On October 20, 2021, a Congressional Bill proposed a requirement for OSHA to report safety violations at work to local news agencies and other groups for dissemination to local communities. These would include local newspapers, trade and labor organizations, industry groups, and other relevant outlets in the communities of the offending employer.
H.R. 5664—the “Keeping Workers Safe Act”—is now in the House Education and Labor Committee for consideration. Right now, the language of the proposed amendment would require disclosure of all civil penalties exceeding $60,000.00 or “where multiple serious or repeated other-than-serious violations” happen. The final version of the bill, of course, remains to be seen.
Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, a 10% premium is added to the amount of compensation owed when “the injury or death is caused by the willful failure of the employer to comply with any statutory requirement,” which generally includes OSHA violations. Conversely, the compensation received by employees is subject to a 10% reduction when “the injury or death is caused by the willful failure of the employee to use a safety appliance or perform a statutory duty or by the willful breach of any rule or regulation adopted by the employer and approved by the Commission and brought to the attention of the employee” before the injury. For the statutory language supporting these adjustments, please follow this link: https://www.ic.nc.gov/ncic/pages/statute/97-12.htm.
To read the “Keeping Workers Safe Act” Bill, please follow this link: https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/4/5/45c6c6a1-9520-4660-aeca-8c85d1a2d354/3D97C48C49E44C6C27019429193D75B4.keeping-workers-safe-act.pdf.