News Around Town: Anti-Smoking Law takes effect
Posted on Jun 13, 2012 in News
Anti-Smoking Law takes effect
Birmingham’s new anti-smoking regulations that became effective Friday, June 1 mean big changes for employers in the city.
Smoking is now prohibited in all enclosed areas of places of employment located within the City of Birmingham. The areas include but are not limited to common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms and vehicles.
The prohibition also applies to rooms, chambers, places of meeting or public assembly and other enclosed areas and vehicles owned, leased or operated by the City of Birmingham.
Smoking also is not allowed in public parking decks or outdoors within seven feet of a building’s entrance.
The anti-smoking regulations were approved by the Birmingham City Council April 17 and include smoking bans in nearly all public places and establishments.
UAB’s nonsmoking policy, established in September 2004, states that all building, facilities and spaces that are owned, rented or leased by UAB — including covered walkways and covered parking — are nonsmoking areas. A violation of this policy by an employee will result in disciplinary action according to established UAB disciplinary procedures up to, and including, discharge. A violation of this policy by a student constitutes nonacademic misconduct, and the student will be subject to established disciplinary action.
Robinson wins Outstanding Faculty Award
Christopher Robinson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, is the recipient of the UAB Disability Support Services Outstanding Faculty Award for the spring 2012 semester. The award is given to the faculty member most dedicated to providing equal access and opportunity to students with disabilities.
“I treat students who have a disability first as people, and I work with them to get the education they desire, but I always expect them to perform at the same level as the other students in my classes,” Robinson says.
Students who are registered with DSS are encouraged to nominate professors who promote an inclusive classroom, value diverse learning styles and abilities, challenge and support students with disabilities and believe in working with all students. The letter nominating Robinson stated:
“He has helped me to believe that I have the ability to achieve whatever it is I want to do in my life, despite the many obstaclesmay have to overcome in order to get there.”
School of Public Health Receives 6 Million in Grants
The Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety at the UAB School of Public Health, has received a five-year, $6 million award for research and training from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The center, one of 17 funded by NIOSH, develops the safety and health practitioner of the future, says Elizabeth H. Maples, Ph.D., deputy director of the center.
“The majority of our graduates work in settings in Alabama and the Southeast, making a difference in the safety and health of the workforce and helping businesses to be more productive,” Maples says.
The Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety serves many functions, including a pilot research program, which supports the research of new investigators in the Southeast, a continuing education program for those in the field and community outreach activities in and around Birmingham.
Talladega National Forest Land Sale on Hold
In response to public uproar, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management on June 8 postponed an auction of 43,000 acres of the Talladega National Forest for oil and gas exploration.
Environmental groups became aware of the planned sale just before a public notice period ended in April and filed a last-minute protest.
It was only then that elected officials in the affected areas found out about the potential sale, which included mountainous forest land adjacent to a public water supply in Calhoun County and parcels bordering the Cheaha Wilderness. Popular hiking trails, including the Pinhoti National Recreational Trail, traverse the forest, and the popular Camp Mac and its lake would be encircled by leased land.
With no information available to the public about the proposed lease sale, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers asked for a delay.
On June 8, the Forest Service announced the postponement in the face of a potential lawsuit by the Southern Environmental Law Center. More than 7,000 signatures gathered by Wild South and Friends of the Talladega National Forest opposing the sale.
“The Forest Service works hard to ensure that stakeholders have ample input into the decisions of the agency with regards to the management of the public’s national forests,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “Given the importance of this lease sale, we believe it is appropriate to allow for additional public informational meetings.”
“We are not trying to shut down oil and gas exploration,” Sharon Buccino, director of Natural Resources Defense Council said. “We are asking for a process that deals with the issues on the front end.”
UAB News Service