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Industrial Accidents

NEWS
September 7, 1993 | DAVID FREED
By law, California's occupational safety and health program (Cal/OSHA) investigates industrial accidents in which workers are killed or seriously injured. The outcomes of those cases can vary greatly. Under a schedule strengthened last year, a company can be fined up to $7,000 for each serious violation of health and safety standards, and $70,000 for repeated and willful violations. Rarely, however, are the maximum fines imposed.
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NEWS
March 10, 1989 | From Associated Press
A federal judge Thursday fined Ashland Oil Inc. a record $2.25 million for a 1988 oil spill that fouled two rivers in three states and threatened to disrupt drinking water supplies for more than 1 million people. Justice Department officials said it was the biggest penalty ever imposed against a company for a fuel spill. "It was something more than simple negligence that the company was guilty of," U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond said.
NEWS
July 16, 1987 | BARRY M. HORSTMAN, Times Staff Writer
The deaths of six civilian workers at National Steel & Shipbuilding Co. here is providing the first major test of the new federal occupational safety and health program launched in California to replace the California program abolished by Gov. George Deukmejian. The accident, the worst in the shipyard's history, occurred shortly after midnight last Thursday when a crane-operated steel basket carrying 12 men fell nearly 30 feet to the deck of the combat support ship Sacramento.
NATIONAL
July 3, 2013 | By Evan Halper
As investigators swarm the former gold-mining town of Yarnell, Ariz., to examine the fateful decisions leading up to the deaths of 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain hotshots, their presence is unlikely to ease tensions among the survivors. More than a decade ago, a similar blaze whipped through a canyon 30 miles north of Winthrop, Wash. Four firefighters died in circumstances eerily similar to those at Yarnell, killed in their emergency shelters as a fast-moving fire burned over them.
NEWS
May 7, 1988 | LOUIS SAHAGUN and HENRY WEINSTEIN, Times Staff Writers
Alert to the wariness of this growing suburban community, a Pacific Engineering & Production Co. official described as "highly unlikely" Friday the possibility that the firm will build a rocket fuel plant here to replace the one leveled this week by powerful explosions. Pacific Engineering counsel Keith Rooker said locations in more remote regions of Nevada, as well as in Texas and Utah, are under consideration for a replacement plant.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 1987 | JIM SCHACHTER, Times Staff Writer
When three San Diego construction workers died in trench collapses at beach area job sites in October, 1982, the business community got a rare shock. Breaking from a tradition that made administrative fines and civil lawsuits the only punishment for industrial deaths, San Diego city prosecutors pressed criminal charges against the laborers' bosses.
NEWS
March 19, 1988 | MILES CORWIN, Times Staff Writer
An explosion and flash fire in the warehouse of a sugar refinery in Santa Maria burned seven workers Friday, three critically, Santa Barbara County Fire Department officials said. The explosion rocked the second floor of the six-story brick Union Sugar Co. warehouse, where about 45 men were sorting and bagging sugar.
NEWS
December 16, 1988 | Associated Press
An offshore oil rig being towed across the Atlantic Ocean capsized in high winds Thursday but all 26 crew members were safe inside an enclosed boat called a "survival pod," the Coast Guard reported. The rig, Rowan Gorilla I, capsized about 1,200 miles east of New York City in gale-force winds and 40-foot seas, Coast Guard officials said. The tugboat Smit London, which had been towing the rig from Nova Scotia to Yarmouth, England, remained with the pod, said Lt. Cmdr.
NEWS
May 29, 1991 | SEBASTIAN ROTELLA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In the months before a fatal crane accident at Edwards Air Force Base last year, a private contractor declined several times to implement critical safety recommendations from the crane operator because they were too expensive, Air Force investigators have found. The failure of the contractor, Hercules Inc. of Utah, to realize that the giant crane was operating on a hazardous surface was among the factors contributing to the Sept. 7 accident, according to an Air Force report.
NEWS
May 6, 1988 | Associated Press
An explosion and fire that ripped off roofs and doors rocked a Shell Oil Co. refinery Thursday, killing one worker, injuring 42 people and leaving six people missing, authorities said. "It went boom, and then boom again," said Adam Mashia, 65, who lives less than a mile from the plant. "It knocked me to the floor, and as I was getting up it knocked me down again."
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