A report by the Center for Public Integrity indicates that even those workplaces that have been designated as model workplaces by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may still be at risk of workplace hazards that increase the risk of an accident.
The investigation found several workplaces across the country that had been included in the agency’s Voluntary Protection Program, but had still been the scene of several serious and even fatal accidents. There are more than 2400 workplaces across the country that are members of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program. This is a program that exists to benefit workplaces that the agency considers to be safe, by giving them a range of benefits, including fewer numbers of inspections.
However, according to the Center for Public Integrity report, since the year 2000, there have been at least 80 workplace accident fatalities in these model workplaces and in at least 47 of these, investigations turned up a number of serious safety violations. These are places have been the scene of crane accidents, explosions, fires and toxic exposure incidents. These are not the kind of accidents that you expect to find in a work place that has been granted special exemption from regular inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration because of their high safety standards.
Missouri Injury Lawyers find it even more shocking that these employers continue to retain membership in the Voluntary Protection Program even after serious accidents have occurred in their premises. When there is a serious accident or a preventable fatality in a “safe” workplace, it should be a sign that the workplace is not as safe as designated, and should be put through regular inspections.