OSHA levies $1.2 million fine against Houston manufacturer
Goodman Manufacturing cited 83 times for failing to report worker injuries and illnesses
OSHA has issued 83 willful citations against Houston-based Goodman Manufacturing Co. for failing to record and improperly recording work-related injuries and illnesses at the company’s Houston air conditioning cooling facility. Proposed penalties total $1,215,000.
“Accurate workplace injury and illness records are vital tools for identifying hazards and protecting workers’ health and safety,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Workers and employers need this information to recognize patterns of injuries and illnesses, and prevent future hazards.”
OSHA’s Houston North Area Office began its investigation March 2 in response to a complaint alleging that Goodman Manufacturing was not properly recording workplace injuries and illnesses in violation of OSHA’s regulations. The investigation determined that Goodman had either not recorded or failed to properly record the nature and/or duration of 72% of employee injuries and illnesses from January 2008 to March 15, 2010, on its log.
Although Goodman was extremely knowledgeable about OSHA recordkeeping requirements, it made many unsupportable decisions that resulted in the deficiencies found by the agency. With regard to the injuries and illnesses improperly recorded, important information reflecting severity, such as the time away from work, was grossly incorrect.
“OSHA takes these violations extremely seriously,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA 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.”
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for OSHA’s requirements or employee safety and health.
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey