Even after workplace deaths, companies avoid OSHA penalties

Source: Chris Hamby, Center for Public Integrity, Updated: January 25, 2013

…The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Crucible for more than 70 violations and levied almost $250,000 in fines — high numbers for an agency with relatively little power to impose harsh penalties. What almost no one outside of OSHA has known until now: The agency never collected a penny for Grobsmith’s death because it failed to file paperwork in time after Crucible filed for bankruptcy….A private equity firm bought the company’s assets and reopened the mill — calling it Crucible Industries — with most of the same management. The penalty simply disappeared….

…Even after investigating a death and issuing a penalty, federal OSHA or the state agencies it oversees have failed to collect any of the original fine in one of every 10 cases since 2001, the Center found. In many other cases, regulators have settled for a fraction of the penalty initially imposed….