Chemicals: Toxic Leak, Potent Fine

Toxic Leak, Potent Fine

In August, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration began to investigate Union Carbide, after a leak of the toxic chemical Aldicarb at the company's Institute, W. Va., plant left 141 people hospitalized. Last week OSHA levied a $1.4 million fine against the Danbury, Conn.-based firm for "willful disregard for health and safety" at the Institute plant. It was the largest penalty imposed by OSHA in its 16-year history.

OSHA's probe resulted in 221 charges of safety violations against the company. Carbide President Robert Kennedy, who said the fine would be appealed, contended that most of OSHA's accusations were "entirely...

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