A little memo with some very big implications

 

Memo of Understanding between the DOL and DOJ:

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), recognizing the importance of ensuring the health and safety of America’s workforce, enter into this memorandum of understanding (MOU) to provide for coordination of matters pertaining to worker safety that could lead to criminal prosecution by DOJ. This MOU establishes a process and framework for notification, consultation and coordination between DOL and DOJ to aid both agencies in more effectively implementing our nationa l workplace statutes.

That means, that employers now face prison terms of up to 20 years instead of the paltry 6 months for OSHA violations if they are convicted of certain crimes that contribute to the deaths of employees.

More from the memo to US Attorneys:

Prosecutors can make enforcement meaningful by charging other serious offenses that often occur in association with OSH Act violations – including false statements, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, conspiracy, and environmental and endangerment crimes. With penalties ranging from 5 to 20 years’ incarceration, plus significant fines, these felony provisions provide additional important tools to deter and punish workplace safety crimes.

Below is the actual Memorandum of Understanding between the DOL and DOJ as well as the Memo explaining the initiative to the US Attorneys.

Links:

EHS Article

Memo to US Attorneys re Worker Endangerment Initiative

Memorandum of Understanding between DOJ and DOL re Worker Safety

 

About Brian Chapin

PSM / RMP Compliance Consultant
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