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March 31, 2010 — http://16deathsperday.com/#petition — It is time to change the feeble and antiquated rules that fail to protect workers on the job. We, the undersigned, demand that Congress pass the Protecting America’s Workers Act now.
$39,000. That’s all it will cost you if you cause the drowning death of an employee. That’s all it costs because our worker safety rules are all bark, no bite.
In July 2009, a minimum-wage temp worker named Vincent Smith drowned in a vat of chocolate at a food processing plant. His employer had no license to produce chocolate, and they put him to work without training. When he fell into the vat and drowned, it only cost the company $39,000 in federal fines when inspectors discovered multiple safety violations at the plant.
That’s because our federal workplace safety laws are so weak that its often more profitable to ignore them and pay the fines than it is to act to protect hard-working people like Vincent. That’s why 16 people die every day in the U.S. because of reckless negligence on the part of their employers.
Were working to spread the word about the need to pass the Protect Americas Workers Act, which would strengthen workplace safety rules, increase fines for willful negligence that hurts workers and protect whistleblowers on the job.