IN Safety Penalties for Worker Deaths Almost Doubles from Jul 1

Source: alekseystr - 123RF

Safety+Health reports that the maximum penalty for on-the-job worker deaths will rise from $70,000 to $132,598, as a result of an employer knowingly violating safety regulations.

The legislation was introduced in January on the first anniversary of the death of Shacarra Hogue, a 23-year-old factory worker who was fatally crushed by a press in Fort Wayne.

A state investigation found that the company had removed safety features from the machine so workers could climb into it, according to a report published Jan. 7 by Fort Wayne local news WPTA-TV. Hogue died when a co-worker started the machine while she stood inside it.

Indiana OSHA fined the company $6,300.

The bill also removes the ability for employers to negotiate a reduced penalty issued by the agency after such incidents.

According to the 2017 Indiana Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 138 workers lost their lives in a workplace accident in the Hoosier state. This represents an increase of .73% in the number of fatal injuries from the 2016 total of 137.

124 men suffered workplace fatalities in Indiana (89.86%). Fourteen women suffered fatalities (10.14%).

Transportation incidents accounted for 45 male fatalities (36.29%) and five female fatalities (35.71%). Both men and women were most often fatally injured in transportation incidents.