Special Report: Wisconsin companies insulated from stiff penalties in worker deaths
Photo: Ace Work Gear
Job foremen across the country fear running afoul of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but the federal regulatory agency’s power is more image than reality.
A Gannett Wisconsin Media review of 240 workplace fatalities in Wisconsin over 11 years shows OSHA imposes tiny fines on companies whose employees are killed on the job, and often negotiates even smaller penalties than originally issued.
Workers’ families are often shocked by the outcome of the investigation, which by law isn’t designed to assign blame or impose huge punitive fines. Families also are stunned to realize they have no right to sue employers, even those with serious safety violations.