Worst Workplace Safety Violations of 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor reported 4,679 fatal work injuries last year, a rate of 3.3 per 100,000 workers. While waiting to see how the rate will change for this year, in this Silk we monitor the employers who have received the biggest penalties in 2015 for safety and/or health violations. 

To reduce injuries and fatalities on the workplace, OSHA can out inspections on employers, either spontaneously or upon receiving complaints. If violations of its safety and health standads are found, the agency can impose a fine. Penalties are relatively mild: maximum $7,000 for a serious violation and maximum $70,000 for repeated or willful violation. In this resource we've included all the 2015 OSHA investigations that resulted in a $40,000+ fine. As of October 21st, there are 553 of such inspections, some affecting the same employer more than once. 

The data is from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the government agency responsible for setting work safety and health standards, and also monitoring their implementation. It is a subset of the tens of thousands of inspections carried out by OSHA every year (36,163 in 2014 alone).

This year, two employers charged with penalties over $1.75 millions

Top 50 Inspections with Highest Initial Penalty

Page Title
Location
Ownership
NAICS
Safety or Health Violation
Issuance Date
Safety or Health Violation
Initial Penalty
Address
Joseph Kehrer/Kehrer Brothers Construction - Inspection ID. #1043352Okawville, Illinois, United StatesPrivateRoofing ContractorsHealth06/08/2015Health$1,792,000301 W Illinois Street, Okawville, Illinois 62271, United States
Ashley Furniture Industries - Inspection ID. #987512Arcadia, Wisconsin, United StatesPrivateInstitutional Furniture ManufacturingSafety29/01/2015Safety$1,766,000One Ashley Way, Arcadia, Wisconsin 54612, United States
Case Farms Processing - Inspection ID. #1040829Winesburg, Ohio, United StatesPrivatePoultry ProcessingSafety13/08/2015Safety$861,5001818 County Road 160, Winesburg, Ohio 44690, United States
DNRB - Inspection ID. #988059Kansas City, Missouri, United StatesPrivateStructural Steel and Precast Concrete ContractorsSafety21/01/2015Safety$511,0003500 E. 149th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64147, United States
LLyod Industries - Inspection ID. #1008085Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, United StatesPrivateSheet Metal Work ManufacturingSafety11/05/2015Safety$507,000231 Commerce Drive, Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania 18936, United States
First Capital Insulation - Inspection ID. #1002754Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United StatesPrivateRemediation ServicesHealth20/04/2015Health$490,0001900 North 2nd Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17102, United States
Grand Rapids Plastics - Inspection ID. #312031040Grand Rapids, Michigan, United StatesPrivateAll Other Plastics Product ManufacturingSafety20/03/2015Safety$338,0004220 Roger B Chaffee Blvd, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548, United States
LLyod Industries - Inspection ID. #1009661Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, United StatesPrivateSheet Metal Work ManufacturingHealth11/05/2015Health$315,000231 Commerce Drive, Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania 18936, United States
Alfa Laval - Inspection ID. #1012281Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, United StatesPrivatePower Boiler and Heat Exchanger ManufacturingSafety22/05/2015Safety$307,9001201 S. 9th Street, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 74012, United States
A.C. Castle Construction Co. / Daryl J. Provencher - Inspection ID. #997999Wenham, Massachusetts, United StatesPrivateRoofing ContractorsSafety30/03/2015Safety$294,50012 Parsons Hill Road, Wenham, Massachusetts 1984, United States
Lessard Brothers Construction - Inspection ID. #985960Lewiston, Maine, United StatesPrivateRoofing ContractorsSafety08/01/2015Safety$287,660438 College Street, Lewiston, Maine 4240, United States
Era Valdivia Contractors - Inspection ID. #987421Blue Island, Illinois, United StatesPrivatePainting and Wall Covering ContractorsHealth22/01/2015Health$287,440Francisco Bridge, Blue Island, Illinois 60406, United States
Edsal Manufacturing Co. - Inspection ID. #996548Chicago, Illinois, United StatesPrivateMetal Household Furniture ManufacturingSafety19/03/2015Safety$280,0004400 S. Packers Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60609, United States
DMAC Construction - Inspection ID. #1011033Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesPrivateMasonry ContractorsSafety22/05/2015Safety$280,0001325-1327 North 15th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19121, United States
E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co. - Inspection ID. #1019650La Porte, Texas, United StatesPrivateAll Other Basic Inorganic Chemical ManufacturingSafety09/07/2015Safety$273,00012501 Strang Rd., La Porte, Texas 77572, United States
Hussmann Corporation - Inspection ID. #995311Bridgeton, Missouri, United StatesPrivateAir-Conditioning and Warm Air Heating Equipment and Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration Equipment ManufacturingSafety04/03/2015Safety$272,25012999 St. Charles Rock Road, Bridgeton, Missouri 63044, United States
Grainco FS - Inspection ID. #985545Newark, Illinois, United StatesPrivateGrain and Field Bean Merchant WholesalersSafety14/01/2015Safety$241,5009512 Helmar Road, Newark, Illinois 60541, United States
Sunrise Farms - Inspection ID. #1040376Harris, Iowa, United StatesPrivateChicken Egg ProductionHealth11/05/2015Health$227,5002060 White Ave, Harris, Iowa 51345, United States
U.S. Aqua Vac - Inspection ID. #1007743New Albany, Ohio, United StatesPrivateAll Other Support ServicesSafety08/04/2015Safety$223,4546500 New Albany Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054, United States
MP Global Products - Inspection ID. #1045231Norfolk, Nebraska, United StatesPrivateThread MillsSafety24/08/2015Safety$221,9002500 Old Hadar Rd.2300 Riverside Blvd, Norfolk, Nebraska 68701, United States
Grand Rapids Plastics - Inspection ID. #312031032Grand Rapids, Michigan, United StatesPrivateAll Other Plastics Product ManufacturingSafety20/03/2015Safety$220,0004220 Roger B Chaffee Blvd, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548, United States
Seattle Bulk Shipping - Inspection ID. #317617686Seattle, Washington, United StatesPrivateGeneral Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, TruckloadSafety12/06/2015Safety$218,4503233 16th Ave. Sw, Seattle, Washington 98134, United States
Basic Marine - Inspection ID. #990770Escanaba, Michigan, United StatesPrivateShip Building and RepairingSafety12/02/2015Safety$216,980440 N. 10th Street, Escanaba, Michigan 49829, United States
International Paper Company - Inspection ID. #1020528Ticonderoga, New York, United StatesPrivatePaper (except Newsprint) MillsSafety22/07/2015Safety$211,000568 Shore-Airport Road, Ticonderoga, New York 12883, United States
KAPCO - Inspection ID. #1037687Osceola, Wisconsin, United StatesPrivateMetal StampingSafety29/07/2015Safety$207,600805 Seminole Avenue, Osceola, Wisconsin 54020, United States
The New York and Presbyterian Hospital - Inspection ID. #985098New York City, New York, United StatesPrivateGeneral Medical and Surgical HospitalsHealth14/01/2015Health$201,000622 West 168th Street, New York City, New York 10032, United States
Behr Peoria - Inspection ID. #996298Peoria, Illinois, United StatesPrivateRecyclable Material Merchant WholesalersSafety03/03/2015Safety$198,0002424 W. Clarke St., Peoria, Illinois 61607, United States
Burnett Dairy Cooperative - Inspection ID. #1009946Grantsburg, Wisconsin, United StatesPrivateCheese ManufacturingSafety06/05/2015Safety$193,20011631 State Road 70, Grantsburg, Wisconsin 54840, United States
DMAC Construction - Inspection ID. #1008621Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesPrivateMasonry ContractorsSafety07/05/2015Safety$190,3002028 Federal Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146, United States
Wegmans Food Markets - Inspection ID. #1045547Rochester, New York, United StatesPrivateSupermarkets and Other Grocery (except Convenience) StoresSafety31/08/2015Safety$188,2001500 Brooks Avenue, Rochester, New York 14624, United States
Steel Fabrication Services - Inspection ID. #1019221Farmers Branch, Texas, United StatesPrivateAll Other Miscellaneous Fabricated Metal Product ManufacturingSafety13/07/2015Safety$185,6802408 Fruitland Avenue, Farmers Branch, Texas 75234, United States
JC Stucco and Stone Incorporated - Inspection ID. #1001705Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesPrivateMasonry ContractorsSafety23/02/2015Safety$181,5001425 North 15th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19121, United States
Dollar Tree Stores - Inspection ID. #1009454Reno, Nevada, United StatesPrivateAll Other General Merchandise StoresSafety17/02/2015Safety$180,0002424 Oddie Blvd., Suite A, Reno, Nevada 89512, United States
Dupont Yard - Inspection ID. #1002675Homerville, Georgia, United StatesPrivateSawmillsSafety17/04/2015Safety$179,388277 Landmark Road, Homerville, Georgia 31634, United States
Reynolds Nationwide - Inspection ID. #989312London, Ohio, United StatesPrivateSpecialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, LocalHealth30/01/2015Health$179,000121 Us Highway 42 Ne, London, Ohio 43140, United States
WKW Erbsloeh North America - Inspection ID. #987543Pell City, Alabama, United StatesPrivateAll Other Motor Vehicle Parts ManufacturingSafety23/01/2015Safety$177,500103 Parkway East, Pell City, Alabama 35125, United States
D & D Services - Inspection ID. #1037280Vernon, California, United StatesPrivateRendering and Meat Byproduct ProcessingSafety07/08/2015Safety$175,5504105 Bandini Blvd, Vernon, California 90058, United States
Chicago Dryer Company - Inspection ID. #999915Chicago, Illinois, United StatesPrivateHeating Equipment (except Warm Air Furnaces) ManufacturingSafety07/04/2015Safety$171,0002200 N Pulaski, Chicago, Illinois 60639, United States
The Dyson Corporation - Inspection ID. #1043996Painesville, Ohio, United StatesPrivateIron and Steel ForgingSafety13/08/2015Safety$170,17053 Freedom Road, Painesville, Ohio 44077, United States
Alfa Laval - Inspection ID. #1012280Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, United StatesPrivatePower Boiler and Heat Exchanger ManufacturingHealth22/05/2015Health$170,0001201 S. 9th Street, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 74012, United States
D.R. Diedrich & Co - Inspection ID. #1023693Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United StatesPrivateLeather and Hide Tanning and FinishingSafety24/07/2015Safety$169,4952615 West Greves Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233, United States
Behr Iron & Steel - Inspection ID. #995673Rockford, Illinois, United StatesPrivateRecyclable Material Merchant WholesalersSafety11/03/2015Safety$168,4001100 Seminary St.P.O. Box 740, Rockford, Illinois 61105, United States
Forever 21 Retail, Store #101 - Inspection ID. #1006976Farmington, Connecticut, United StatesPrivateWomen's Clothing StoresSafety04/05/2015Safety$165,000211 Westfarms Mall, Farmington, Connecticut 6032, United States
Five Star Plastering - Inspection ID. #317388650Mission Viejo, California, United StatesPrivateDrywall and Insulation ContractorsSafety15/01/2015Safety$164,27525025 Chrisanta Dr, Mission Viejo, California 92691, United States
Mota Construction - Inspection ID. #997511Needham, Massachusetts, United StatesPrivateFraming ContractorsSafety30/03/2015Safety$155,400906 Greendale Avenue, Needham, Massachusetts 2492, United States
Pinnacle Roofing Contractors - Inspection ID. #1009968Jacksonville, Florida, United StatesPrivateRoofing ContractorsSafety12/05/2015Safety$154,0003010 Powers Avenue, Jacksonville, Florida 32207, United States
Columbia Cedar - Inspection ID. #317385565Kettle Falls, Washington, United StatesPrivateSawmillsSafety06/01/2015Safety$151,58024419 N Hwy 395, Kettle Falls, Washington 99141, United States
Minsa Corporation - Inspection ID. #986315Muleshoe, Texas, United StatesPrivateFlour MillingSafety21/01/2015Safety$151,2001972 County Road 1068, Muleshoe, Texas 79347, United States
Republic Steel - Inspection ID. #1003005Blasdell, New York, United StatesPrivateRolled Steel Shape ManufacturingSafety10/04/2015Safety$147,0003049 Lake Shore Road, Blasdell, New York 14219, United States
Mark Mashuda Excavating - Inspection ID. #1050178Evans City, Pennsylvania, United StatesPrivateWater and Sewer Line and Related Structures ConstructionSafety25/09/2015Safety$147,000Peachmont Farms Development- Marburger Road, Evans City, Pennsylvania 16033, United States


The two biggest penalties of 2015 are those stemming from the inspections of Ashley Furniture Industries and of Kehrer Brothers Construction.

In both cases OSHA charged the employers with a penalty of more than $1.75 million.

The Ashley Furniture inspection found about 1,000 work-related injuries in a 3-year period. OSHA concluded that, to increase productivity, the company had "intentionally and willfully disregarded OSHA standards and its own corporate safety manuals".  Among the violations found at Ashley Furniture,  some are known to often result in death or permanent disability.

The Kehrer Brothers case revealed that the company "brought non-English speaking workers to the U.S. and knowingly exposed them to asbestos".  What's more, Kehrer Brothers were found guilty of more illegal conduct, like threatening to fire employees if they were to speak with OSHA investigators. 

Top 10 Investigations for Initial Penalties


Top 10 Employers for Overall Total Initial Penalties

Total Initial Violations isn't the sum of wilful 

In just one inspections, OSHA found that these two companies violated more standards than what it overall found for other companies, targeted by more than one inspections. For example, OSHA charged Kehrer Brothers with 25 willful violations: more than twice the number found in any other case. It found 12 willful violations and 14 serious ones during the Ashley Furniture investigation. This is more than the overall found in many other employers investigated multiple times, like LLyod Industries, or even Dollar Tree Stores, which went through 8 OSHA inspections.

Kehrer Brothers' 25 willful violations stand out even more when compared to the results of the other 552 big OSHA investigations of 2015. Almost two thirds (64%) of all of them concluded with 0 willful violations. And 94% of them, actually, had at most 2 willful violations. Only 0.8% had 10 more more. And the Kehrer Brothers' one is definitely the only one with more than 15 violations.

Distribution of Number of Willfull Initial Violations per Inspection


Roofing contractors are the highest fined industry

OSHA classifies employers by the North American Industry Classification System standard (NAICS). Under this categorization, roofing contractors are the industry that received the overall highest penalties, more than $5.22 million. About a third of this amount is due to the Kehrer Brothers case alone, but even excluding that the industry would still rank first.



OSHA is meant mainly for the private sector, but 32 State and Local Government employers are fined this year

Top 50 Inspections with Highest Initial Penalty


Keep up with the new data: The latest inspections with $40,000 or more in fines


Latest 10 Inspections with High Penalties


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