October 11, 2013
The Government Got Off Their Back
From the New York Times:
The company that operated a fertilizer plant in the city of West, where an April explosion killed 15 people, faces $118,300 in federal fines for two dozen serious safety violations, including a failure to have an emergency response plan, officials said Thursday. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which had not inspected the facility since 1982, said the West Fertilizer Company committed violations that included unsafe handling and storage of two fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate, a chemical that investigators believe contributed to the huge blast…
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at October 11, 2013 12:56 PM
And you can bet that the company's reps are whining and bitching up a storm to anyone who will listen and even those who don't about this terrible, punitive, crushing fine and how it will run them out of business and kill jobs blah blah blah, trying to get it reduced or waived altogether.
A late relative who had been an OSHA inspector at the state level said this happened all the time. He investigated all the workplace fatalities and would find a serious violation(s) and a sizable fine would be levied. Then the company would cry and complain to the higher-ups, including the GOP governor. The managers would call him in and want his cooperation in soft-pedaling the seriousness of the violation. "We have to work with them; we have to help them be better, not just punish," etc. They would actually refer to the regulated parties as "customers."
This is one of the things that happens when you run government "like a business."
I have a co-worker with family who were injured in West --
Her mother’s house was flattened and those out front were pretty much uninjured while those inside (including two you teen girls) were seriously hurt with glass shards in their eyes and faces (fortunately they should regain full vision).