Safety Manager Puts Profits Over People — Provides False Injury Numbers To Earn Huge Bonus
Worker safety should be a top priority for government contractors. It seems pretty simple to me. If a company profits from projects funded by taxpayers, we should expect safety! Yet, many government contractors put profits over safety. What is the result? Many needless personal injuries that could have been prevented. Many workers and families devastated by disabilities that should not have occurred.
In November, a jury convicted the former safety manager at the Shaw Group of providing false and misleading information about injuries. The Shaw Group is a large government contractor. The safety manager committed the fraud right here in northern Alabama. The fraud occurred at several Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) facilities, including Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Site near Athens, Alabama.
What did this contractor fraud involve? The company’s safety manager generated false injury rates used by the Shaw Group to collect safety bonuses worth over $2.5 Million from TVA. The company clearly put profit over both safety and truth.
The evidence at trial revealed a picture of gross misconduct. The jury heard evidence of over 80 injuries, including broken bones, hernias, shoulder, and back injuries, that were not properly recorded.
Each injury involved a real person – a family member, friend or neighbor in our communities. Each of these serious personal injuries represents a real person whose safety should be valued. A real person who worked and contributed to the company. A real person who may not get the medical care he or she needs because their injury was not reported.
Will this conviction have any impact on this company’s ability to obtain future government contracts? I don’t know. I’ve helped people who were needlessly injured by private contractors at numerous government sites. I’ve had clients injured at TVA sites including Browns’ Ferry and Widows’ Creek. I’ve had clients injured on Redstone Arsenal. We’ve worked hard to force the contractors in these cases to pay the compensation and damages due our clients. We are proud of our past successes for clients. But, if our communities really want to stop future injuries, the public should demand the government consider safety as a factor for continued business with a contractor.
Our government should make safety a top priority for its contractors. Unfortunately, it does not. Because of that, people suffer needlessly.
At the Blackwell Law Firm, we’ve represented people across Alabama who suffered serious and disabling injuries on construction and industrial sites. We understand the compensation and safety rules that impact these claims. If you have questions about a serious injury, let us know. We are happy to provide answers. Consultations are always free and confidential.