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Federal Report Cites Safety Administration For Violations

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been cited for mishandling complaints and setting investigation quotas.

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Photo: David Jones

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A federal report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is citing Indiana’s workplace safety agency for mishandling complaints.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration put tight time restrictions on inspections and declined to inspect an Indianapolis Power & Light plant after a dust explosion there last spring.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation last spring after receiving allegations about faulty complaint processing, the handling of whistleblower settlements and performance goals for inspectors. OSHA found all three allegations were valid and made 22 recommendations for improvement.

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration already made some changes but still has work to do, according to a Feb. 25 letter from Regional Administrator Nick Walters, based in Chicago. Walters asked IOSHA Commissioner Rick Ruble to respond in 30 days.

An IndyStar report last spring reported IOSHA was trying to boost its inspections without hiring additional workers. IOSHA inspectors were told to conduct 61 inspections annually and to complete those inspections within an average of 4.1 days.

“It should be noted, however, that all recommendations outlined in the report apply to administrative procedures, and they have no effect on the health and safety of Hoosiers,” IOSHA spokesman Bob Dittmer said in an email.

He says there is completed action on all but two of the 22 recommendations, and those are also nearing completion.

Network Indiana contributed to this report.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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