Depraved Indifference

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by Patrice Woeppel, Ed.D.

Every eight minutes in this country, someone dies from an occupational illness or injury.
All across America, in every state, across industries and occupations, workers are being injured, or killed, or exposed to toxic chemicals from which they are dying. What has happened to our nation that has allowed corporations and insurers to throw away the lives, the health of so many without caring, without fear of exposure, without being held accountable? It’s called Workers’ Compensation, the system we thought was there to protect us if we were injured on the job.
The title refers to a system in which worker deaths often cost an employer far less than correcting a safety/health hazard in the workplace; and a system in which the employer is virtually immune from prosecution for the depraved indifference that results in severe injury, toxic exposure, or death.
Depraved Indifference: the Workers’ Compensation System represents over five years of research and interviews. The last chapter explores where we can go from here to create a system of fairness and justice, a system that works, that puts the responsibility and accountability on the employer to make the workplace safe for workers.
"After reading your conclusions, I had a good cry. It was the acknowledgement of it all: something the families rarely get. You have done a remarkable job." --Tammy Miser, Founder, United Support & Memorial For Workplace Fatalities.

About the Author:
Patrice Woeppel, Ed.D. has had a long career in hospital, healthcare and mental health administration, as well as serving on many state and community boards, and as a hospital board officer. Dr. Woeppel has been involved in many civil rights and human rights issues over the years.

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