DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

OSHA Chief David Michaels Calls For Increased Fines

Employers who ignore OSHA's rules and risk workers' lives should pay higher penalties, Assistant Secretary Michaels told Congress.

In testimony given by Dr. David Michaels to the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, he stated, "Safe jobs exist only when employers have adequate incentives to comply with OSHA's requirements. Meaningful penalties provide an important incentive to do the right thing."

Monetary penalties for violations of the OSH Act have been increased only once in 40 years. Michaels offered a revealing disparity between OSHA penalties and those of other agencies: In 2001, a tank full of sulphuric acid exploded at a refinery killing a worker and literally dissolving his body. OSHA's penalty was only $175,000. Yet, in the same incident, thousands of dead fish and crabs were discovered, allowing an EPA Clean Water Act violation amounting to $10 million -- 50 times higher. "Unscrupulous employers who refuse to comply with safety and health standards as an economic calculus will think again if there is a chance that they will go to jail for ignoring their responsibilities to their workers." Read Michaels' testimony for more information.

Related Past Posts
Federal Government Sues Firm For $1,000,000 In OSHA Penalties
OSHA Issues $1,000,000 In Penalties To RPI Coatings & Xcel Energy
Contractor To Pay $750,000 Fine

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