OSHA Rings Up $4 Million Day

Announcing a $3 million fine against one employer and $1.2 million against another, the agency continues come down hard on violations even when no fatality is involved.

OSHA announced two more million-dollar-plus enforcement actions Wednesday, with an employer cited for $3 million for alleged violations at two Alabama manufacturing sites and a second Houston employer cited for $1.2 million for recordkeeping violations. Neither case involved a fatality, but alleged tampering with the safety systems on hydraulic forging presses at a Tuscumbia, Ala., plant by Whitesell Corp. resulted in the amputation of a worker’s hand, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in the agency’s news release about that case.

Whitesell Corp. makes engineered fasteners, cold-forged and -formed products, and wire forms for the automotive industry, as well as appliances, HVAC, building products, and other applications.

The Houston company with $1,215,000 in fines lodged against it is Goodman Manufacturing Co. LP, which makes air conditioners, heating systems, and indoor air quality products for residential and light commercial use. In this case, OSHA’s Houston North Area Office investigated and concluded Goodman had not properly recorded or failed to record 72 percent of employees’ injuries and illnesses from January 2008 to March 15, 2010, on its 300 log.

"OSHA takes these violations extremely seriously," said Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "OSHA needs accurate data to effectively target its inspections and resources, and to measure the impact of OSHA's actions on workplace safety. Employers and workers need to understand how important accurate data are to workplace safety and health."

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