OSHA Cites United Airlines at O'Hare for Health, Safety Violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed $192,500 in fines for United Airlines Inc. at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for alleged violations of federal workplace safety and health standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) again has cited United Airlines Inc. at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for alleged, multiple, serious, willful and repeat violations of federal workplace safety and health standards.

OSHA has proposed $192,500 in fines. As a result of its latest inspection, OSHA has issued citations for 39 serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $112,000. OSHA also has cited United Airlines for one willful violation with a proposed $70,000 fine, one repeat violation with a $7,500 fine, and three other-than-serious violations totaling $3,000 in penalties.

OSHA selected United Airlines for this inspection after reviewing occupational injury and illness data, which included building and facility maintenance, aircraft and ground-equipment maintenance, medical facilities, ramp services, customer service, air freight, business operations, strategic procurement, and flight-attendant operations.

Some of the serious violations address health hazards associated with the design of flammable, liquid-storage cabinets and rooms, an open-sided tank containing corrosive liquid, respiratory-protection-program deficiencies, and failure to conduct an asbestos survey to determine the presence and quantity of materials containing asbestos.

The willful violation addresses the health hazards associated with United Airlines failing to provide awareness training to employees that work in areas where asbestos is known to be present.

The repeat violation addresses hazards associated with containers of hazardous chemicals not appropriately labeled. A repeat violation is defined as a violation that was previously cited where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation is found.

United Airlines has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Since 2004, OSHA has inspected United Airlines 23 times at various locations nationwide. United Airlines operations at O'Hare International Airport have been inspected nine times since 2000 with four of those inspections resulting in citations.

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  posted on 5/23/2008   Article Use Policy

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