OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
News Release USDL: 96-426
Friday, October 11, 1996
Contact: Frank Kane, (202) 219-8151
OSHA's Strong Enforcement Program Continues In FY '96
Total of Significant and Egregious Cases Up Sharply
While working hard to build partnerships with business owners who care about their workers' safety and health, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has simultaneously worked to stringently enforce safety standards for those who don't.
In the past fiscal year, the number of OSHA citations for very serious safety violations was up 30 percent. The total of significant and egregious enforcement cases in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 1996, (FY '96) was up sharply over the previous year: 165 compared with 125. Significant cases are those with proposed penalties totaling more than $100,000 and egregious cases are those where multiple willful violations warrant instance-by-instance penalties.
Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich said, "When it comes to workplace safety and health, we will continue to collaborate with responsible business. But OSHA also must continue to be the cop on the beat. OSHA is carrying out both responsibilities well."
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Joseph A. Dear said, "This record should constitute a clear warning to those employers who may be tempted to neglect the safety and health of their workers that OSHA will continue to strongly enforce its requirements for protection, with stiff penalties for violations.
"We also will continue to encourage employers to work with their employees and OSHA in partnership to improve safety and health in their worksites. We are already working with employers in 20 states through our Cooperative Compliance Programs (CCP) to encourage and assist them in identifying and removing workplace hazards. This concept was successfully piloted in our 'Maine 200' program in the state of Maine. Traditional OSHA enforcement is reserved for those employers who do not cooperate in protecting their workforce."
There were six egregious cases in FY '96 compared with 17 in FY '95. The FY '96 egregious cases involved:
DeCoster Egg Farms, of Turner, Maine, $3.6 million in proposed penalties, for numerous willful violations, including unguarded machinery and violations of housing requirements for migrant workers;
Lisbon Contractors, Inc., of Danboro, Pa., $210,900 in proposed penalties, mainly for violations of the trenching standard;
Richter's Bakery of San Antonio, Inc., of San Antonio, Texas, $1,040,000 in proposed penalties, mainly for willful violations of standards for confined space entry, lockout/tagout of equipment and hazard communication;
J.M. Cashman, Inc., of Quincy, Mass., $770,000 in proposed penalties, for failing to provide fall protection for employees at a Boston, Mass., construction worksite, and failing to ensure that a subcontractor, Saugus Construction Co., of Georgetown, Mass., provided fall protection for its employees (a worker was killed in a fall at the site);
Saugus Construction Co., of Georgetown, Mass., $448,000 in proposed penalties, for failing to provide fall protection for its employees at the Boston site; and
AK Steel Corp., of Middletown, Ohio, $1,015,000, for violations of the lockout/tagout standard.
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