OSHA rarely gets a mention on the campaign trail, but the high profile investigative series in theNew York Timesdocumenting the agency's reluctance to pursue criminal penalties for willful violations resulting in on-the-job fatalities has spurred one Democratic presidential hopeful to run the workplace safety issue up the flagpole.

Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) unveiled a plan to "Protect Americans on the Job." As president, Edwards says he will require OSHA to refer cases to the Department of Justice whenever a workplace death was caused by a willful violation of safety laws. He will also create a "culture of enforcement" by appointing a chief at OSHA who is "a workers' advocate with personal experience in a workplace with safety problems." And Edwards vows to strengthen current laws that do not, in his view, go far enough to protect workers from ergonomic injuries and chemical reactions.

That's more detail about OSHA than you'll usually hear from a roomful of presidential candidates.