Nearly 6,000 workers will die on the job this year. Two million will more be seriously injured. No less than 50,000 will die due to exposure to toxic substances causing cancer, lung and heart ailments from these harmful work environments.
As a result of these injuries over $3 billion will be lost from health care expenses to lost production and wages as well as other costs to employers and workers.
ITT is trying to reduce the risk of worker injury to zero. The company, which has 44,000 employees, is getting close to that goal. Other employers should read about how ITT is achieving this goal and model their workplace safety policies and procedures after ITT.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act needs to be fixed. OSHA is run by political appointees of President Bush, many of whom are former executives of the same industries they are supposed to regulate. These same heads of the OSHA organizations have discontinued safety education and training programs and worked with Bush and Republican leaders in Congress to cut their own budgets by millions of dollars they have blocked, withdrawn or weakened dozens of safety rules and stopped the implementation of other safety rules and regulations which have been recommended by safety and health experts.
One proposed rule would have required employers to provide free protective equipment including goggles, hard hats and gloves for the thousands of low-wage workers who are unable to afford these simple safety items but the proposal was blocked by OSHA.
This government agency is supposed to create guidelines for the safety and health of the American worker but it appears their motto “Meeting Tomorrow’s Challenges Today,” should be changed to “Meeting Yesterday’s Challenges Tomorrow”.