Today's News

Union argues record OSHA fine "less than half day's profit"

Union officials are unimpressed by last week's record-setting OSHA fine of $21.4 million against BP North America for more than 300 violations identified after an explosion and fire at a BP refinery in Texas City, Texas killed 15 workers and injured 170.

"Twenty-one million dollars is a lot to me," said Sonny Sanders, the United Steelworkers (USW) representative at the refinery, in a report circulated by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, "but it’s not much at all to BP. After the explosion, management said that they were setting aside $700 million to pay the cost of settlements with the injured and the families of those killed. OSHA’s fine is just one thirty-fifth of that amount, so it’s not likely to be enough to deter them from reckless behavior."

"That’s less than a half day’s profits for BP, and that won’t act as a deterrent," said Mike Wright, the USW safety and health director. "But OSHA imposed a fine that was close to the maximum allowed, so the fault is not OSHA’s; it’s the penalty structure, which is set by law. Right now the law allows OSHA to issue reduced fines to small businesses that can’t afford to pay a full fine. The law should be changed so that OSHA can also increase penalties against very large companies, like BP."

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

3/31/15 11:00 am EST

Changes to NFPA 70E® – What You Need to Know

NFPA ® for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is revised every three years, providing the most up-to-date requirements for safe work practices to reduce exposure to electrical hazards. This program analyzes several significant changes in 70E ® and is designed to clarify the reasoning behind the changes, and assist in determining how the changes impact employees and employers.

ISHN Magazine


2015 March

Check out ISHN's March issue, which features articles about moisture wicking technology, toxic gas detection and fall protection.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.