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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.


Monday, May 28, 2012

If There Is An Accident Or Fatality, Does That Mean A Citation Should Be Issued?

I was reading an article on the iWatch News web site today about a 2009 fatality in a U.S. Steel facility. The author wonders why,  that although there was a fatality, OSHA did not issue any citations.

Read the article: "In U.S. Steel town, fatal gas explosion goes unpunished by OSHA."

Should an accident or fatality mean an OSHA citation will be issued?  OSHA's mission is to establish and enforce standards that ensure American workers have “safe and healthful” working conditions. OSHA's job is not to impose penalties for injuries or fatalities.

On the other hand...

I worked for the post office a long time ago. I received their training for driving a toaster (one of those small, square looking postal trucks).  One part of the training I've never forgotten is that there are no accidents.  If something happened, I was responsible.  Under that philosophy then every injury or fatality should result in an OSHA citation.

What do you think?  Leave a comment. Should OSHA issue a citation every time there is a workplace fatality?

Links to related past posts:
Dealing With A Catastrophic Workplace Accident
Revised OSHA Field Operations Manual
What To Do Before There Is A Fatal Accident

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OSHA's current policy is the correct one. OSHA exists to prevent accidents and save lives. They should be citing companies on unsafe conditions without regard to if those conditions have resulted in an injury or death. The route to take for punishment or compensation for a wrongful death is the court system.

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading your post I read an incredibly stupid opinion piece in the Huffington Post. (See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-macaray/whats-an-american-workers_b_1551402.html) Of course it is not OSHA's duty to impose a penalty for an injury or death. That is not constitutional. When someone is accused of a crime, we have a right to a fair trail. OSHA issuing penalties for injuries and deaths would make them the law makers, enforcers, judge and jury. All three branches of government rolled into one big federal agency. How can anyone even consider that to be appropriate?

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course a citation should be issued. Someone's been hurt. The company has been exploiting their employees by not spending the money needed to have a safe place to work. Companies should not be able to get away with injuring or killing their employees without a penalty.

7:22 AM  
Blogger SteelFabCorp said...

No a citation should not be issued. OSHA's job is to help employers provide a safe workplace. It is the job of the local police to investigate possible intentional murder. Many times workplace fatalities fall between these two. I would hope the employer might, on their own, help the family of the deceased.

10:13 AM  

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