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American Water Subsidiary Cited by OSHA For Employee's Death

Missouri American Water will pay a six-figure penalty for a fatal accident in May 2011.

The U.S. Labor Department is coming down with stiff penalties against a subsidiary of Voorhees-based American Water over an employee's death in 2011.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it is charging the Creve Coeur, MO-based Missouri American Water Company with willful violations in connection with an accident where a saw kicked back and killed an employee in Joplin, MO, following a deadly tornado there in May 2011.

KOAM-TV reported on the accident last spring, and at the time indicated the employee, Robert Clark, died from an injury to his neck.

View the OSHA citations on the agency's website.

The charges carry a penalty totaling $140,000.

“Employers such as Missouri American Water have a responsibility to take all necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace and to ensure that workers are given the proper equipment, tools and training to conduct required tasks,” said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA’s regional administrator in a news release. “It is tragic that an employee lost his life while performing valuable work to rebuild this devastated community.”

A company statement said it is "100 percent" committed to employee safety, but disagrees with OSHA's conclusion.

“Missouri American Water lost one of our own employees and we do not underestimate the impact it has on the family, our local employees and all those that work for our company, but we do not agree with the characterization described in the citations and plan to exercise our right to meet with OSHA to discuss them,” Missouri American President Frank Kartmann said.

American Water has regulated utility operations in 20 states, including New Jersey, and serves roughly 15 million people across 30 states and portions of Canada.

Jim November 09, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Government just does not tax corporate and business they penalize them several billion dollars a year this money is taken out of economy and need to accounted for. It does it pay down the national debt,No just more government spending.The tax rate is higher that reported and the government wants to raise more taxes We have more deficit spending well over a trillion per year. Welfare check should be work force related not just handed out and lost revenue for ever. Common sense is never used just hand out that costs the USA over a trillion dollars years over $61000 per poor family.the government can not pass a budget over the last 4 years and does not know how to balance a budget period .where is the accountability and the people just voted them back in.
Paul J. DiBartolo November 09, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I'm not sure what the purpose of this piece is all about. There is no description of the attending circumstances and following the links provides only one side of the story - OSHA's version. My take is that the individual was at a disaster clean-up site so I would think it was incumbent upon him to make sure the work he was being asked to perform was safe. I work with electricity, in many forms, and usually view my employer's safety precautions, as provoked by OSHA, to be complete B.S. I, alone, am responsible for my safety and if I feel threatened by a circumstance I back off. So...why was this individual performing work with a power saw on a water pipe that was unsupported? Given that it was not in a shop atmosphere but rather at a disaster site I would think that he and his co-workers would have secured the site. What happened? How about giving us a little more on this, Mr. Palermo.

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