wiscosh: safety before profits
  • WisCOSH Joins Call for New Workplace Safety Protections to Save Thousands of Lives, Billions of Dollars

    For immediate release March 15, 2017
    Contact: James Schultz james.schultz@wiscosh.org

    WisCOSH Joins Call for New Workplace Safety Protections
    to Save Thousands of Lives, Billions of Dollars

    Local delegation to meet with Sens. Johnson & Baldwin and several Reps.;
    Advocates also call for action in local communities and workplaces

    [Milwaukee, WI] – WisCOSH, a statewide organization advocating for worker safety for nearly 40 years, has joined a nationwide campaign to advance an action agenda for workplace safety.

    Protecting Workers’ Lives and Limbs,” convened by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, has been endorsed by more than 90 groups across the country, including WisCOSH.

    The comprehensive platform for strong worker safety protections, advocates say, can save workers’ lives and reduce costs to employers in Wisconsin. A delegation from WisCOSH will present the platform to Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Sen. Ron Johnson and several Representatives.

    “Communication with elected officials is urgent”, said Jim Schultz of WisCOSH. “Recent Congressional actions have put workers at risk by taking steps to eliminate sanctions against federal contractors who violate safety laws and reverse longstanding recordkeeping rules.

    “The need for workplace health and safety regulations with strong enforcement is of vital need all across Wisconsin and America. No one knows it more than do the family, friends and community of workers like Jeffery J. Jones Jr. (38) of Wausau, Shawn Day (49) of Oak Creek, and many too many others. We have the ability to prevent most incidents from occurring. But voluntary regulations will never be followed by the corporations that can afford to kill it’s worker. Allowing employers to treat their workforce differently if they are hired employee or contractually supplied worker. Or what sector of the workforce they are employed in.

    “More than a dozen visits to Congressional offices have and will take place in at least nine states in these weeks leading up to Workers Memorial Day, a worldwide remembrance to honor workers who have died on the job. You can find information on Workers Memorial Day events in Milwaukee, Madison and other communities across Wisconsin on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WisCOSH) as we get the details.”

    The more than 90 organizations endorsing “Protecting Workers’ Lives and Limbs” represent workers, unions, environmentalists and civic groups. Key elements of the platform include: ensuring health and safety protections for all workers, reducing and working to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals; ensuring injured workers access to quality medical care; accurate counting of all occupational injuries and illnesses, and measures to adapt to –and reduce – further climate change.

    Too many workers died on the job from preventable workplace trauma in Wisconsin in 2015. Nationwide, the death toll from preventable workplace trauma is ore than 4,500 workers every year, and an estimated 95,000 U.S. workers die from long-term occupational illnesses. Millions more are injured after exposure to preventable safety hazards. The cost to U.S. employers for workers’ compensation alone was $91.8 billion in 2014, representing a fraction of the total cost of workplace deaths injuries and illnesses. The answer is not to do away with Workers Compensation or to change the way it’s implemented. It needs to be strengthened and worker deaths and injuries need to be reduced.

    In addition to meeting with members of Congress, health and safety activists plan to push for better safety practices in U.S. workplaces and enhanced protections in state and municipal law.

    “No worker should die because they went to work that day. These are not accidents. They are incidents and need to be prosecuted as such. Standards and regulations that are based on the latest science and studies that are strictly enforced would save the American workforce and the economy billions of dollars best spent elsewhere and protect American families and communities from losses felt by the Jones’ and the Day’s and too many others.”

    Protecting Workers’ Lives and Limbs” is available on the National COSH website at http://tinyurl.com/l5rtysw and in Spanish at http://tinyurl.com/mb27hvl.

link to National COSH United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities