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OSHA Fines United Airlines for Numerous Workplace Safety Violations

May 22, 2008
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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited United Airlines for multiple “serious, willful and repeat violations” of federal workplace safety laws, proposing fines totaling $192,500.

The 44 violations announced Tuesday, May 20, were discovered during a November inspection of the Chicago-based carrier’s operations at O’Hare International Airport. Violations included a failure to conduct an asbestos survey, improper design of flammable liquid storage cabinets and rooms and inappropriately labeled containers of hazardous chemicals.

“These violations should not exist at any work site,” Diane Turek, director of OSHA’S Chicago office, said in a statement. “They are problems that can be avoided if an employer is dedicated to protecting employees. Employers must remain dedicated to keeping the workplace safe and healthful or face close scrutiny by this agency.”

“There is nothing more important than the safety of employees and customers, and United considers this assessment an opportunity to focus on strengthening key areas of workplace safety,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.

This is the second time this month that United has run afoul of OSHA regulations. The Chicago-based carrier was cited on May 2 for 44 violations that carried proposed fines totaling $215,000.

Filed by Lorene Yue of Crain’s Chicago Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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