The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has in recent weeks launched investigations into deaths of workers at 34 health care employers across the U.S., federal records show, but former agency officials warn that the agency has already signaled it will only cite and fine the most flagrant violators.
The investigations come as health care workers have aired complaints on social media and to lawmakers about a lack of personal protective equipment, pressure to work while sick, and retaliation for voicing safety concerns as they have cared for more than 826,000 patients stricken by the coronavirus.
Despite those concerns, the nation’s top worker safety agency is not viewed as an advocate likely to rush to workers’ aid. President Donald Trump tapped a Labor Department leader who has represented corporations railing against the very agency he leads.
“It’s a worker safety crisis of monstrous proportions and OSHA is nowhere to be