Senator John Corzine (D-NJ) has introduced a bill that would increase some OSHA penalties. Called the "Wrongful Death Accountability Act," the bill would increase the maximum penalty for an employer who willfully ignores workplace safety regulations, causing the death of an employee. Currently that crime is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail; Corzine's bill would increase the maximum to ten years imprisonment.

"Causing the death of an employee on the job through willful violation of worker safety standards should not be treated as a trivial federal offense," Senator Corzine said. "Because the penalty upon conviction is so minimal and the resources required to bring a case to trial are substantial, federal prosecutors have been reluctant to prosecute flagrant safety violations that cause death. As a result, the deterrent value of the criminal statute has eroded significantly," he said.

Corzine's bill would also increase from six months to two years the penalty for giving advance notice of a safety investigation, and would increase from six months to one year the penalty for intentionally misleading a safety investigator.