In light of recent worker deaths and the April 28 Workers’ Memorial Day, Reps. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., and Phil Hare, D-Ill., recently introduced legislation to cut down on the number of American workers killed or injured on the job each year. Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. and Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced identical legislation in the Senate.

The legislation would apply federal safety standards to workers who are not currently covered, including federal, state and local employees, and some private sector employees; increase penalties for repeated and willful offenses; and allow OSHA to apply felony charges for repeated or willful violations that result in a worker death. The legislation also includes whistleblower protections and would force employers to provide the necessary safety equipment to their workers, such as goggles, gloves, respirators or other personal protective equipment.