Sixteen workers are killed a day in the United States because of reckless negligence on the part of their employers. You're not going to believe how these employers are able to walk away scot-free, without much punishment for their neglect. Watch the video at: http://16deathsperday.com
Question: How do you get away with murder?
Answer: Hire your victim.
There are 16 workplace deaths in the United States every day. Most companies are never prosecuted for negligence, even after repeated warnings that their workers were in danger.
Under current Federal law, willfully contributing to the death of an employee is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum prison sentence of six months and a maximum fine of $70,000. Even with these weak penalties, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) rarely refers such cases to the Department of Justice for prosecution, so those employers that knowingly allow their employees to work under dangerous conditions are rarely held accountable. In fact, current laws are so weak that millions of dollars of penalties to victim's families have not been paid -- in those rare cases when violators are penalized at all.
Authored by Senator Ted Kennedy and Representative Lynn Woolsey, the Protecting America's Workers Act will:
Expand workplace protections to state, county, municipal, and federal employees who are not currently covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act * - See my comments below
* - I don't see this as necessary. As far as I know every government employee is covered by some safety regulation that while not under OSHA must be as stringent as OSHA regulations. State and other government employees in most states if they are not protected by OSHA are covered under a state program. In New Jersey this is called PEOSHA (Public Employees OSHA) and covers all State, County, and Municipal workers. It is probably the same in most other states. Members of the military are covered by the safety programs of the service branch, such as NAVOSH for the Navy and Marine Corps.
- Increase financial penalties for those who kill or endanger workers
- Strengthen criminal penalties to make felony charges available for willful negligence causing death or serious injury
- Expand OSHA coverage to millions of employees who fall through the cracks (like airline and railroad workers)
- Provide protection for whistleblowers (There are existing programs that already protect workers, but they may need strengthening)
- Give employees the right to refuse hazardous work that may kill them (I'm pretty sure we all have this right now. If you don't want to risk your life for a days pay, you can quit. No one can FORCE you to do something unsafe, you have to be willing to be forced to do something life threatening)
- Improve the rights of workers and families, requiring OSHA to investigate all cases of death (It is REQUIRED that OSHA be notified of ALL work place related deaths, and I am pretty sure the investigate them all...eventually. OSHA is way undermanned and needs its ranks expanded)
- Prohibit employers from discouraging reporting of injury or illness (this IS an area that needs strengthening. It is too easy to avoid a recordable injury. Too many loopholes.)