The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency that sets standards for workplace safety, particularly in industries that present some potential hazards to an employee. Among the big and small businesses that OSHA oversees are large corporations such as Georgia-Pacific, Bayer, International Paper, Coors, and Tropicana, or at least OSHA is supposed to oversee them. Because of their past model behavior, those companies and 2,400 others nationwide are exempt from OSHA regulations.
It’s like the honor system, hoping these companies will police themselves and keep workers safe.
But an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and the Colorado-based iNews Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network finds many of these model workplaces have had explosions, chemical and crane accidents, and failed machinery that have killed 80 workers, yet two-thirds of the businesses still remain exempt.
Even after there was a fire at a Tropicana juice plant in Florida that almost burned workers or when Georgia Pacific and International Paper had worker deaths at four different facilities, the plants remained exempt from OSHA inspections. A plant in Wisconsin had an explosion that killed one worker five months after it received a commendation for its excellence in workplace safety.
In all of these cases, it was found that if the employer had followed OSHA standards for safety then these preventable hazards would not have occurred.
OSHA does not have the manpower to inspect every workplace. The program was expanded in 1982 to take the load off of federal inspectors.
If you or a family member is injured in the workplace or on the job, workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and limited compensation to the family for a wrongful death. However, insurance companies stay profitable by paying out as little as possible.
If you are having trouble securing fair and adequate compensation from your employer, contact the experienced Florida workers compensation attorneys at Farah & Farah. Help is just a phone call away at 1-800-533-3555.