» Government Ethics and Lobbying Reform

» Money in Politics

» Open Government

» Stealth PACs

» Public Protections

Sign Up

To receive regular updates on our campaigns for government accountability. 

Recent Reports

July 15 - Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act: Outlining the Need for Increased Revolving-Door and Reverse Revolving-Door Legislation
May 6 - Sleighted: Accounting Tricks Create False Impression That Small Businesses Are Getting Their Share of Federal Procurement Money, and the Political Factors That Might Be at Play
More - See More Government Reform Reports

Health Care Workers Unprotected

Insufficient Inspections and Standards Leave Safety Risks Unaddressed

July 17, 2013 — The government is required "to assure so far as possible … safe and healthful working conditions” for every employee in the United States. Employers, in turn, are obligated to furnish each of their "employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees."
But they are not fulfilling this obligation for employees in one of the nation’s largest industries, health care, a new Public Citizen report illustrates.
Health care workers suffer more injuries than those in any other sector. The rates of injury for nursing aides, orderlies and attendants are off the charts, especially for musculoskeletal disorders, which often result from moving patients.
Even though health care workers outnumber construction workers more than two to one, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducts only about one-twentieth as many inspections of health care facilities as construction sites.
But the dearth of inspections only tells part of the story. OSHA also is hamstrung by an absence of standards to cite for various unsafe conditions, such as unsafe ergonomic conditions or undue risk of workplace violence. The solution to these problems is to create rules laying out requirements for employers.
To get there, OSHA needs to rev up its rulemaking engine. And Congress needs to join OSHA as a partner, not an opponent, in the quest to make good on the nation’s promise to protect its workers.

Copyright © 2016 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.