Labor Department Proposes $231G in Fines Against American Airlines for Alleged Safety Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed $231,000 in fines against American Airlines for alleged safety violations at O'Hare International Airport.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations against the airline for concerns involving machine guarding, electrical issues, trip and fall hazards, blocked exits and storage of oxygen and acetylene cylinders at the Chicago airport, according to a statement from OSHA.

The agency inspected the Texas-based airline's operations at O'Hare after reviewing its occupational injury and illness data.

"This is a very significant penalty being proposed," said Brad Mitchell, a spokesman for the Labor Department. "The average safety penalty is usually well below $50,000."

American spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said the airline's workplace safety record overall — and particularly at O'Hare — has improved significantly in the past two years.

American already has fixed most of the issues noted in the inspection and is working to address the rest, Fagan said.

According to OSHA, the agency has inspected American 66 times at various locations nationally since 2004, with 37 of those inspections resulting in citations. The airline has been inspected at O'Hare 10 times since 2000, with five of the inspections resulting in citations, according to the agency.