OSHA cites huge fines, does it make an impact?

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I just read an interesting article about OSHA issuing second million-dollar fine in a month. South Dakota Wheat Growers Association faces a $1.61 million in citations (there were 23 willful violations) for a December 22nd 2009 fatality at one of their facilities.  The worker suffocated after being engulfed by grain in one of the facility’s bins. OSHA’s investigation found that five additional workers were also at risk of being engulfed when they were sent into the bin to dig the victim out. We all should know that confined space safety is critical.

This company ignored safety standards and so do many, many others which is absolutely horrible. How do owners and safety managers sleep at night knowing they are intentionally putting their workers at risk?    Why isn’t it top priority all the time? There are so many workplace injuries and OSHA fines are getting more significant. That is great news! However, you usually don’t hear if the companies contest the fine(s) and if OSHA actually collects on them. It appears that fines don’t seem deter the company nor create a changed mentality about safety training and observance. It has to start from the top down, too many employees are being injured or killed. Does your company invest the time and treat workplace safety seriously? I appreciate your comments.

-Donna Kolody/Emedco

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