|ECMS has participated in numerous projects involving environmental investigative work, subsequent remediation, materials testing and inspection. These projects have been performed under contract to private sector corporations, public transit, city, county, state and other public agencies. ECMS maintains safety-trained personnel for engineering, construction support and environmental field services and is experienced in the development of safety plans for specific projects. Our personnel have completed the 40-hour OSHA training as per 29 CFR 1910.120 plus additional internal training programs. ECMS has prepared and implemented site safety plans as required by site conditions and regulatory requirements. ECMS’ personnel is trained to perform air quality work, undergo regular respirator fit testing and physical examinations as required by OSHA and TDSHS.
Nearly 40 years after the Occupational Safety and Health Act was enacted to protect workers, organized labor and some members of Congress say the government's regulations are in need of an overhaul.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 6,000 Americans are killed annually in workplace accidents -- more than 15 a day -- and millions more are injured. But a study conducted by the AFL-CIO, using data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), found that the average fine for deadly violations is only $11,300. Peg Seminario, the union's director of safety and health, says that under current law, "fish, horses, and wild burros have stronger protections from harm than workers. That's an outrage, and it needs to change."
OSHA's records show that workplace violations increased 6.4%, to 89,000, from 2003 through 2007. Serious violations were up 12% -- to 67,000 --during that same period.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D., Calif.) says penalties are "shockingly low," amounting to a "slap on the wrist for killing or injuring a worker." Even in the most egregious cases, employers rarely face criminal prosecution, she adds.
Woolsey, who chairs the House subcommittee on workforce protections, has introduced legislation that would greatly increase both civil and criminal penalties for violations of OSHA rules. The maximum fine for willful and repeated violations, including those causing death, would increase from $70,000 to $250,000. Maximum jail time for willful violations that result in death would go from two years to 20 years.
— Brooke Lea Foster