FAA: Boeing pressured safety workers at SC aircraft plant

Federal officials are seeking to fine Boeing $1.25 million, saying Wednesday that company managers pressured employees who were designated to perform safety-related work at a South Carolina plant.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that for nearly two years Boeing made employees doing safety checks report to managers who weren’t in position to oversee the work.

The FAA said in another instance earlier this year, Boeing pressured or interfered with employees who were doing a safety inspection of a Boeing 787-9 jetliner at the plant in North Charleston.

The allegations stem from Boeing’s operation of a long-standing FAA program in which the agency relies on manufacturers’ employees to carry out some safety-related tests and analysis. The approach has come under scrutiny in Congress since two deadly crashes involving Boeing 737 Max jets.

Some lawmakers say letting company employees do safety analysis amounts to self-regulation, and Congress is considering changes in the FAA’s use and oversight of those company employees.