American Airlines Cited for Workplace Safety Violations at O'Hare International Airport

OSHA has proposed $231,000 in fines against Dallas-based American Airlines Inc. for alleged multiple serious, repeat and willful violations of federal workplace safety standards at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

American Airlines was selected for inspection by the agencyafter reviewing the company's occupational injury and illness data. At O'Hare International Airport, OSHA officials inspected the airline's ramp services, cargo building, automotive shops, ticket and gate services, tower, two hangars and baggage room.

As a result of the inspection, OSHA has issued one willful citation with a proposed penalty of $70,000, alleging that the company failed to protect all open-sided floors and work platforms from potential fall hazards.

The agency has issued citations for 15 serious violations with proposed penalties of $61,000 for a variety of issues, including machine guarding, electrical issues, trip and fall hazards, blocked exits and storage of oxygen and acetylene cylinders.

Six repeat violations, based on citations issued and affirmed in 2005, cover machine guarding issues, electrical and fire hazards, fall protection, review of lockout/tagout procedures and hygiene issues. Proposed penalties for repeat violations total $100,000.

"Falls, electrical hazards, machine guarding and energy lockout issues are problems that should not exist at any worksite and can be avoided if an employer is dedicated to protecting employees," said Diane Turek, director of OSHA's Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines, Ill. "Employers must remain dedicated to keeping the workplace safe and healthful or face close scrutiny by OSHA."

Since 2004, American Airlines has been inspected by OSHA 66 times at various locations nationwide, with 37 of those inspections resulting in citations. American Airlines at O'Hare International Airport has been inspected 10 times since 2000, with five of the inspections resulting in citations.

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