Advocacy group offers proposals for state, local safety reform

Washington – A new manual from the Center for Progressive Reform claims current occupational health and safety laws and policies need reform and predicts that progress on worker safety issues will likely occur at the state and local levels rather than at the national level.

Released in June and written by public health researchers and lawyers with experience in health and safety, Winning Safer Workplaces offers policy proposals to state and local safety advocates.

The manual offers policy proposals in three areas:

  1. Empowering workers: The manual includes proposals for health and safety committees, safety education and training requirements, and whistleblower protection.
  2. “Making sure crime doesn’t pay”: The manual discusses expanding penalties for violations and criminal liability, as well as closing legal loopholes that allow employers to avoid fixing hazards.
  3. Strengthening institutions: CPR supports including police and prosecutors in investigations of fatalities and serious injuries, responsible contractor laws and annual state-level audits.

The manual also highlights several cases in which workers were killed on the job by preventable hazards.

CPR, a nonprofit research and educational organization, is distributing the manual to worker safety organizations across the country. A series of webinars is slated to begin later this summer.