Lawmaker Wants to Increase Max. Penalty to $100K for Worker Deaths

A Republican Indiana state representative has introduced a bill that would increase maximum fines for a workplace safety violation that results in death, to $100,000 from $7,000.

Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne, introduced House Bill 1341 on the anniversary of the death of Shacarra Hogue, a 23-year-old factory worker who died after she was crushed by a press that the company had altered to remove safety features, according to a report by the Safety Health online magazine.

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the Fort Wayne company $6,300.

Carbaugh’s bill would raise the penalty for safety violations, to $100,000, in instances where the employer “willfully violated” a safety standard resulting in the death of an employee.

An analysis by legislative staffers said the financial impact of the bill would be small. Only one workplace fatality involved an employer that was cited for a safety violation in 2017. In 2018, there were two fatalities where the employers had committed a “knowing violation,” according to the analysis.

The Indiana Manufacturers Association supports the bill, according to the Safety Health report.

This article was first published by WorkCompCentral.

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