Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Field Hearing on Workplace Tragedies: Examining Problems and Solutions

The Dec. 1 confined space laundry accident that killed Victor and Carlos Diaz spurred the latest hearing in New Jursey. In an effort to get the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to start doing the job that Congress gave it over 35 years ago, OSHA start doing your job!

Director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, directer Rick Engler, feels employers should be required to create joint labor/management committees that would have "the right to survey the workplace on a regular basis and to investigate accidents, near-accidents and exposures."

Rep. Donald Payne states "We should think of making these committees mandatory -- OSHA can't get around to every place,....unless you make it mandatory that they safeguard their workers, some employers are not going to do it"

Rep. Robert Andrews stated, "OSHA is asleep at the switch and I want to see them start enforcing the law, and Congress has to give real penalties. Most fines are only a few thousands dollars and almost never are there criminal penalties."

New Jersey Labor Commissioner David Socolow said, "OSHA penalties have ceased to be a meaningful threat that could change employer behavior; it's just a cost of doing business. We need to get every employer to feel that they really ought to create a real, true, worker-management safety and health committee."

UNITE-HERE Eric Frumin, "It should have been crystal clear to the owners and managers that the OSHA standard on confined spaces was important"

No comments:

Print Page