Middleton CT Plant Explosion: OSHA Issues $16.6M In Fines for Fatal Explosion

08/13/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Middleton, CT– Proposed fines totaling $16.6 million have been assessed by federal safety officials following the fatal Feb. 7 explosion that killed six workers in Middleton, Conn. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the third largest fine ever assessed for a single incident, as reported by the New York Times.

OSHA determined that the construction companies had “blatantly disregarded industry procedures designed to safeguard workers.” OSHA assessed the general contractor, O&G Industries, for 371 violations, which included 225 violations that are considered “willful.”

The fatal explosion, which also injured 50 others at the power plant, occurred as flammable natural gas shot through a supply pipe to release debris that was stuck inside.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis stated, “The companies had ‘blatantly disregarded’ accepted industry procedures, their own safety guidelines and ‘common sense’… the deaths and injuries could have been prevented.”

“These fines and penalties reflect the gravity and severity of the deadly conditions created by the companies managing the work at the site,” Solis continued. “No operation and deadline is worth cutting corners and costing a single human life.”

State and local law enforcement officials are still trying to determine whether to press criminal charges.

The assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health David Michaels stated that OSHA believes that if O&G Industries got the power plant up and running by May 31, they would collect a $19 million bonus.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Connecticut workplace accident lawyers.

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