Forty percent of industry employers receive no fines following a worker's death

Discussion in 'Safety - General Safety Issues' started by Michael S Landa, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Michael S Landa

    Michael S Landa Industry Observer

    I am having a little trouble determining the objective of the Forty percent of industry employers receive no fines following a worker's death article; is it OSHA is incapable of performing a thorough inspection, or is it fines are not proportional to physical injury, or is it employers are getting a free ride?

    If the objective of the article is that OSHA is incapable of performing a thorough inspection then perhaps a peer review study published in the Journal of Safety Research would be in order. Until such time as a peer review study is published it is equally likely that inspection outcomes will favor the employer as they would the employee.

    If the objective of the article is that fines are not proportional to physical injury then we need to address the federal statutes that dictate what amounts are associated with each finable offense. The Secretary of Labor v. Paramount Advanced Wireless, LLC case is illustrative of a lack of standardized policies and procedures within the industry itself so it may be best to start cleaning our own house first! If Mr. LeClercq had the capability to safely tie off why did he not tie off? Now, it may be a second tie off is not required, but it would have been prudent.

    If the objective of the article is that employers are getting a free ride, I point to the case of Donnie Suhl, Sr., President of North Florida Tower Service who died within three weeks of his companies first fatal accident in a quarter of a century. Of the listed companies the bulk are small operations. The proposition of fines based on safety history, revenue or the number of employees, I would have no objection if employees who failed to comply with OSHA regulations after demonstrating behavioral proficiency in those regulations were fined at the same rate, paid for their own medical bills for accidents and reimbursed the employer for Workers Compensation claims.

    If the implication of the article is that more than 40 percent of employer’s should be fined than that would fly in the face of statistical analysis and government facts. There is plenty of peer reviewed research which concludes two thirds of fatalities are a result of worker risky behavior, that being the case it would be reasonable to that much more than thirty three percent of accidents were a result of an offense or violation of OSHA regulations.
  2. Wireless Estimator

    Wireless Estimator Administrator Staff Member

    Granted, we could have stated "Sixty percent of industry employers receive a fine following a worker's death," rather than "Forty percent of industry employers receive no fines following a worker's death," but it was a fair toss of the headline coin since neither one would have been used to imply an editorial bent.

    The sole objective of the article was to provide data that cannot be found anywhere else and let others discuss and analyze it.

    Based upon your well-received comments, we've been successful in that effort.

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