As a worker, you should be able to go to work without fearing for your health or safety. Nevertheless, worker safety is an issue that is often ignored. However, the 16 Deaths Per Day campaign is dedicated to shedding light on the fact that employers who provide unsafe working environments for their employees are rarely ever prosecuted for a subsequent death of an employee.
Furthermore, the punishment for employer negligence is tantamount to a slap on the wrist. In fact, contribution to an employee’s death is only a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum prison sentence of six months and a maximum fine of $70,000. Unfortunately, under the Bush Administration, funding to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was cut. Thus, OSHA was unable to inspect worksites suspected of providing unsafe working conditions. Furthermore, OSHA rarely ever referred cases of employer negligence to the Justice Department for prosecution, and employer fines for noncompliance were lowered even more.
A few current and past members of congress are hoping to change these current conditions: Lynn Woolsey and the late Ted Kennedy introduced a bill in April called the Protecting America’s Workers Act. The bill would help to strengthen worker safety laws and give OSHA the ability to inspect dangerous worksites and impose legitimate fines for non-compliance.
Please view the video below for further information and personal stories of how several employees were affected by employer negligence:
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.