Injuries and Illness, Safety Culture and Behavioral Safety

OSHA Chief: Workplace Deaths Are ‘Rarely Accidental’

Although workplace deaths are often called accidents, they “are rarely ‘accidental,’ as in a matter of chance or bad luck,” according to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels in a recent opinion piece. Michaels says the issue can usually be traced back to decisions by employers and managers? Agree? Disagree? Keep reading to find out why Michaels turns to a recent motion picture to make his point.

In the article, published in The Huffington Post, Michaels says the film Deepwater Horizon, which dramatizes the 2010 explosion of a BP oil rig that killed 11 workers and injured 17, is “a clear example of how poor choices by an employer can lead to tragedy.”

According to Michaels, an inquiry into the tragedy revealed that “no minor financial savings could have justified decision made by the company.” He says the explosion and subsequent oil spill have already cost the energy giant more than $60 billion.
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