Friday, December 2, 2016

CARNIVAL THE TERRIBLE: Polluter Carnival Corporation to Pay $40M, Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty, for Deliberate Vessel Pollution

Princess Cruise Lines to Pay Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty for Deliberate Vessel Pollution

Company to Pay $40 Million and Implement Remedial Measures on All Carnival Companies Visiting U.S. Ports

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. (Princess) has agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges stemming from its deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up. Princess will pay a $40 million penalty– the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution – and plead guilty to charges related to illegal dumping of oil contaminated waste from the Caribbean Princess cruise ship. The plea agreement was announced today by Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Florida.

Princess, headquartered in Santa Clarita, California, is a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation (Carnival), which owns and operates multiple cruise lines and collectively comprises the world’s largest cruise company. Carnival is headquartered in Miami. As part of the plea agreement with Princess, cruise ships from eight Carnival cruise line companies (Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line N.V., Seabourn Cruise Line Ltd. and AIDA Cruises) will be under a court supervised Environmental Compliance Program (ECP) for five years. The ECP will require independent audits by an outside entity and a court appointed monitor.

The charges to which Princess will plead guilty concern the Caribbean Princess cruise ship which visited various U.S. ports in Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Virginia. The U.S. investigation was initiated after information was provided to the U.S. Coast Guard by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) indicating that a newly hired engineer on the Caribbean Princess reported that a so-called “magic pipe” had been used on Aug. 23, 2013, to illegally discharge oily waste off the coast of England. The whistleblowing engineer quit his position when the ship reached Southampton, England. The chief engineer and senior first engineer ordered a cover-up, including removal of the magic pipe and directing subordinates to lie. The MCA shared evidence with the U.S. Coast Guard, including before and after photos of the bypass used to make the discharge and showing its disappearance. The U.S. Coast Guard conducted an examination of the Caribbean Princess upon its arrival in New York City, New York, on Sept. 14, 2013, during which certain crew members continued to lie in accordance with orders they had received from Princess employees.

According to papers filed in court, the Caribbean Princess had been making illegal discharges through bypass equipment since 2005, one year after the ship began operations. The discharge on Aug. 26, 2013, involved approximately 4,227 gallons, 23 miles off the coast of England within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. At the same time as the discharge, engineers simultaneously ran clean seawater through the ship’s overboard equipment in order to create a false digital record for a legitimate discharge.

Caribbean Princess used multiple methods over the course of time to pollute the seas. Prior to the installation of the bypass pipe used to make the discharge off the coast of England, a different unauthorized valve was used. When the Department of Justice investigative team conducted a consensual boarding of the ship in Houston, Texas, on March 8, 2014, they found the valve that crew members had described. When it was removed by Princess at the department’s request, it was found to contain black oil.

In addition to the use of a magic pipe to circumvent the oily water separator and oil content monitor required pollution prevention equipment, the U.S. investigation uncovered two other illegal practices which were found to have taken place on the Caribbean Princess as well as four other Princess ships – Star Princess, Grand Princess, Coral Princess and Golden Princess. One practice was to open a salt water valve when bilge waste was being processed by the oily water separator and oil content monitor. The purpose was to prevent the oil content monitor from otherwise alarming and stopping the overboard discharge. This was done routinely on the Caribbean Princess in 2012 and 2013. The second practice involved discharges of oily bilge water originating from the overflow of graywater tanks into the machinery space bilges. This waste was pumped back into the graywater system rather than being processed as oily bilge waste. Neither of these practices were truthfully recorded in the oil record book as required. All of the bypassing took place through the graywater system which was discharged when the ship was more than four nautical miles from land. As a result, discharges within U.S. waters were likely.

“The pollution in this case was the result of more than just bad actors on one ship,” said Assistant Attorney General Cruden. “It reflects very poorly on Princess’s culture and management. This is a company that knew better and should have done better. Hopefully the outcome of this case has the potential not just to chart a new course for this company, but for other companies as well.”

“The conduct being addressed today is particularly troubling because the Carnival family of companies has a documented history of environmental violations, including in the Southern District of Florida,” said U.S. Attorney Ferrer. “Our hope is that all companies abide by regulations that are in place to protect our natural resources and prevent environmental harm. Today’s case should send a powerful message to other companies that the U.S. government will continue to enforce a zero tolerance policy for deliberate ocean dumping that endangers the countless animals, marine life and humans who rely on clean water to survive.”

“The safety, security and environmental stewardship of our ports, waterways and oceans is an important Coast Guard mission set and the complexity of the challenges we face today requires a global unity of effort among law enforcement partners,” said Rear Admiral Scott Buschman Commander, Coast Guard District Seven. “I sincerely thank the U.S. Attorney and the United Kingdom Maritime and Coastguard Agency for your leadership, your collaboration and the hard work put forth to reach a plea agreement with significant penalties that serve as a clear warning to all polluters.”

“This shows just how well the U.K. and U.S. can work together on these kind of cases,” said Jeremy Smart, head of enforcement at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency of the United Kingdom. “It also sends a clear message to the industry that this kind of pollution practice will not be tolerated anywhere in the world. It also shows that we will always take any information we are given by those who report such practices to us very seriously and will act upon it.”

In addition to the criminal information, a plea agreement and joint factual statement were today filed in court in Miami. Photographs of some of the evidence provided by the whistleblower and obtained by the government were also filed in federal court. In the factual statement, Princess also admitted to the following:
  • Illegal discharges took place on the Caribbean Princess dating back to 2005, one year after the vessel started operations, as part of a conspiracy to violate the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and to obstruct justice.
  • Different bypass methods were used over the course of time, including a “magic pipe” used to transfer oily waste overboard.
  • After learning that an engineer had blown the whistle, senior ship engineers dismantled the bypass pipe and instructed crew members to lie.
  • Prior to the MCA boarding, the chief engineer and senior first engineer ordered crew members to lie. Following the MCA’s inquiry, the chief engineer held a sham meeting in the engine control room to pretend to look into the allegations while holding up a sign stating: “LA is listening.” The engineers present understood that anything said might be heard by those at the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles, California, because the engine control room contained a recording device intended to monitor conversations in the event of an incident.
  • When using the magic pipe, engineers processed sea water through the oily water separator in order to create a digital record to account for the missing waste.
  • Shore-side management failed to provide and exercise sufficient supervision and management controls to prevent or detect criminal violations by Caribbean Princess crew members.
  • A perceived motive for the crimes was financial – the chief engineer that ordered the dumping off the coast of England told subordinate engineers that it cost too much to properly offload the waste in port and that the shore-side superintendent who he reported to would not want to pay the expense.
  • Princess engineers on the Caribbean Princess indicated that the chief engineer responsible for the discharge on Aug. 26, 2013, was known as “broccino corto” (a person with short arms), an Italian expression for a cheap person whose arms are too short to reach his wallet. Some expressed the same opinion of the shore-side superintendent.
  • Graywater tanks overflowed into the bilges on a routine basis and were pumped back into the graywater system and then improperly discharged overboard when they were required to be treated as oil contaminated bilge waste. The overflows took place when internal floats in the graywater collection tanks got stuck due to large amounts of fat, grease and food particles from the galley that drained into the graywater system. Graywater tanks overflowed at least once a month and, at times, as frequently as once per week. Princess had no written procedures or training for how internal gray water spills were supposed to be cleaned up and the problem remained uncorrected for many years.
Princess discovered “stub pipes” along the entire length of the ship for the apparent purpose of pumping graywater overflows into the bilges back into the graywater system and subsequently overboard.

According to papers filed in court, Princess has undertaken remedial measures in response to the government’s investigation, including upgrading the oily water separators and oil content monitors on every ship in its fleet and instituting many new policies.

If approved by the court, $10 million of the $40 million criminal penalty will be devoted to community service projects to benefit the maritime environment; $3 million of the community service payments will go to environmental projects in South Florida; $1 million will be earmarked for projects to benefit the marine environment in United Kingdom waters.

Today’s prosecution was made possible through the combined efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Legal Office, U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Maritime and International Law and U.S. Coast Guard Office of Investigations and Analysis. In announcing the case, Assistant Attorney General Cruden and U.S. Attorney Ferrer expressed their appreciation to the U.K.’s MCA for their cooperation and assistance. The case was prosecuted by Richard A. Udell, Senior Litigation Counsel with the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice and Thomas Watts-FitzGerald, Deputy Chief, Economic & Environmental Crimes Section for the Southern District of Florida. 


Avoiding the APPS Magic Pipe Trap

During the 3rd annual SAFETY4SEA forum held in Athens in October 2012, George A.Gaitas, Attorney at Law in Houston Texas Chalos & Co. gave a very interesting speech on how a shipping company may get caught in a whistleblower situation and end up paying heavy fines and/or other penalties without ever committing an actual oil pollution. More than a decade has passed since the United States Department of Justice launched a vigorous campaign to enforce the observance of MARPOL 73/78 Annex I regulations by foreign ships calling at U.S. ports. Some ten years later, one would think that ship owners and ship managers would have caught-on, and found ways to effectively deal with it. Unfortunately it hasn’t worked out that way.
Very large monetary incentives in the form of whistleblower cash rewards authorized by the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, has created a state of affairs that rewards seafarers for violating MARPOL. These, so-called, “whistleblowers”:
  1. commit the violations
  2. report the violations to the U.S. Port State Control authorities
  3. provide the evidence needed to obtain a conviction or guilty plea on the owner’s and/or manager’s part
  4. are awarded as much as 50% of the fines assessed
MARPOL is an International convention without self enforcing provisions. It doesn’t contain rules about what happens if you violate it. Each country is left to make its own enforcement rules. There are two countries that have jurisdiction to enforce MARPOL for any given ship: the flag country; and the port state control country. Here we are talking about the USA as a port state control country.
In the United States MARPOL is adopted by a piece of legislation called the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, known by its acronym APPS. It is at 33 U.S.C.§ 1901 et seq. MARPOL I requires all events of transfer of oily waste and oil to be recorded in the ship’s oil record book. Some countries enforce MARPOL with administrative sanctions. Not so with the U.S.A. The U.S.A. treats MARPOL violations as criminal offenses, though it also has an option for administrative enforcement which may include civil penalties or even the out and out banning of ships from calling at American ports.
APPS has grafted its own enforcement provisions onto MARPOL and these provide criminal sanctions against those who violate the Convention. In particular 33 USC§ 1908 (a) provides that each violation of MARPOL is regarded as a class D felony. This will get you 5 to 10 years in prison and /or a fine of $ 500,000 if you are an organization, for each violation. And this is not all.
Smart lawyers a few years back thought that since MARPOL prohibits dumping oily waste in the Oceans, and the Oceans are not owned by any country, the U.S. authorities had no jurisdiction to criminally prosecute MARPOL violations. The argument was that the writ of the United States does not run outside its territorial jurisdiction. They raised the argument with a federal trial judge in Texas and won. But then the government appealed and the matter went before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal which held that the crime prosecuted is not the illegal dumping in the ocean. It is writing of lies about it in the oil record book, and possessing it onboard the vessel while in the U.S.A. U.S. v. Jho, 534 F 3d 398 (5th Cir, 2008).
Remember, so long as you write the truth in the oil record book the government cannot prosecute you. So if your chief engineer writes “today we dumped 10 tons of sludge in the Atlantic Ocean”, You cannot be prosecuted, nor can he.
So the odd thing about APPS prosecutions is that they are not about pollution they are about keeping false records. The Government uses two additional provisions of the criminal law to make things even harder for the owner being prosecuted. On top of the APPS charge it piles up other similar charges relating to the same conduct: i.e. based on the statute that punishes making false statements to the government e.g. the handing over to the USCG of a book with inaccurate entries, 18 U.S. C.§ 1001(False Statements Act); and instructing others to tell false stories to the investigating authorities (Obstruction of Justice Act) 18 U.S.C. §1505). So e.g. if the Coast Guard decides that the ORB contains one false entry, and the chief engineer tells the oiler to state that this is a correct entry, you are looking at three different class D felonies.
The prosecution of Owners for MARPOL violations in the last 12 months or so has been ever strong and ever vigorous. The department of Justice has a special section known as the Environmental Crimes Division. It is run by people who have a lifetime dedication and missionary zeal when it comes to prosecuting shipowners. They are what one might call crusaders.
Targeted ships are not just substandard elderly tonnage, rapidly becoming extinct anyway. Rather, the ships targeted are young; state of the art; well managed; with well organized quality and safety departments; sophisticated crew training programs; strict procedures for pollution prevention, etc.
But none of this helps the owner. The government doesn’t care whether you have a world class operation. They will disregard all the sophisticated systems and will take the word of the oiler or wiper who produces an oil stained hose with flanges, over the owner’s word.
The impression we have from our recent work is that owners are being set up by greedy seamen; well practiced and prepared to play the role of whistleblower; motivated by an eventually large reward they anticipate to collect ( 50% of the fine at the court’s discretion). They have the U.S. Government on their side. Whom do owners have?
There is no doubt. We are seeing a magic pipe industry out there operating for profit. Whistleblowers appear to have well qualified legal advocates (for a share of the money), and connections with certain international union representatives.
So, having chosen to employ seafarers from countries that are training grounds for whistleblowers i.e. people who will deliberately discharge oil overboard in order to blame the vessel owner and collect a large reward, is there anything you can do as an owner or manager of the ship to prevent it?
As things stand now American law rewards people who are polluters and liars – this is what whistle blowers often are – and this will always be and we cannot change that, and it is unfair.
Suppose tomorrow when your ship come into Houston or New Orleans the Coast Guard comes onboard and wants to do an extended MARPOL inspection, Do you know how to respond? Have you prepared your chief engineer and master how to respond?
There is plenty you can do to prepare for such an encounter but the work needs to be done well in advance. If it has been done, I feel the chances of being caught in a whistleblower situation involving APPS are minimal.
Prevention of getting caught to a whistleblower sitaution may include the following
  1. Put in place a whistleblower prevention program
  2. Regularly have officers you trust check oily waste management systems for compromised points i.e. pipes, flanges, pumps, unlawful installations, excessive ware around flanges, oil spots, etc.
  3. Whistleblower- proof your oily waste management network, e.g. use seals.
  4. Hold accountable, supervise close, deter and sanction. Fire some people. Practice zero tolerance don’t just talk about it in the ships policies and SMS.
  5. Keep permanent records of oily waste management (sounding log, oily water separator log, incinerator log). Regularly check and hold accountable those who maintain them.
  6. Control the supply of flexible hose and flanges and any other materials that can be used to compromise the integrity of the engineroom oily waste management system.
  7. Have shoreside management regularly review Oil Record Book entries for compliance with MARPOL regulations and accuracy.
  8. Use Superintendent visits as actual audit events to ensure observance of these procedures,
  9. Maintain ship – office extensive correspondence on the subject of these inspections.
  10. Don’t recruit from whistleblower mills. Ask around which crewing agents supply whistleblowers.
  11. Have a retired U.S. Coast Guard man come onboard and show you what you should expect and be prepared.
  12. Please note, when the authorities enforcing APPS catch up with one ship, they want to bring in a whole fleet. They score their points on how big of a company they can bring down. They brag on how they forced vessel’s managers to enter into pleas of guilty and submit their managed ships into wholesale compliance plans.
  13. Don’t use the word “operator” when you describe the office that manages the ship. “Operator” has a very specific legal meaning in APPS. ” 33 USC § 1901, definition: “operator” means – (a) in the case of a ship, a charterer by demise or any other person, except the owner, who is responsible for the operation, manning, victualing, and supplying of the vessel,” Operators can be held liable under APPS. So, it makes no sense to volunteer that the fleet management company is the operator.
  14. Your paperwork should also avoid giving the impression that there is an operator involved. Care should be taken not to identify an “operator” in office forms found onboard the ship. It should be made clear to officers, port agents, et al. that the office is not “the operator”.
  15. Remember to use “as agents only” in all correspondence, even in correspondence that goes out to the ship. Ideally, each ship-owning company should hold its own document of compliance and be the operator of the vessel as well.
  16. Remember your corporate structure is something entirely under your control and there is a lot that can be done ahead of time to avoid entangling a whole fleet in the APPS whistleblower trap.

Speeding wrong-way drunk driver, 30-year-old Domenic Andreoni of Elgin, IL, crashes head-on onto another car and kills two men on I-88 in southwest suburban Naperville, IL

3 men, including 2 fathers, killed in I-88 head-on crash in Naperville.  Speeding wrong-way drunk driver, 30-year-old Domenic Andreoni of Elgin, IL, crashes head-on onto another car and kills two men on I-88 in southwest suburban Naperville, IL

Three men were pronounced dead at the scene of a two-vehicle crash on westbound I-88 near Mill Street.

By Diane Pathieu
Updated 3 mins ago
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Two cars with 3 people on them crashed head-on early Friday morning on I-88 in southwest suburban Naperville. No one survived.

Illinois State Police said witnesses saw a 2012 Toyota Camry speeding on westbound I-88 around 12:55 a.m. Police said the driver, identified as 30-year-old Domenic Andreoni of Elgin, lost control, hit a wall, spun around and crashed head-on into a 2007 Chrysler 300 near Mill Street.

Ride-share driver Ali Erhaima, 32, of Aurora, was behind the wheel of the Chrysler. His family said he survived militia attack in Iraq, where he was shot eight times. He had moved to the United States for a better life. Erhaima is survived by his wife, daughter and son.

Shiva Inampudi, 40, of Naperville, was sitting in the backseat of the Chrysler. The software engineer's family told ABC7 Eyewitness News he had just returned from a business trip in California. He was on his way home from the airport.

"Always pleasing personality, always smiling. Neighbors love him. Great dad, great husband, great brother. I cannot believe it," said Mahi Inampudi, Shiva's brother.

Inampudi is survived by his wife and young son. The family, including members in his native India, feels lost without him.

"We are still trying to digest this news. I'm sure life will go on, but it's going to be different," Mahi Inampudi said.

Westbound I-88 was closed for about five hours and traffic was diverted at Naperville Road as crews responded. All lanes reopened around 6 a.m.

An employee with Fayetteville PWC killed when an excavator tipped over into McFadyen lake off Offing Drive in Fayetteville, NC.

Thursday, December 01, 2016 12:56PM
FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- The operator of an excavator died Tuesday when the machine tipped over into McFadyen lake off Offing Drive in Fayetteville.  He was with
Fayetteville Public Works Commission.
The Fayetteville Public Works Commission identified the man as James (J.W.) Ivey, a water resources crew leader and 13-year employee.

The excavator was pulled from the water but Ivey was not inside. Divers located his body.

"J.W. was a long-time dedicated employee and this is a tremendous loss to the PWC family," said PWC CEO/General Manager David Trego. "This loss reminds us of the extremely dangerous conditions our employees face every day and why safety is our top concern. All of PWC has J.W.'s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers."

Witnesses told ABC11 that work was being done on sewer lines damaged by Hurricane Matthew when the accident happened.

OSHA is doing an assessment for their separate investigation. Preliminary information shows Ivey was operating a skid steer loader near a creek. The bank collapsed under the skid steer loader and slid into the water and overturned, OSHA determined.

Slawson Exploration Company, Inc., to Pay $4.1M to Make System Upgrades and Undertake Projects to Reduce Air Pollution in North Dakota

Slawson Exploration Company, Inc., to Make System Upgrades and Undertake Projects to Reduce Air Pollution in North Dakota

Contact Information:
Tricia Lynn (
(202) 564-2615

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice today announced a settlement with Slawson Exploration Company, Inc., resolving alleged Clean Air Act violations stemming from the company's oil and gas production activities in North Dakota, including on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The settlement resolves claims that Slawson failed to adequately design, operate, and maintain vapor control systems on its storage tanks at its approximately 170 oil and natural gas well pads in North Dakota, resulting in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are a key component in the formation of smog or ground-level ozone, a pollutant that irritates the lungs, exacerbates diseases such as asthma, and can increase susceptibility to respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

As part of this settlement, Slawson’s total expenditures on system upgrades, monitoring and inspections are estimated to be $4.1 million. These improvements will significantly reduce VOC emissions and include the use of advanced technology such as infrared cameras and electronic pressure monitors to better detect and respond to air emissions. In addition, Slawson will spend at least an estimated $2 million to fund environmental mitigation projects and pay a $2.1 million civil penalty.

“This settlement puts Next Generation Compliance technologies to work to reduce air pollution across communities in North Dakota, including on tribal lands,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at EPA. “EPA is committed to making sure that domestic energy development grows in a responsible way that protects public health and complies with the law.”

“Safe, responsible, and lawful development of domestic energy resources and technology is of great importance to a sustainable future for all Americans,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This Clean Air Act agreement will bring better air quality and lasting health benefits to communities in North Dakota, including the people of the Three Affiliated Tribes.”

EPA estimates Slawson’s system upgrades, many of which are already in place, will reduce the emission of at least 11,700 tons of VOCs, 400 tons of hazardous air pollutants, primarily benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, and 2,600 tons of methane annually. Improved operation and maintenance will result in additional emissions reductions, as will the replacement of all pit flares used to control emissions from storage tanks.

Many of Slawson’s North Dakota wells are located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation; governed by the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. Nearly all of the electronic pressure monitors will be installed at operations on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation; Slawson will replace all pit flares on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation with control devices capable of achieving greater efficiency. These measures, in addition to the other injunctive relief and mitigation projects Slawson will carry out on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, will result in a substantial reduction in harmful emissions.

Slawson’s oil and natural gas production operations in North Dakota use storage tanks to store produced oil and water prior to transport. Multiple storage tanks are typically present at a well pad and are frequently controlled by the same vapor control system. Today’s settlement resolves alleged violations at all of Slawson’s well pads in North Dakota with wells in production.

This settlement is part of EPA's national enforcement initiative to reduce public health and environmental impacts from energy extraction activities. For more information about EPA's enforcement initiative:

The proposed consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. To make a public comment:

For more information on this settlement:

Company Overview

Slawson Exploration Company, Inc. explores and produces oil and natural gas. The company was founded in 1957 and is based in Wichita, Kansas. Slawson Exploration Company, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Slawson Companies, Inc.


Engineers and roughnecks, architects and carpenters, hotel clerks and smoothie operators. Slawson Companies is as diverse as the dedicated folks who make up our workforce. Click below to explore our oil and gas exploration, real estate development, hospitality and wellness operations.

OSHA has fined Walker International Events $24,000 in connection with a circus tent collapse in Lancaster, New Hampshire last year that killed a father and her daughter.

OSHA fines company involved in New Hampshire tent collapse deaths

FL company reaches first settlement over fatal NH tent collapse.
NEWS CENTER , WCSH 5:37 PM. EST November 30, 2016

BOSTON, Massachusetts (NEWS CENTER) -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a Florida-based company $24,000 in connection with a circus tent collapse in Lancaster, New Hampshire last year that killed a father and her daughter.

Walker International Events was also cited for 14 serious violations of workplace safety standards. The collapse also injured dozens of spectators. Walker is currently out of business. If and when the company attempts to resume operations it will have to implement a comprehensive safety and health management plan that includes procedures for the safe installation of outdoor tents.

OSHA also found that despite repeated warnings of severe storms from the National Weather Service, Walker proceeded with a scheduled outdoor circus performance. The company also failed to install the tent safely in keeping with industry standards.

OSHA fines Foundations Behavioral Health $37K for serious federal violations after hospital workers exposed to violence, bloodborne hazards

December 1, 2016

Pennsylvania hospital workers exposed to violence, bloodborne hazards OSHA fines Foundations Behavioral Health $37K for serious federal violations
Employer Name:
Universal Health Services of Doylestown Inc.
833 East Butler Ave.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Corporate Headquarters:
Universal Health Services Inc.
367 South Gulph Road
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Citations issued: On Nov. 10, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued Universal Health Services of Doylestown Inc., doing business as Foundations Behavioral Health, citations for four serious violations.

Investigation findings: OSHA's inspection began on May 13, 2016, after the Allentown area office received a complaint alleging problems related to workplace violence at the facility.

TThe agency cited the serious violations for the company's failure to:
  • Protect workers from the hazard of workplace violence such as physical assaults by patients (e.g., by ensuring workers used protective arm guards to protect against injuries from incidents of biting.)
  • Conduct an annual review of its bloodborne pathogen program.
  • Provide annual bloodborne pathogen training to registered nurses and mental health technicians.
Quote: "Hospitals and other healthcare settings pose significant safety and health risks to workers. OSHA standards prevent these employees from exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other common dangers. Foundations Behavioral Health failed to provide a safe and healthful workplace, which is unacceptable," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office.

Proposed penalties: $36,701

The citation can be viewed at:

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Allentown area office at 267-429-7542.
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U.S. Postal Service LLC, doing business as Brooklyn South Carrier Annex fined $342K after inspectors find workers exposed to bloodborne pathogen hazards at Brooklyn, Maryland, annex

December 1, 2016

OSHA fines USPS $342K after inspectors find workers exposed to
bloodborne pathogen hazards at Brooklyn, Maryland, annex

Employer name: U.S. Postal Service LLC, doing business as Brooklyn South Carrier Annex

Inspection site: 1500 Cherry Hill Road, Brooklyn, Maryland

Citations issued: On Nov. 22, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the postal service for one serious, two willful, and three repeat health violations.

Investigation findings: OSHA began the inspection on May 24, 2016, in response to a complaint alleging employee exposure to blood and other potentially infectious bodily fluids while handling packages labeled as containing biological infectious materials.

The willful violations relate to the employer's failure to have an implemented written bloodborne pathogens exposure control plan, including performing an exposure determination and offering exposed employees the Hepatitis B vaccine. Additionally, the USPS failed to implement a hazard communication program. The employer did not properly train workers for bloodborne pathogen protection or provide them with properly-sized gloves, resulting in the other violations.

Quote: "Exposure to bloodborne pathogen hazards can result in serious or life-threatening illnesses. To reduce or eliminate these hazards at USPS's Brooklyn facility, an exposure control plan must be implemented to protect employees and provide a safe and healthy workplace," said Nadira Janack, director at OSHA's Baltimore Area Office.

Proposed penalties: $342,059

The citation can be viewed at:

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Baltimore Area Office at 410-865-2055.

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 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

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