While industry waits to see if OSHA will carry out its proposal to post companies’ injury records online, a nonprofit has unveiled its new website that points the finger at the biggest environmental/safety/health violators in the U.S. since 2010.
The searchable database (Violation Tracker) and an accompanying report come from the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First.
It identifies BP as the company with the most EHS penalties in the last six years: almost $25.4 billion. Of course, most of that is connected to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Here is the top 10 list of parent company totals:
- BP, $25,394,091,789
- Anadarko Petroleum, $5,151,339,071
- GlaxoSmithKline, $3,750,839,650
- Johnson & Johnson, $2,392,753,043
- Abbott Laboratories, $1,500,000,000
- Transocean, $1,400,040,000
- Toyota, $1,266,214,250
- Alliant Energy, $1,018,102,250
- Merck, $951,806,424, and
- General Motors, $936,388,294.
As the list shows, eight companies’ penalties top the $1 billion mark. (Penalties include federal and state cash fines as well as the cost of supplementary environmental projects companies must perform under settlements.)
The database includes penalties from EPA, OSHA and 11 other federal agencies dealing with EHS issues.
The top 10 for OSHA violations alone (with included subsidiaries noted in parentheses):
- BP, $63,860,860
- Louis Dreyfus, $6,063,600 (Imperial Sugar)
- Republic Steel, $2,635,000
- Tesoro, $2,532,355
- Olivet Management, $2,359,000
- Dollar Tree, $2,153,585
- Ashley Furniture, $1,869,745 (note: this total appears to lack the most recent fines against Ashley)
- Kehrer Brothers Construction, $1,822,800
- Renco, $1,535,475 (several mines and recycling companies), and
- Black Mag LLC, $1,218,500.
Some other findings from Good Jobs First via the Violation Tracker data and accompanying report, BP and Its Brethren:
- The top five industries for violations are: oil and gas; pharmaceuticals; utilities; vehicle manufacturing; chemicals.
- Large corporations (from the Fortune 500 and Fortune Global 500) account for 81% of the penalties in Violation Tracker.
- The total penalties for foreign companies operating in the U.S. are larger than for firms based in the U.S.: $34 billion vs. $21 billion.
- Not all large corporations are major violators. Among Fortune 50 firms, 10 have EHS penalties below $50,000 for the period and 11 have no penalties at all. These are predominantly in financial services, information technology, retail and wholesale. One goods-producing company on the low/no penalties list is Apple, but it conducts nearly all of its manufacturing offshore.
- Many of the top violators are repeat offenders, including 9 of the top 10 (Abbott Labs is the exception).
As has been noted by various officials, the difference between the penalties EPA and OSHA are able to level at companies is substantial. EPA’s total is nearly 90 times OSHA’s.
Maximum OSHA penalties could be going up in 2016.