Safety News of the Week 5/9/15

Fortune published an article about the antiquated OSHA penalties and how that affects the safety of workers. This article begins by citing the low fine Wal-Mart received from the Black Friday trampling death from a few years ago. Certainly, the worker should have been protected. I still, though, have a much larger issues with that fatality. This was not only about occupational safety, but being a decent human being. I still cannot wrap my mind around how any one or group could trample someone to death to buy cheap electronics for Christmas. Well . . . back to the article. It does gives some interesting information about the laws that are trying to get put into place to give OSHA more teeth when it comes to fatalities. Overall, there are improvements that need to happen to update and create consistency in the OSHA fines system. Unfortunately, this literally takes an act of Congress.


On the flip side, another article from this week shows the progress that the OSH act for worker safety. It is a good read that shows that there has been significant effectiveness since the act was passed. I will certainly say I am happy for it, not only because it protects workers but because it created work for someone like me. Certainly, OSHA and the laws that they enforce has helped in creating a safety workplace. There is still much more that needs to be done to assure the safety of workers. There should be a sense of pride in those workplaces that have got on board with creating a safe working environment. Now it is time for keep pushing all industries for that level of compliance.


A federal judge not only upheld a willful violation, but increased the fine against the company. The construction company was cited due to a fatality from a crane that collapsed. The company continued to fight the citation only to come up against a judge that basically said enough is enough. It is a strong message sent to those that would follow suit that fighting a citation will not only cost you in legal costs but could even increase the penalty.


OSHA is considering how to address the health and safety of transgender workers. The initial focus appears to be on restroom access. According to the article,  “OSHA and National Center for Transgender Equality announced an alliance Monday to develop a bulletin of recommended best practices for restroom access for transgender workers.” Certainly, the additional focus from OSHA will help in bringing attention to these issues.

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