On the Arizona Star‘s Clocking-In Blog, reporter Becky Pallack published a letter addressed to her on The Weekly Toll. The letter, written by Javier Morales (whose nephew and Godson, Ian Michael Beal, was killed in a construction accident in late 2003), discussed the unwillingness of the press to report on Workers Memorial Day.
Peter Dooley, MS, CIH, CSP, who works on occupational safety issues for the United Automobile Workers (UAW), gave us permission to post his response to the letter here:
Thanks to Becky Pallack and the Arizona Star for covering the issues of workplace fatalities and the horrible consequences they have on family members and the community. The current system of enforcement by OSHA is terribly inadequate to help motivate employers to prevent these tragedies. A current bill in congress, Protecting America’s Workers Act, S. 1244 and H.R. 2049, would expand OSHA protections to millions of uncovered workers, enhance whistleblower protections and substantially increase penalties for serious, willful and criminal safety violations. Hopefully legislators will move quickly to enact this small improvement and the press will continue to give coverage to the hidden public health problem of workplace health and safety.