Respirator fraud technician guilty

12 January 2012

An American court has convicted a former employee at Entergy's FitzPatrick nuclear power plant of falsifying safety equipment test records. Michael McCarrick, a radiation protection technician at the plant, was charged with a felony violation of the US Atomic Energy Act after falsifying records of qualitative fit tests on personal respirators, documenting the successful completion of tests which had not in fact been carried out. McCarrick was fired from his job at the plant in New York state in the wake of the incident, and was sentenced to one year of probation and a $1000 fine after pleading guilty to the charge. Personal respirators are a common piece of safety equipment used not only in nuclear plants but in many settings where hazardous fumes may be present during an emergency. They must fit snugly to be effective, and employers are therefore required to check the fit of their workers' respirators regularly to ensure that the respirator makes a proper seal. The falsified records related to 32 power plant workers but the US Department of Justice noted that no known injuries had occurred as a result of the falsified tests.

Filed under: Regulation, Workforce