A safety manager, working on a federal government project, could face prison time and millions of dollars in fines for hiding workers’ injuries.
A jury convicted Walter Cardin of eight counts of major fraud against the United States.
Cardin was a safety manager for Shaw Group, responsible for information about employee injuries at three Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) sites.
Shaw had contracted with TVA to provide maintenance and modifications to three facilities.
Cardin was convicted of falsifying injury rates which were used by the Shaw Group to collect safety bonuses from TVA worth more than $2.5 million.
The jury heard evidence of over 80 injuries that weren’t properly recorded by Cardin, including:
- broken bones
- torn ligaments
- hernias, and
- shoulder, back and knee injuries.
As part of a settlement with the United States, the Shaw Group previously paid back twice the $2.5 million safety bonus. Shaw didn’t admit wrongdoing.
Cardin faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million for each offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 21, 2013.
OSHA has instructed its inspectors to search for safety incentive programs that might cause workers or supervisors to hide injuries to receive rewards or bonuses.