“Sixteen workers are killed a day in the United States because of reckless negligence on the part of their employers,” according to a new Web site.
The statement on the home page of 16deathsperday.com goes on to say, “Under existing laws, these employers get a slap on the wrist, or walk away scot-free. Meanwhile, workers who blow the whistle face threats and retaliation at the workplace.”
A five-minute video profiles two workplace fatalities where companies paid relatively small fines and didn’t face criminal prosecution.
The group’s message: Companies would rather pay low OSHA fines rather than spend more money on worker safety.
To change that, the Web site endorses passage of the Protecting America’s Workers Act. That bill would:
- allow OSHA to pursue criminal charges against a company for an employee’s death, including fines and up to 10 years in prison for owners and managers. Criminal penalties for serious bodily injury to an employee could include up to five years in prison.
- increase the civil penalty for an employee death from $50,000 to $250,000, with a minimum $25,000 fine for companies with 25 or fewer employees
- raise the maximum fines for willful and repeat citations to $120,000, and
- increase OSHA fines every four years for inflation.
What do you think of 16deathsperday.com’s message? Let us know in the Comments Box below.