In today’s world, we’re far from the working conditions described in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.
Perhaps because of our cultural advances and technological breakthroughs, it may be tempting to believe that the workplace is inherently safer today. Many of us may also think that today, employers are more vigilant in protecting their people from on the job work injury.
Really? Let’s consider what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) did over one 24-hour period this month (November 9 -10, 2010):
- fined Salem, Massachusetts contractor $46,500 for fall and other hazards at Holliston, Mass., jobsite
- fined Interstate Brands Corp. $274,500 for failing to train workers and protect them from safety hazards
- cited Fortune Plastic and Metal Texas in Dallas, Texas, for allegedly exposing workers to lead poisoning with proposed penalties reaching $125,000
- fined Belmont, Massachusetts, employer $32,000 in fines for excavation hazards at jobsite
- fined $70,000 Fall River, Mass., contractor following worker fall at Rhode Island jobsite
- cited San Antonio printing company Litho Press more than $53,000 for leaving workers vulnerable to amputations and other on the job work hazards
- cited US Minerals facility in Harvey, La., with 30 safety violations, totalling more than $110,000 in penalties
That’s almost $800,000 in fines and penalties for failures to protect workers from harm — all issued within one 24-hour period.
Be careful out there.