All however 12 of final yr’s 51 office deaths in Massachusetts occurred because of traumatic accidents, however a brand new report discovered these employers had been capable of minimize their safety-inspection-related fines in half by way of the appeals course of.
The common penalty issued by Occupational Safety and Health Administration within the 23 inspections that adopted 39 office fatalities was roughly $38,430. Employer appeals introduced the common closing penalty down 42.9%, to $21,927, states a brand new report compiled by Massachusetts AFL-CIO and MassCOSH.
Employer appeals introduced down closing penalties even additional when monitoring all OSHA inspections that discovered security violations, 83.5% of which had been “serious, willful or repeat,” the report states. Overall, the common proposed penalty was $9,874, however the appeals course of introduced closing penalties all the way down to $5,020, a 49.2% discount.
“For many companies, absorbing the costs of allowing dangerous working conditions is just the cost of doing business,” a spokesperson for Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health stated in a press release.
OSHA performed 1,521 inspections in 2022, discovered 1,621 violations and issued citations of $30,000 or extra to 69 firms in Massachusetts. Most of the hazards that led to extreme damage or demise had been simply preventable, the report asserts.
“Thirty-nine workers lost their lives to work-related injuries in Massachusetts in 2022, demonstrating that egregious practices and preventable deaths are still occurring,” the report states. “We must continue to push for adequate safety measures and consequences for employers that don’t comply, so that all workers return home safely to their families.”
A majority, or 9, of those staff had been from the development business.
Further, the report states that the 12 remaining deaths captured in final yr’s information drastically underrepresent what number of staff died from occupational diseases, which “are estimated to kill more than 20 times as many workers who die from workplace-traumatic injuries in the United States every year.”
There is not any complete authorities documentation of this information. The report cites 10 firefighter deaths, from numerous cancers and cardiac arrest, together with a truck driver and hashish cultivation worker who died from work-related illness.
Overall, the 51 office deaths that occurred final yr are decrease than the 62 that occurred in 2021. Transportation incidents, which embody motorcar crashes and staff struck by automobiles or gear, had been the main reason for demise from accidents, accounting for 48% of those fatalities.
Nine staff died from falls, slips and journeys; 5 died from contact with objects or gear; and one other 5 injury-related deaths resulted from publicity to dangerous substances or environments. Three staff died from violence dedicated by one other particular person and a industrial hearth, the report acknowledged.