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OSHA levels a $90,000 fine for fatal accident against ConAgra and NW Metal Fabricators Inc.

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:56 PM
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OSHA levels a $90,000 fine for fatal accident against ConAgra and NW Metal Fabricators Inc.

http://othellooutlook.com/?p=4177

Aug 21, 2009

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has fined ConAgra Foods a total of $65,000 and NW Metal Fabricators Inc. $25,000 for safety and health violations related to a Feb. 16 explosion that killed a worker in Boardman.

The investigation found this tragedy could have easily been prevented if the employers had paid attention to several basic precautions and had considered the information that was available to them, Michael Wood, Oregon OSHA administrator, said. Kevin Gregorsons death was the result of work moving forward without an understanding of the hazards that were present and how to address them.

The explosion took place at the ConAgra Foods potato processing plant in Boardman, where welder Kevin Gregerson was attempting to repair a leak in a steel tank used for potato washing.
Gregerson, a worker employed by NW Metal Fabricators Inc., of Hermiston, died inside the tank when the explosion occurred. Gases had built up under the tank, which ignited, causing the explosion.

FULL story at link.

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm curious how the confined space regs are being handled.
They seem pretty plain to me, but the place I worked at bent and twisted every phrase to keep obvious confined spaces off the list.
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tj2001 Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:11 PM
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2. $65,000 for ConAgra is nothing
There should be a lawsuit
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silver10 Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. With these small fines...
Corporate management figures it is more cost effective to absorb the fines than replace aging factory infrastructure or abide by costly rules that slow down productivity, and hence, profits.

Either increase the fines or get rid of the so called "safety regulations" - because without meaningful enforcement, I mean strong fines and penalties and possible jail sentences for criminal negligence, there really won't be any real protection for workers. Sure, you can sue them, but their armies of high-priced lawyers will draw it out for years and years, including any number of appeals, and most likely will end up winning or end up paying substantially less than was originally sought.

But that won't bring back anyone's loved ones.
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