Employers Not Fazed by Increased OSHA Fines


On May 27, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its second fine over $1 million within the last month. The South Dakota Wheat Growers Association of Aberdeen, South Dakota was fined $1.6 million for 23 willful violations after the December 2009 death of a worker at one of the company’s grain handling operations. The worker suffocated to death after being engulfed by grain in one of the facility’s storage bins.

Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor, spoke about the Department’s investigation and stated that “The S.D Wheat Growers Association ignored long-established standards addressing safety in grain handling operations.” Solis also stated that “The company’s intentional disregard for its safety…led to an unnecessary loss of a life.”

What is even more troublesome is that many of the companies fined by OSHA had repeated violations.

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