A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Ohio has indicted two managers at Extrudex Aluminum Inc. in Ohio for conspiracy to obstruct justice during a 2012 workplace fatality investigation by OSHA.
The agency inspected the aluminum extrusion manufacturer after an employee suffered fatal injuries when a rack containing hot aluminum parts tipped over and pinned him. A second employee suffered severe burns. OSHA cited the company for exposing workers to struck-by, pinned-under, and burn hazards, and for failing to provide safe clearance for employees working in ovens where aluminum extrusions are treated.
Made false statements, threatened employees
The indictment alleges that Brian K. Carder, general manager, and Paul Love, safety coordinator and human resources director, devised a plan to provide false statements to the OSHA investigator. Carder and Love also failed to comply with OSHA's requests to produce all emails from specific employees to management regarding safety concerns with racks and rollers. Additionally, the men allegedly threatened employees' job security if they did not draft statements recanting previous emails about safety issues with the racks and rollers system.
The indictment charges Carder and Love with one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and obstruction of proceedings. Love also faces one count of making false statements to law enforcement.
"Will not be tolerated"
"The grand jury's action makes clear that misleading federal investigators and intimidating employees will not be tolerated," said Acting Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.