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Houston manufacturer fined $1.2 million for failing to record 72% of injuries during two-year period (9/13)

Goodman Manufacturing, a Houston heating and cooling products manufacturer, deliberately failed to record 72 percent of work-related injuries and illnesses that occurred from January 2008 to March 2010, according to a statement released by OSHA Sept. 1. Proposed penalties total $1,215,000.

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. According to the agency, although Goodman was extremely knowledgeable about OSHA recordkeeping requirements, it made many unsupportable decisions that resulted in the deficiencies found by OSHA. The agency has cited Goodman for 83 separate willful violations of OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements.

With regard to the injuries and illnesses improperly recorded, important information reflecting severity, such as the time away from work, was grossly incorrect, according to OSHA. The injuries included numerous strains to the back, shoulder, neck and wrist, as well as lacerations and contusions, a hernia, respiratory illness, an eye injury and one instance in which an employee’s stomach was burned with Freon.

Last October, OSHA launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Recordkeeping to assess the accuracy of injury and illness recorded by employers. The Goodman citations resulted from a complaint, rather than an OSHA programmed inspection; the OSHA statement announcing the enforcement action did not assert the Goodman citations resulted from the NEP.

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