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OSHA (Occupational Safety And Healthy Administration) is a company in the United States that was developed by the ministry of labor to improve the standards of the workers in their different working places. OSHA was created to encourage employees to take safety measures to avoid accident in their working places. Secondly it was meant to influence companies to be recording any accidents and injuries that have ever occurred in the company in order to take the responsible measures and prevent other accidents. It was also meant to mandatory ensure the safety of the worker and to educate employees on their rights in order to stop exploitation of workers by their employees. It was created to ensure companies cover fully protection over its employees and to sue the companies that were not concerned with the safety of their employees and the employers. The company was very strict in enforcing its rules and regulation and ensured the safety of employers and employees in other companies. Before a company was established OSHA was responsible for inspecting the company to ensure the safety of the workers (Irvine, 1997).
Unfortunately some of the issues are not covered in the act that protects employees and the employers. For example, people who are self employed are not mentioned in the act. This is because one can’t be too selfish to consider money before his/her safety. Secondly, in farms or any other company that is family based whereby the employees and the employers are of one family the conditions in the act do not cover situations like this. The company has to form its own agencies that would be ensuring the safety of the workers and if the safety measures of the employees are not considered then OSHA is forced to intervene and protect the worker from exploitation. Several inspections in private or any other company is frequently conducted according to complains received by OSHA from workers in a particular company. The difference between the companies owned and operates by workers within a family and the other companies is that the conditions of OSHA limits them from interfering with the companies that are family based without complains from the workers or any other member of the company. This has led to exploitation in some companies since the worker are afraid to report because the company might either be closed or even get fired.
Occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) has taken several steps in ensuring that the conditions they set are followed by companies. OSHA’s regulations are printed in code of federal regulation (CFR) and available in almost all the libraries. They also have CD-ROMs containing their regulations to ensure that everyone can access to them anytime. OSHA is allowed by the constitution to fine anyone who disobeys their regulations. In order to reduce the cases of exploitation in companies OSHA has raised their fines to high very amount. Although this has somehow worked some huge companies haven’t stopped mistreating their employees but instead they have been using money to bribe journalist to spread good qualities of the company. This is among the challenges that OSHA has been facing in fighting labor abuse in companies.
In the fight against abuse of labor in companies OSHA has taken the following steps:
- Has been continually moving and changing its standards as the companies change their standards through technology.
- An employer that has more than eleven employees is supposed to keep record of the accidents and injuries that occurs. If an accident results to death or hospitalization of 3 or more employees the employers are required to report to any OSHA office within the first 8 hours. This is to ensure that safety measures are taken to prevent other accidents from happening.
- Employers have the duty to keep informing employees of the safety and health measured that are required by OSHA. This is meant to educate employees of their rights and roles in ensuring their safety within the workplace.
Inspecting companies to ensure they have the standard facilities in maintain safety within the company. OSHA is authorized by the constitution to conduct inspection in companies or any workplace at any reasonable time and is allowed to interview employers and employees in the company in order to collect information that may be used in ensuring safety in the workplace. OSHA has a group of trained inspectors who conduct inspections professionally without distracting customers if it’s during working hours. Inspection notice given by OSHA is less than 24 hour so as to avoid correction of accidents that have happened or suspending workers that can possibly give out bad information about the company. OSHA has inspection priorities whereby the companies with the worst working condition are attended first to prevent risks that endanger the lives of the workers. In case there was an accident the people with serious damage are attended to in order to prevent more harm or deaths. The employer is then asked to release the other employees whose lives may be in danger. If there were programs meant to ensure safety of the workers, the responsible insurance company is supposed to cater for the hospital bills and the destruction caused. If it’s vice versa the employer is highly fined and may end up in jail for endangering other peoples’ lives (David, Uliana & Wormald, 2007).
Rules and regulation that are implemented by OSHA are made by the government because the organization was formed and is also funded by the government. OSHA sources revenue from the fines it collects from the companies that are irresponsible. They also receive grants from several government and non-government organizations. Death or any other serious accident is penalized according to the history of the company and may reach up to 7000 dollars for every violation. When the violation is repeated the fine may rise up to 70000 dollars and one is likely to end up in jail or pay other fines to bail him/her out. According to David Barstow and Lowell Bergman one the president bush’s policy of administration was to ensure that there was safety and good health among all citizens. This contributed very much in fighting against companies that did not respect the dignity of their employees. Bush helped by ensuring that his government was strict in fighting matters related to exploitation of people’s ability to improve the state of United States (Daft & Lane,2009).
Recently OSHA has been involved with a company called mount Carroll grain facility owned by Haasbach which led to the death of two of its employees who were killed by a grain elevator. The death occurred when workers in the company were trying to save their worker who had fallen in a bin. They were four of them, three managed to escape while the others died miserably with no one to help them. Another employee was trapped in a grain bin and stayed there for almost six hours before the rescuers responded. He was taken to a hospital with a helicopter but he didn’t survive. The company was fined a total of 721000 dollars and was asked to buy new machines. Another company was charged 23 million dollars after an employee died in a bin where he was trapped for more than four hours. This company is for processing soya beans and it’s situated in Burlington. OSHA has reduced the cases of exploitations and companies are now responsible for the safety and health of their employees. Death cases in companies are reduced compared to the 1970 to 2000 incidents.
Mc wane is among the biggest private companies in America that is situated in Alabama for manufacturing cast iron pipes. It was founded in the early 1920s by J. R. McWane and has over 7500 workers. The annual revenue of the company is estimated to be almost two billion. The company has severally been accused of violating the rules set by occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) organization. In the past years it has been reported several deaths, injuries and disabilities caused by the conditions in the working places. The company has been repeatedly accused of violating regulations sets by OSHA and there is nothing much was done. Mc wane is one if the richest families in United States that is known for taking advantage of the unprivileged by risking their lives. The company has been providing poor facilities in the workplaces and keeping the employees in risky places that may lead to their deaths. The employees had been complaining to OSHA and nothing much was done to improve the status of the company. The company used to trick OSHA making them belief they are not guilty until the media groups joined and published a book that had confessions of the mistreated employees in McWane. OSHA began their mission in putting an end to the cruel behavior and they never succeeded until in the year 2004.
In the year 2003, PBS frontline, New York Times and Canadian broad casting cooperation (CBS) published an article describing the dangerous working conditions in Mc wane. The company was accused of causing several death of their worker due to poor working condition. The company had ignored the welfare of the worker and concentrated on projects that contributed to income. Photos have been showing how they even abuse the environment by spilling waste products in rivers. The company had been getting huge profits and yet it wasn’t able to buy descent uniform for the worker who contributed to the income. The company had also been practicing racism and work was divided among the employees with discrimination of skin color. The black people were taken to the worst conditions and had nothing to do rather than following their orders. Managing directors in McWane have accused of misdemeanor whereby one has to be jailed for six months or more if there are other allegations raised against you (Mentzer, 2004).
Mcwane’s representatives have been avoiding interviews from the media and recently when a New York Times reporter asked Mcwane’s lawyer for an interview, he told him that the company has been quiet for a long time and it is not yet ready to talk. Nowadays the company seems to have changed completely and it even accepts interviews from the media. In the year 2007 when Ruffner Page who is the president of McWane requested for an interview by the frontline to update their reports he replied immediately and welcomed them. In the interview Mr. Page refused to answer questions and insisted on only read the prepared statement on camera and to be filmed while walking through the McWane plant? In report hearing in 2005 Mr. Page said that since he started working for McWane he fired at least 9 senior managers who were working for McWane when it was accused of misdemeanor. Frontline was unable to interview Philips McWane but was able to get scripts of a report made by mr.page and Philips McWane. Their statement said that McWane was in the process of remolding its condition and that OSHA only accelerated the process.
As one of the condition given to mc wane by OSHA, the managing director of Mc wane held a meeting with united steelworkers of America (USWA) to discuss on the better ways of improving the safety of their employees. In their discussions USWA acknowledged mc wane on the best way to improve the safety of the workers that has advantages to both the employees and the company. Mc wane and USWA agreed to join efforts to ensure worker in their company are involved in programs that will ensure their safety and cater for their bills if there is an emergency. USWA played a role of influencing mc wane to consider employees safety programs in their budgets (Michael, Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2007).
Mc wane collaborating with USWA agreed on taking the following steps to ensure the safety of their employees:
- They will join efforts in ensuring the improvement of the safety and health programs in all the plants represented by USWA.
- They will cooperate in improving the safety and health committees by training them on the better and modern skills. That will include creating an organization in the company for training members in safety committees on the ways to protect themselves and their fellow workmates to avoid accidents and deaths in the company.
- There will be continuous replacing of the poor and old tools used in the company in order to increase efficiency in the jobs given to every worker.
- Mc wane will also buy new job equipment for example new uniforms, fire extinguishers and other equipments as ordered by OSHA.
- In their last agenda they agreed to keep records of the accidents and injuries that have ever occurred and the one that would accidentally happen in order to ensure the safety measure implemented are working.
In addition mc wane realized the need to create safety and health programs in the company for the safety of everyone in the company (United States Government Printing Office, 2005).
The employees were also supposed to participate in implementing safety measures in the company. The workers were supposed to cooperate in practicing the new implemented safety programs and help them in increasing the production in the company. The success of the implemented safety program was based on cooperation, respect and dedication among the workers in their working sectors within the company. The investigation on the previous accidents and injuries was conducted to fix the problems that might have caused the accidents in order to ensure safety in the future. The motto was to protect the workers and if the job safety wasn’t assured the job would rather stay undone but the safety of the worker considered.
Although the company has corrected all the faults it made it has never been able to admit to the media that they were intentionally mistreating their workers. Mr. Page has always been claiming that their plants were having problems and the company was going through a financial problem and couldn’t cater for the problem at that time. He continues by saying that they were very disappointed with the book published in 2003. He said that the family was not used to press especially the national press and that’s the reason they tried avoiding interviews. Nowadays McWane representatives respond to interview but they are very strict when they it comes to answer questions related to past accusations (Young, 2003).