Occupational Health & Safety

Firm Fined $78,000 after Automobile Injures Employee

OSHA opened an inspection after receiving a complaint in November 2011 that an automobile being worked on fell off a lift and landed on top of an employee, who consequently suffered a broken hip and internal injuries.

OSHA has cited LKQ Corp. in Jenkinsburg, Ga., for three safety violations. OSHA opened an inspection after receiving a complaint in November 2011 that an automobile being worked on fell off a lift and landed on top of an employee, who consequently suffered a broken hip and internal injuries.

One willful violation is exposing workers to being struck by falling vehicles. OSHA found that prior to the incident, an independent contractor had verified that the lifts were improperly modified and told the employer to discontinue use until they were properly repaired or replaced. This violation carries a $70,000 penalty.

Two serious violations with $8,000 in penalties include exposing workers to corrosive chemical products without providing a suitable eye wash station and failing to install handrails on a stairway.

"Although the employer knew workers were being put in harm's way and at risk of serious injury or death, the lifts were kept in use," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "This type of negligence and disregard for worker safety is unacceptable."

Headquartered in Chicago, LKQ Corp. recycles used auto parts and has locations throughout the United States.

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