Indiana Senate Democrats Call For Enforcement Of Workplace Safety Guidelines

May 6, 2020

Indiana Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary) speaks on a web conference about worker safety.
Credit Justin Hicks / IPB News

Indiana Senate Democrats say that without accountability, the state’s workplace safety guidelines around COVID-19 fall short. They say their offices continue to hear about a lack of enforcement of worker health protections.

In a Facebook Live event, local union leaders told senators they’ve been working with employers to develop protection plans for workers for weeks. However, many say they still struggle to get adequate personal protective equipment. Others report work conditions that make it impossible to maintain social distancing.

Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) is the minority floor leader. He says the governor’s office needs to pressure Indiana’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to enforce health guidelines and to make sure PPE is available to all workers.

“It has to come from the governor’s office,” he says. “I think they only have the resources to make sure that IOSHA is doing their job, number one, and number two, that this equipment is available to workers.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s latest executive order directs IOSHA to take “all available administrative or enforcement action” against workplaces that don’t keep workers safe.