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OSHA hits waste hauler with $123,203 penalty

Clear Lake, IA-based Absolute Waste Removal has been ordered to pay $123,203 in back pay, attorney’s fees and compensatory and punitive damages to a driver that the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) determined was wrongfully terminated for raising safety concerns during a reorganization of company routes.

OHSA’s news release doesn’t explain the exact concern raised by the driver.

It only states that the employee “rightfully refused to operate a vehicle in an unsafe manner because such operation would violate American National Standards Institute and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, potentially causing serious injury to the worker, co-workers or the public.”

Scott Allen, an OSHA regional director for public affairs, told FleetOwner that the driver had refused to comply with a supervisor’s demand that he join more than two people in a work vehicle that had only two seatbelts.

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