Tagged Articles

federal regulations 15 articles

Wrongful-death suit involving Mazda seatbelt may proceed, Supreme Court rules

In a unanimous decision that surprised many across the political spectrum, the U.S. Supreme Court gave a wrongful-death lawsuit the green light to proceed against Mazda Motor Corp. The decision by the Supreme Court, which became conservative and corporate-friendly by a majority in 2006, offers some hope that the little guy suing a big corporation in America still has some chance for justice. The lawsuit was filed by the parents of a girl named Thanh Williamson, who was killed when the lap belt she wore in the backseat of a 1993 Mazda minivan failed to secure her during a head-on ... Read More

Feds order trucking company to install recorders after falsifying records

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered JBS Carriers of Greeley, Colorado, to install electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) in its entire fleet of 700 trucks for serious violations of federal regulations designed to keep truckers and the roads they travel safe. The order to install the devices comes in response to a comprehensive investigation by FMCSA’s Western Service Center, which found JBS in serious violation of federal hours-of-service (HOS) rules and commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements. FMCSA cited the company for 102 counts of falsifying the hours-of-service records of their drivers and three counts of allowing drivers with ... Read More

osha accused of mismanaging whistleblower protection program

The federal whistleblower protection program that is supposed to serve 200 million U.S. workers is languishing under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s authority and should be removed, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The GAO report admonished OSHA leadership for its inattention to the whistleblower program and recommended that it be elevated to its own separate office. The GAO’s recommendation jibes with the calls of whistleblower support organizations, such as Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which has petitioned Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to turn the program into its own office within the Department of Labor. Entitled ... Read More

FAA fines show companies routinely ignore hazmat shipping regulations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been cracking down on shipments of hazardous materials and has published a notice of civil penalties issued against 11 companies. The FAA issued the fines in response to improperly packaged, marked, classed, described, or labeled hazardous materials. The penalties total $720,000 and range from $54,000 to $91,000. Hazardous cargo that is shipped in violation of federal rules and regulations poses a grave risk of injury and death to anyone in the vicinity of the package. Most of the packages were discovered by shipping company staff, customs officials, and airport personnel because they were leaking. ... Read More

Pennsylvania natural gas well suspended amid safety concerns

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) have taken emergency action to suspend natural gas drilling operations at the Marcellus Shale Wells near Pittsburgh. A June 3 gas well blowout caused polluted drilling water to spew 75 feet in the air, triggering the evacuation of state park visitors and nearby residents. Government regulators have grown increasingly concerned about the safety of the Marcellus Shale operations since the blowout, which occurred when well operator EOG Resources and contractor C.C. Forbes LLC were performing post-fracturing cleanout activities. The state fined EOG $353,400 ... Read More

Pennsylvania natural gas well suspended amid safety concerns

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) have taken emergency action to suspend natural gas drilling operations at the Marcellus Shale Wells near Pittsburgh. A June 3 gas well blowout caused polluted drilling water to spew 75 feet in the air, triggering the evacuation of state park visitors and nearby residents. Government regulators have grown increasingly concerned about the safety of the Marcellus Shale operations since the blowout, which occurred when well operator EOG Resources and contractor C.C. Forbes LLC were performing post-fracturing cleanout activities. The state fined EOG $353,400 and ... Read More

FAA let Northwest Airlines ignore safety rules, government report finds

Federal regulatory agencies have come under fire recently for their “cozy relationships” with large corporations; the Food and Drug Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the now-defunct Minerals Management Service have all been targeted for reform by the Obama Administration for their failure to enforce safety rules and regulations. Now the Federal Aviation Administration is being investigated for turning a blind eye on Northwest Airlines while it ignored federal safety regulations for more than a decade. According to a new report by the Transportation Department’s inspector general’s office, the allegations were first made by Mark Lund, an FAA ... Read More

Grand jury expands Toyota safety investigation

A federal grand jury in New York subpoenaed Toyota Motor Corp. this week seeking documents related to problems involving steering relay rods. The subpoena came as part of an expanded investigation into the safety of Toyota vehicles, which originally was called into question last fall when potential sudden unintended acceleration defects led to a record Toyota vehicle recall. In April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hit Toyota with a record $16.375 million civil penalty for its failure to promptly inform the agency of problems with the accelerator pedal assemblies in millions of its U.S. cars and trucks. The new ... Read More

BP received back-to-back record OSHA fines before Gulf oil spill

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit BP Products North America Inc. with nearly $90 million in penalties less than nine months ago for the company’s failure to correct an array of safety violations that threatened the lives and health of its workers. The fine, which OSHA announced on October 30 of last year, was the largest in the agency’s history. According to OSHA’s website, prior to the $87,430,000 fine, the largest penalty issued by the agency was $21 million. That fine, issued in 2005, was also levied against BP. OSHA issued the fine for safety violations found at BP’s ... Read More

Safety is key in preparing for CSA 2010 changes

Between now and the full implementation of its Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 safety rating system, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will conduct outreach efforts to inform carriers and drivers of the upcoming changes, and to encourage everyone to become actively involved. In February 2008, FMCSA launched a field test of the CSA 2010 operational model in Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, and New Jersey encompassing about 50 percent of the carriers and government resources in each of the states. In the spring of 2009, the agency added Montana and Minnesota to the test group. Gradual expansions of the new model ... Read More