Safety + Health Magazine –
On December 17th, the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice reached an agreement to launch a “new world of worker safety by holding managers and supervisors criminally accountable for violations of the law”. While OSHA and the DOJ have worked together in the past on select cases, this agreement formalizes the relationship, creating a path to pool resources. This agreement was sent as a memorandum to all 93 U.S. Attorneys, encouraging them to work with new departments to pursue cases in which workers were endangered.
Prosecutions are now open to anyone that made a decision directly leading to a worker’s death. This includes managers, supervisors, company owners as well as any employee that put his or her co-worker in danger. Ranging from fines to prison terms, prosecutors can target employers or individuals for a number of violations. An electrical contractor, for example, could be sentenced up to 25 years in prison if they attempted to cover up an OSHA violation that resulted in a death or injury.
In short, regulatory forces are increasing efforts to find individuals accountable for work related injuries and fatalities. Violations of OSHA regulations hold greater weight, making it more critical than ever to ensure safety measures are in place to mitigate any and all risk. For help developing safety guides, training courses, or for a review on essential risk management practices, feel free to contact The Integrated Group. We can be reached at 425-822-8500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to read the memorandum, you can access that here.