Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Daugaard Funding Unsafe Work Environments

Recently a company in South Dakota was hit hard for putting profits ahead of worker's safety.  Adams Thermal System in Canton has taken a $1.33 million dollar settlement with the US Attorney's Office and OHSA over the death of Larry Kinzer on November 7, 2011.  While the company claims that safety is its first concern, it appears that wasn't always the case.
“Adams Thermal failed to provide a safe workplace, and those conditions ultimately took the life of a worker. There is no excuse for an employer to compromise safety to keep production running,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “The Department of Labor has worked diligently with the Office of the United States Attorney for South Dakota to resolve this case and provide justice to the family of this worker. No one should ever lose their life for a job.”
Now it seems that someone will be watching over the company to protect its workers.
OSHA placed Adams Thermal Systems, which manufactures engine-cooling systems for off-highway and on-highway vehicles, in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program in August 2012 as a result of these inspections. The program mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. 
Unfortunately it seems that Daugaard's favorite fund to benefit businesses didn't look into conditions at Adams Thermal System in 2011.  In Spetember of 2011, Adams Thermal was given $50,000 and then in November 2011, the same month that Larry Kinzer was killed, the state awarded Adams Thermal another $53,500.  That fall, Adams Thermal was awarded over $100,000 from the State of South Dakota and a man died because the company that got the money put production over safety.

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