Honeywell's String of Dangerous Close Calls Doesn't Stop Flow of Taxpayer Dollars

Six Honeywell workers were cleaning a 100,000-gallon sulfuric acid tank when it became over-pressurized and violently ruptured in January 2015. Other workers sheltered in place as fire crews rushed to Honeywell International, Inc.’s Hopewell, Virginia plant, one of the world’s largest single-site producers of caprolactum, the primary feedstock in the production of nylon polymer used in carpet fibers, plastics, and films.

Luckily, no one was hospitalized. But the incident was just one in a string of problems at the troubled Hopewell plant, which has been cited by OSHA for 7 “Serious” violations in three separate inspections from 2013-2015. The same plant was also the source of environmental violations that cost Honeywell $3.3 million in federal and state penalties in the same period.

Pervasive violations of worker safety and health standards at giant Fortune 500 firms like Honeywell underscore the need to hold federal contractors accountable for the hazards to which their workers are exposed.

President Obama has taken executive action to implement tough new reporting rules for federal contractors. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order requires federal contractors to report violations of safety, health and labor laws occurring over the past three years to the government when they apply for new contracts.

Unfortunately, many American firms — fronted by their powerful trade associations — are working behind the scenes to scuttle these reporting requirements that would make it easier for the government to hold them to account.

CEO Makes a Fortune While Honeywell Racks Up OSHA Violations and Fines

Honeywell International Inc., a Fortune 500 company and one of the 2015’s top 100 federal contractors, sells a wide range of products from common thermostats for home or office to sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles for the Department of Defense.

With a helping hand from U.S. taxpayers, the company does very well, and its CEO David Cote is paid a handsome salary….

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