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A Worker’s Life: Worth 47 cents a day

Following yesterday’s story of the $7,000 fine proposed for Wal-Mart’s failure to provide adequate safety precautions to its staff which resulted in the trampling death of a worker, a number of readers pointed out the absurdity of such a small fine for the loss of a human life. One reader suggested we consider what this sum equates to in terms of the value per day of life lost for Mr. Jdimytai Damour.

Mr. Damour was 34 years old, with a life expectancy on average of roughly 75 years. Doing a quick calculation, I arrived at the sum of 47 cents a day as the value placed on the life of this young man. Do I need to say any more about the need for reform of the OSH Act to allow for stronger fines?

Call on your Congressional representative to pass the Protecting America’s Workers Act so that employers that fail to protect their workers face fines that get their attention.