not approving the permits for his workers or by finding faults with them in safety aspects,” said DPP Hu, adding that this would eventually cause delays and financial losses for Lim’s company.

Sometime in April 2015, Lim asked to meet Cheow at the canteen of the oil plant where he offered Cheow $2,000 and asked him to “give a helping hand” in Hokkien, said DPP Hu.

Cheow understood that Lim had meant

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Coronavirus outbreaks ravage nursing homes again, even after Newsom safety measures

After a steady slide in the statewide number of new coronavirus infections at skilled nursing homes, facilities in Santa Cruz and Shasta Counties are grappling with severe outbreaks, with several dozen people at both places testing positive and residents dying of COVID-19.

a man walking across Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay: The Sundial Bridge in Redding. Coronavirus outbreaks have recently hit nursing homes in that Northern California city and also in Santa Cruz County. (William Koplitz / Getty Images)

© (William Koplitz / Getty Images)
The Sundial Bridge in Redding. Coronavirus outbreaks have recently hit nursing homes in that Northern California city and also in Santa Cruz County. (William Koplitz / Getty Images)

The outbreaks raise questions on whether a May directive by state health officials, requiring regular testing of nursing home residents and staff, is being comprehensively implemented. Some watchdogs fear another spike could be in the offing at facilities that care for some of California’s most frail and vulnerable.

“Something is terribly wrong because they shouldn’t be having deaths,” Charlene Harrington, a professor emeritus at UC San Francisco who studies skilled nursing facilities, said Thursday. “There is a breakdown.”

At the Watsonville-Post Acute Center in Santa Cruz County, 61 people, including nine staff members, have tested positive since mid-September. Nine residents, whose ages ranged from the low 70s to 90s, have died, county health spokeswoman Corinne Hyland said Tuesday.

The facility is licensed for 95 beds.

In Redding, the Windsor Redding Care Center, another skilled nursing home, also is coping with an outbreak. Sixty residents and 20 staff members have contracted the virus, and seven have died from COVID-19, said Shasta County Health and Human Services spokeswoman Kerri Schuette.

Patricia McGinnis, executive director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said new California testing requirements imposed on nursing homes were being followed only sporadically and with little follow-up enforcement from the state.

In addition, rapid antigen tests the federal government has sent to nursing homes recently have been “absolutely useless,” she said. They produce

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A wave of death in Sweden’s nursing homes has exposed holes in a famously generous safety net.

In the popular imagination, Sweden does not seem like the sort of country prone to accepting the mass death of grandparents to conserve resources in a pandemic.

Swedes pay some of the highest taxes on earth in exchange for extensive government services, including state-furnished health care.

Yet among the nearly 6,000 people whose deaths have been linked to the coronavirus in Sweden, 2,694, or more than 45 percent, had been among the country’s most vulnerable citizens — those living in nursing homes.

That tragedy is in part the story of how Sweden has, over decades, gradually yet relentlessly downgraded its famously generous social safety net.

Since a financial crisis in the early 1990s, Sweden has slashed taxes and diminished government services. It has handed responsibility for the care of older people — mostly living at home — to strapped municipal governments, while opening up nursing homes to for-profit businesses. They have delivered cost savings by relying on part-time and temporary workers, who typically lack formal training in medicine and elder care.

Sweden has also substantially reduced its hospital capacity over the last two decades. During the worst of the initial outbreak, elderly people in nursing homes were denied access to hospitals for fear of overwhelming them.

Some nursing home operators assert that residents have been the victims of the government’s failure to limit the spread of the virus. The country avoided the lockdowns imposed in much of the rest of Europe. Though the government recommended social distancing, it kept schools open along with shops, restaurants and nightclubs. It did not require that people wear masks.

“There’s been more society transmission, and it’s been more difficult to hinder it from entering the care homes,” said Joacim Rocklov, an epidemiologist at Umea University. “The most precious time that we lost, our mistake

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Trump’s coronavirus vaccine czar is siding with the FDA on safety standards that make a vaccine approval unlikely if not impossible before the election

a man wearing a suit and tie: Dr Moncef Slaoui speaks at a White House press conference on May 15, 2020, announcing a program to rapidly develop a coronavirus vaccine. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

© AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Dr Moncef Slaoui speaks at a White House press conference on May 15, 2020, announcing a program to rapidly develop a coronavirus vaccine. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

  • The man in charge of the Trump administration’s efforts to aid the development of coronavirus vaccines told Business Insider he supports a decision to require two months of safety data before approving any COVID-19 vaccine.
  • “I do think it is appropriate to set the threshold of safety follow-up,” Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of Operation Warp Speed, said in a Tuesday morning phone interview. “It’s very important.”
  • That requirement will almost certainly prevent a vaccine from gaining emergency approval before the presidential election on November 3.
  • The agency spelled out its requirements Tuesday by releasing guidance for industry. Top White House officials reportedly opposed that guidance.
  • For more stories like this, sign up here for our daily healthcare newsletter.

In the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, US regulators just laid down guidelines that make it difficult, if not impossible, for any COVID-19 shot to win emergency approval before Election Day.

The US Food and Drug Administration is asking vaccine developers to submit at least two months of safety data as part of an emergency-approval application, according to documents released Tuesday. The White House reportedly opposed that measure, with President Donald Trump saying on September 23 it “sounds like a political move.”

Despite pushback from the administration, the FDA publicly released those guidelines on Tuesday. And the man leading the US government’s efforts to help develop a vaccine said he supports the FDA.

“I do think it is appropriate to set the threshold of safety follow-up,” Moncef Slaoui, the chief advisor to Operation Warp Speed, told Business Insider in a Tuesday phone interview. “It’s very important.” Business Insider asked

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Safety Tips To Follow During Your Next DIY Home Improvement Project

Around 85% of U.S. homes were built before 1980 and are now in need of improvements. And since you’re probably spending more time than ever at home, it’s likely you’ve taken an even closer look at all of the things that need fixing. You may even have a growing to-do list of all the repairs and upgrades you want to make over the next few months to improve both your property value and your quality of life.

renovation Safety Tips to Follow During Your Next DIY Home Improvement Project

While some jobs need to be handled by a professional, there are countless other projects that can easily be DIY’d. However, you still need to approach every renovation — regardless of its size and scope — with caution. Although over 20,000 workplace slip-and-fall injuries were reported in California during 2015, you don’t have to be on the clock to become hurt while doing a job. And unless you’d like to be one of the 6.8 million Americans who use assistive devices (like crutches or wheelchairs) to aid their mobility, you’ll want to do everything possible to avoid potential hazards while you’re improving your home. Here are just a few safety tips you’ll want to follow during your next DIY home improvement project.

Always Wear Protective Gear

Aside from knowing how to safely operate power tools and other equipment, you’ll also want to take pains (pun intended) to get yourself the right protective gear. This means you’ll want to wear ear and eye protection, as well as gloves, headgear, and non-slip footwear with closed toes. You should also consider wearing some kind of face mask if you plan on working with any kind of chemicals or with power tools that might produce dust. In addition, take care not to wear loose clothing that could become caught in equipment or that could hinder your movement.

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