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OSHA advisor wants repeat offenders behind bars

March 29, 2002
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OSHA chief John Henshaw wants to do something about employers who continually run afoul of safety and health standards, inspection after inspection. Ron Hayes, long-time OSHA watchdog and the newest member to the National Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, has three ideas:

  • Don't back down from penalties.
  • Put managers of companies constantly in trouble with OSHA behind bars, in prison.
  • Publicize repeat offenders by putting them in a "doghouse" posted on OSHA's Web site.

OSHA can't back down, says Hayes. That's the key.

Settlement agreements and negotiations reduce willful penalties from $70,000 to an average of $23,000, serious violations from $7,000 to $650, and result in an average pay-out of $2,900 for repeat violations, according to a new book, "A Job To Die For."

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