On Safety

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No debate that government plays a role in safety

October 5, 2012

During the Oct. 3 presidential debate, President Barack Obama said the government’s primary mission is keeping its citizens safe.

“The first role of the federal government is to keep the American people safe. That’s its most basic function,” Obama said.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney also stressed that the role of government was related to the safety of Americans. “We have a responsibility to protect the lives and liberties of our people,” he said.

Unfortunately, that is as close as either candidate came to addressing workplace safety. Obama’s and Romney’s statements about safety were referring to general U.S. government institutions that protect Americans, such as health care and the military.

As I’ve suggested previously, worker safety needs to play a bigger role in political discourse. Upcoming opportunities for the issue to be discussed include the Oct. 11 vice presidential debate, which will cover domestic and foreign policy, and the second presidential debate on Oct. 16, which is town-hall style and will include domestic and foreign policy questions.

The opinions expressed in "Washington Wire" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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