Occupational Safety and Health Administration
The role of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today Is that of an enforcer. OSHA Is the enforcer of the OSHA act of 1970 which came about through social regulation. They uphold the laws and regulations provided In this act, and come down hard on those who violate these rules. Often, it is seen that OSHA is electing to have more enforcement, which turns into bigger fines on the companies.
OSHA is said to be set up with primary concern being worker safety and to make sure that the primary concern of the workplace is its workers safety. Some argue that they are a consultant, but there is a lot of distinctive evidence that shows how OSHA is an enforcer today. Social regulation started in the early 1 us which deals with the conditions those goods and services are produces, the quality of those goods and services, and the impact of the production on society as a whole. The Federal Government deals with most of the social regulation, but there are a few other organizations that have a say.
They Include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), this group has rules concerning safety regulations In the oracle and all of their rules and regulations are applied across the board. “You have the right to a safe workplace,” this is the slogan for OSHA. This group was created by Congress using the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which was created as a way to prevent workers from being seriously injured or killed at work. The law requires that workers are able to work in conditions that are free of any known hazards.
OSHA not only protects the employees in the workplace by enforcing the safety and health standards, but they also provide assistance such as training to tooth workers and employers. If the worker feels that their workplace is not following the standards, they may file a complaint to have OSHA Inspect their workplace. OSHA is responsible for enforcing Its regulations as well as Its standards on the regulated companies across the nation. The organization will send compliance officers to work sites where they will perform an Inspection and apply fines for any violations of the standards.
These fines sometimes add up so much that the company may be forced close its doors because they were not operating safely. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have been aiming more resources towards job site enforcement in order to avoid injuries at work. They have been, and plan to increase their penalties for violations. Joe Lane asserts that, “with OSHA beefing up its penalties this is prompting some in the construction industry to question whether the agency’s focus is on safety or money. (Lane) The repeat offenders are being hit harder trough the time allotted between incidents increasing from three years to five years. Many say they fear these increases are Just a means to increase revenues rather than protecting the employees. OSHA Is coming In to punish the companies after the fact rather than Investing In more preventative measures to help protect everyone. They are spending more on enforcing the rules that have been broken instead of preventing them from being broken. Workers are asking for more problems.
The money isn’t going towards anything useful except to fill the pockets of those in charge. OSHA has influence in mostly any industry. They effect anything from the food industry, to machine shops, and automotive. An issue close to home where OSHA was more of an enforcer was in a local machine shop. There were few issues with air hoses running across the ground, how some chemicals were stores, and how close machines were to each other. These are things that could have been addressed and fixed, but instead OSHA came into the shop and heavily fined them. They were Just enforcing their rules so they could make money.
If they acted as a consultant, they may have told the place that they had so many days to fix the problems first before they would fine them. There is a high cost associated with an injury at work. Most of the injuries are associated with overexertion, bodily reactions due to slipping, climbing, or tripping, and falls. The direct cost of claims from disabling work related injuries was over forty billion in 2000, and has gone up since. This number can be lowered if people were trained better and had better knowledge about the safety hazards at the workplace.
OSHA is trying to enforce these safety rules and ideas by placing fines on those who violate, but how are they supposed to invest money into safer work environments if all they are paying for are the fines for violations. Many responses to OSHA are that they are too assertive and enforcing. Stated in an article from the Natural Resources & Environment, “Under the Obama administration, we are seeing a more assertive OSHA We can expect an increase in OSHA inspections, including mandatory OSHA follow-up inspections and inspections of other workmates of the same employer where similar hazards and deficiencies may be present. Even the director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration admits that they are very strict in what they enforce. She says that because some aspects of their authority are weak, they don’t have the full power they should have. This shows that OSHA is power hungry; they want to be able to shut down companies at their will. Allowing OSHA to have this power would be a mistake. They would abuse it too much, shown in an interview with the director, “They have the right to shut down dangerous Jobs, but they don’t have an immediate shut- down authority, which would be helpful in dealing with hazardous situations. (Monitor) Shutting down a company is no way to solve the issues associated with a hazardous workplace. That is no different than brooding the dirt under the carpet. There are a few responses to OSHA in positive ways though. These people would say that OSHA is not the enforcer everyone makes them out to be. OSHA is not seen as an enforcer by everyone, some would argue that they are a consultant, and only “enforce” the law they are in charge of when these laws are heavily violated. There was even a case against Wall-Mart because an employee was trampled to death during a Black-Friday sales event.
That’s a pretty extreme case where OSHA was fining them seven thousand dollars, but they were acting as a consultant here because they weren’t trying to get money out of Wall-Mart, rather they were trying to win the case to show how implementing new crowd control techniques, training employees in this fashion would be beneficial to any company. OSHA is always in a fight to change some ruling that they say would benefit employees and employers alike. Another argument to show how OSHA is more of a even for free. They have an annual series of grants that are awarded to various organizations for training purposes.
These grants are given to multiple industries that are view by OSHA to be the most hazardous, including construction and shipyard workers. Some of the workers involved in these injuries, and even employees of OSHA argue that OSHA has become a consultant because they don’t have as much power as hey should. They want the companies who violate these regulations and laws to be given high criminal penalties; they state that if a worker is injured in the workplace because of a violation, it should be treated as a crime against the employer.
In defense in saying that OSHA is an enforcer, not a consultant, many argue the cases used as examples of consulting. In that same Wall-Mart case OSHA was not fining Wall-Mart much this time because they couldn’t yet, they wanted to win the case so they could make the fines an enormous amount. OSHA devote a lot of resources to he case against Wall-Mart because they wanted the fines to stick to Wall-Mart; if they could win against Wall-Mart, they would be able to use that same argument against more companies in the future and charge more in fines.
OSHA is Just trying to enforce more laws on more companies for more money in their pocket. What they should be doing against these companies is providing them with more training, or fining them by having the company pay for training instead of Just a dollar amount that OSHA collects. The grants applied to companies for free training is Just a way to make OSHA look good in the press. Behind the scenes they are doing the opposite. A recent example in Wisconsin shows how OSHA is putting more effort into enforcement rather than training to avoid the whole problem in the first place.
The OSHA office in Wisconsin is implementing a stronger emphasis on enforcement, including surprise inspections, and higher fines associated with violations. Justine Kern from the Daily Reporter states that OSHA compliance assistants in Wisconsin said that, “… Their agency is putting enforcement at the forefront rather than initiatives such as the OSHA State Partnership Program, an on-site safety and health raining and consultation program. ” (Kern) This coming from an OSHA representative shows how they are concentrating more on enforcing rather than consulting.
Treating a violation as a crime and putting the employer in Jail is no way to deal with violations. If the employer is Jailed how are they supposed to train their employees to keep the work environment a better and safer place? OSHA is concentrating too much on having coercive power over the violators through punishing them strictly and trying to put fear in the others who may be in violation. A better way to control the locations is if OSHA was seen as a good thing to be in the workplace. Too many times people fear OSHA coming in because they have developed that fear over everyone.
If OSHA spent the amount of time and money into better training programs for every company, rather than enforcing the laws in the courts, they would be viewed as a better organization, and maybe even generally liked by society as a whole. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is and enforcer today. OSHA was formed from the OSHA act of 1970 as a way to aid in the prevention of injury, illness, and death at the workplace. They have been aiming more resources towards stronger enforcement of regulations, and harder penalties on those who violate them.
Some say that OSHA is more of a consultant, but it can be shown that they are an enforcer.
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