Thursday, March 25, 2004

Model Corporate Citizen -- Of the 19th Century

OSHA handed down a whopping $468,600 against Midwest Racking Manufacturing Inc. for a series of safety and health violations. OSHA accused the company
of violations ranging from electrical hazards to allowing smoking within 20 feet of a spray painting operation.

The firm, which makes metal storage racks, also is accused of not having protective covers on machines and not providing gear for workers' eyes and feet, as well as respirators.

So why the big fine?
OSHA has cited the company seven times since 1995 for total of $192,945 in fines for similar problems, federal officials said. It was unclear Wednesday how those fines had been dealt with.

Federal officials said the company has failed to correct some hazards in spite of offers of free assistance from OSHA.

The company is owned by Michael Sabados Jr., who is the president of the company, federal officials said. His father, Michael Sr., is operations director.

Federal officials said they were unable to determine whether any workers had been injured at the Madison plant, which was opened in 1994. They said the firm didn't keep records of injuries.
This story has one other ironic -- and tragic -- twist
Michael's brother, Richard, died in October when a forklift he was operating in Mishawaka, Ind., tipped over on him. He was installing shelving for Midwest Racking at a pet supply store.