Present criminal penalty provisions under the Occupational Safety and Health Act are outdated and inadequate. They provide no meaningful deterrent to potential violators of workplace safety and health standards. This Note is written to assist the reader in understanding the statutory barriers which have hindered criminal enforcement of the OSH Act, and how the OSHA Criminal Penalty Reform Act breaks down these barriers to provide for a more effective criminal penalty structure. It begins with a brief history behind the enactment of the OSH Act and its enforcement record since 1970. Section III moves to a discussion of enhanced criminal penalties, and Section IV uses serious bodily injury as an example of the deficiency of the criminal provisions. Section V gets into the issue of state preemption by Federal OSHA, Section VI examines the loophole in corporate personal liability, and finally Section VII touches on deterrence and risk.
Note, OSHA Criminal Penalty Reform Act: Workplace Safety May Finally Become a Reality, 39 Clev. St. L. Rev. 551 (1991)