When tragedy strikes, one of the first questions that people ask in its wake is “Why?” The urge to understand why something horrible has occurred is deeply human. Not only do we want to make sense of tragedy, we want to internalize information in ways that will allow us to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. Unfortunately, it seems that when it comes to work safety, Americans are failing to internalize the lessons of tragedies that have occurred before.
Too often, the media reports that fatal accidents have occurred on worksites that have not been adequately inspected. Over the past several years alone, numerous explosions and other fatal incidents have occurred at uninspected plants. And yet, inspection rates are not increasing to a level that allows for the general prevention of similar fatal accidents.