Monday, May 21, 2012

In U.S. Steel town, fatal gas explosion goes unpunished by OSHA

                Good Day Humboldt County!

  Americans are dying by the thousands every year from work-place related accidents. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration — OSHA – doesn’t have enough people to enforce safety laws, and the laws are not stiff enough to make employers pay heed.

How bad is it here? The U.S. workplace fatality rate remains roughly six times that of the United Kingdom, which has stricter safety rules.

“Nick Revetta was among 4,551 people killed on the job in America in 2009, carnage that eclipsed the total number of U.S. fatalities in the nine-year Iraq war. Combine the victims of traumatic injuries with the estimated 50,000 people who die annually of work-related diseases and it’s as if a fully loaded Boeing 737-700 crashed every day. Yet the typical fine for a worker death is about $7,900. The latest government tally — 4,690 worker deaths in 2010, up 3 percent from 2009.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, American workers are entitled to “safe and healthful” conditions. Nick Revetta’s death and the events that followed lay bare the law’s limitations, showing how safety can yield to speed, how even fatal accidents can have few consequences for employers, and how federal investigations can be cut short by what some call a de facto quota system.” (READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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