Corporate crime and wrongdoing is an everyday fact of life in the United States and around the world. Still, the last year has been remarkable for a series of high-profile, deadly corporate disasters: the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe that killed 11 workers and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the deadly explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine, and unintended acceleration of Toyota cars.
The Justice Department on Wednesday is expected to seek to join civil lawsuits stemming from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the first major federal legal action in the disaster, according to people familiar with the matter.
Platforms are subjected to extreme ocean currents, corrosive salt water and frequent hurricanes. Unlike drilling rigs, which are mobile, platforms can’t be brought to shore for repairs. Many are so old or have changed hands so many times, that maintenance records are missing or unreliable. And experts say that maintenance work has often gotten short shrift in an industry focused on new discoveries rather than old, declining fields.
More than 260 companies warned the Securities and Exchange Commission that plans to pay bounties to whistleblowers will turn financial fraud into a “gold mine” for employees.
The newly released New Mexico health report has some interesting findings about workplace health. Asthma is a major concern. The report found nearly two thirds of New Mexicans with asthma say they had quit to a job because of chemicals, smoke, fumes, or dust that made their asthma worse.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says an Eau Claire, Wis., waste management processor is a severe violator of workplace safety rules. OSHA has issued 14 willful and one serious citation to WRR Environmental Services Co., with proposed fines of $787,000 for failing to fully implement a safety management program.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered BNSF Railway Co. to pay a Kansas City, Kan.-based employee $95,096 after he was disciplined by the company for reporting a work-related injury.
South Carolina regulators have fined a Pennsylvania company $91,000 for a string of emergency preparedness failures they say occurred before a fatal chemical leak near its Swansea, S.C., plant last year.
A 49-year-old man was killed Tuesday after he slipped into a commercial wood chipper while clearing brush near an avocado grove in Fallbrook, Calif., the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said.
Police say a man was killed when a refrigerator thrown from an upper floor of a building in Milwaukee hit him. Milwaukee police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz says a construction crew was clearing some contents of a building Tuesday when workers tossed the fridge off a balcony. She says they called out “All clear,” but one worker walked out and was struck.