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Hanson a “small” operator?

Posted by Ellen Smith on July 31, 2013

There are some decisions that make me scratch my head. The most recent is a July 16, 2013 decision by FMSHRC ALJ Michael Zielinski who used MSHA’s information in determining a penalty calculation.

I won’t get into all of the details of the case because they aren’t important. What is important is that the information submitted by the Solicitor’s Office in Denver, which came from MSHA’s assessment office, indicated that Hanson Aggregates is a “small operator,” for purposes of making a penalty calculation.

The quarry in this case is owned by Hanson, which, according to MSHA’s DRS, is owned by Heidelberg Cement. According to Bloomberg News, Heidelberg Cement just beat all expectations and posted a $973 million second quarter profit.

The company employs some 52,000 people at 2,500 locations in more than 40 countries, according to its website.

If calling this a “small operator,” makes any sense, then I need my head examined.

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