Worker Safety

Are government regulations tough enough?


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 ...

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