Former Ohio Plant Managers Indicted for Obstructing Investigation of Worker Death
YOUNGSTOWN, OH. – November 1, 2018 (ledger-enquirer.com) According to an online news report from ledger-enquirer.com, two former Ohio aluminum plant managers have been indicted for obstructing an investigation into a worker’s 2012 death. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges in court October 30, 2018.*
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation into an accident that occurred at the Extrudex Aluminum Inc. plant in North Jackson, Ohio. A worker had been pinned by a rack holding hot aluminum parts and died from his injuries. A second worker was seriously injured in the accident. OSHA ultimately cited Extrudex for a variety of violations, including exposing workers to “struck-by, pinned-under, and burn hazards.”
During its investigation, OSHA requested internal communications from the company. Extrudex and two of its managers, Brian K. Carder and Paul Love, did not produce all emails responsive to OSHA’s request. Namely, Carder, the plant’s general manager, and Love, the plant’s safety coordinator and human resources director, did not produce a string of emails dating back to 2009 that concerned alleged safety issues with the racks and rollers system that ultimately fell on the worker in 2012.
In October, Carder, 62, of Stow, Ohio, and Love, 57, of Lake Milton, Ohio, were indicted in the Northern District of Ohio on charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and obstruction of proceedings. Love was also charged with making false statement to law enforcement.
Court documents allege Carder and Love “devised a plan to provide false statements to the OSHA investigator” and encouraged employees to recant their emails and statements “including by suggesting their jobs might be in jeopardy.” Both men pleaded not guilty on October 30 and were released on bond.
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