Worker Safety

May 21, 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 19
Are government regulations tough enough?
By David Hatch

Introduction

Construction work caused 1,121 deaths in the United States in 2002, more than any other industry.  (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Construction work caused 1,121 deaths in the United States in 2002, more than any other industry. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

Although workplace fatalities and injuries are on the decline, thousands of workers are still hurt or killed on the job each year, and many mishaps go unreported. But the most flagrant violators of the nation's safety rules remain in business despite racking up hundreds of penalties and losing multiple workers to death or injury, raising tough questions about the effectiveness of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. And certain groups of workers — including Hispanics — suffer disproportionately higher casualty rates. Labor unions and citizen advocacy groups accuse President Bush of gutting protections and caving to corporate interests, but Republicans deny the accusations and say deregulation actually helps business improve safety. Businesses complain of burdensome, one-size-fits-all rules that drain time and money, hamper international competitiveness and spur companies to move jobs offshore.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Workforce Protections
Jul. 19, 2013  Telecommuting
May 21, 2004  Worker Safety
May 02, 2003  Asbestos Litigation
Jul. 19, 1996  Crackdown on Sexual Harassment
Aug. 09, 1991  Sexual Harassment
Apr. 13, 1990  Reforming Workers' Compensation
Mar. 09, 1990  Asbestos: Are the Risks Acceptable?
Feb. 16, 1990  Repetitive Motion: New Job Ailment
Nov. 25, 1988  Fired for No Good Cause: Is It Legal?
Jun. 07, 1985  Safety and Health in the Workplace
Dec. 24, 1976  Job Health and Safety
Sep. 26, 1947  Mine Safety
Jan. 18, 1946  Fair Practice in Employment
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Labor Standards and Practices