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Feds launch crackdown on employers who defy safety rules

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in Employment Law,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Preventing Workplace Violence

The Bush administration has begun a multiagency effort to hunt down and prosecute the most flagrant violators of workplace safety.

Currently, workplace safety violations typically avoid criminal prosecution, even when they lead to injuries or death. But a new partnership between OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department aims to single out for prosecution the nation's worst workplace safety violators, says a New York Times report.

The effort doesn't require new laws or regulation. Instead, it seeks to use existing laws, including environmental, racketeering and the new Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law, that carry considerably stiffer penalties than those governing workplace safety alone.

Bottom line: Expect the effort to increase the number of prosecutions brought against employers for safety violations, particularly in cases involving death or injury

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