Thursday, March 25, 2004

'Reckless Endangerment' Ain't What It Used To Be...

Dude, that's harsh!

UPDATE: I didn't have the following article quite right yesterday. Reading the NY District Attorney's Press Release today, I discovered the following:
As a result of today's plea to Reckless Endangerment, Kaltech will be required to provide and pay for a comprehensive twenty-four hour course of chemical safety training resulting in an OSHA certification for all employees of sign manufacturers in the New York City area using chemical processes in their work who attend. All Kaltech employees - and those of other sign and chemical companies owned by Kaltech's principals - will be required to attend the training courses....At least 26 companies in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey will be invited to attend the training sessions. The training sessions, which will be advertised, are free and open to any employees of metropolitan area sign companies who use chemical processes in their work.
This is kind of an interesting concept -- paying to train worker from all similar companies in your area. Might be something to emulate.


For blowing up a building and injuring dozens of workers and bystanders in April 2002, Kaltech Industries has been sentenced to.....comply with the law.
NEW YORK (AP) A sign-making business pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment Wednesday and will pay to train its employees to use hazardous chemicals following an April 2002 building explosion that injured dozens of people.

Kaltech Industries, which stored hazardous chemicals in the basement of its building, entered the plea in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, prosecutors said.

Kaltech employees and workers at companies affiliated with Kaltech will be required to take the course, which would certify employees to use chemical processes in their work.

The April 25, 2002, blast collapsed the building's facade onto West 19th Street and frayed the city's nerves just months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Thirty-one people were hospitalized after the blast, which investigators say was caused by workers mixing incompatible waste products.
Doesn't OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard already require companies to train their employees?

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board found last September one of the root causes of the explosion was the failure of Kaltech to train its employees in hazardous chemical and hazardous waste safety, as well as the failure of the NY City fire code to require training of employees who work with hazardous materials.

The Board recommended that Kaltech train its workers, that the NY Fire Code be revised to include worker training and that the fire department train its inspectors in safe management of hazardous materials.