The prospect of criminal convictions and jail time send a powerful and necessary message to companies that might not be deterred by a fine....People should not have to choose between earning a living and preserving their health and well-being.
The report says the state's law enforcement officials should be given a stronger hand to go after negligent contractors.
"Criminal prosecutions may be one of the only solutions that the commonwealth's attorney general and district attorneys have available to them to permit action against willful violations," the report said.
Robert L. Petrucelli, president of Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts, a trade association representing the state's commercial construction industry, said the group is studying the report.The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health issued the following statement following the OSHA citation:
"Certainly that's a huge potential impact on the construction industry and we have to look at the thought process behind that recommendation," he said referring to the call for criminal penalties.
The group is researching what penalties currently exist for wanton or reckless behavior on the part of companies and neglect on the part of workers.
The OSHA investigation in late September confirmed what most of us anticipated: the tragedy that took the lives of Robert Beane, Romildo Silva and Michael Ty, was preventable had the employers instituted basic, well-known safety measures.Amen
To honor the memory of three men, we can no longer tolerate the claim that a workplace death was a “freak accident” when a 20,000 pound scaffold with no supports, collapses and crashes down 30 stories.
We can no longer call worker deaths a shock when at least one construction worker in Massachusetts dies every single month.
The state can no longer throw its hands up after a worker death and say its OSHA’s responsibility.
Like a science experiment, we know that if all conditions remain the same, we can predict the results - that employers will continue to ignore safety precautions and workers will die.
It’s time for the state to step up to the plate and not allow employers to put profit over safety.
- Boston Scaffold Collapse: Asking The Wrong Questions, April 10, 2006
- Scaffold That Fell Should Have Been Attached To A Crane, April 8, 2006
- Boston Scaffold Collapse: Voluntary Safety Doesn't Work, April 6, 2006
- More On The Boston Scaffold Collapse, April 6, 2006
- Falling Scaffold Kills Three -- Cheap Workers or Expensive Bystanders?, April 3, 2006