Fortune Magazine: Employers getting off too easy when workers are hurt or killed

Business magazines seldom decry the mistreatment of workers, but even Fortune Magazine was agog when a Workers’ Memorial Day report from the AFL-CIO showed that employers responsible for a fatal accident paid a median penalty of only $5,050.  It’s a pretty shocking number, for sure, but you can easily check out what kind of fines firms are paying yourself – and other details of workplace accident investigations – by visiting OSHA’s Establishment Search page.

The low value we seem to place on workers’ lives may be part of the reason that more than 4,500 workers are killed every year in traumatic workplace accidents. And the real toll is ten times higher, researchers believe: the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries doesn’t even try to count the tens of thousands of workers who die before their time of cancers and lung conditions from chronic occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals, airborne silica dust or other disease-causing substances.

Advertisement

It has now been two years since the terrible Rana Plaza collapse claimed the lives of more than one thousand Bangladeshi garment workers and brought the attention of the world -- and not least, Pope Francis -- to the ongoing scandal of human lives sacrificed for commerce. What will we do in 2015 to reduce that grim toll, at home and in the developing world?

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

"Rome nominates, the pope nominates. That is clear!”
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 25, 2018
“I have never, never given a pardon on a conviction.”
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 25, 2018
Young adults are ready and willing to take on responsibility for and within the church. And many already have.
Cecilia González-AndrieuSeptember 25, 2018
From 1991: Are our governmental processes being skewed by sensational and inhumanly accelerated electronic images?
Thomas H. StahelSeptember 25, 2018