Forklift Fatality Brings $119,500 in Fines, Citations

Yesterday, OSHA proposed a total of $119,500 in fines against Con-Way Freight Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based delivery carrier, for alleged willful, repeat, and serious safety violations following an inspection at the company's Manchester, N.H., service center.

The inspection was prompted by an Oct. 3, 2007, accident in which a Con-Way Freight employee died when he was crushed beneath the forklift he was operating after it went off the edge of a loading dock. OSHA's inspection found that the employee had not been using the forklift's seatbelt, and the company had not trained him and other forklift operators to follow the manufacturer's guideline that seatbelts be used during operation.

"Manufacturer guidelines require the use of seatbelts, and OSHA's powered industrial truck standard mandates that employers train their forklift operators to follow those guidelines," said Francis Pagliuca, OSHA's acting area director for New Hampshire. "Con-Way Freight repeatedly has refused to require forklift operators to use seatbelts even though another employee died in a similar accident in Dallas in 2003. This practice must change, or employees nationwide continually will remain exposed to the dangers of fatal or disabling injuries."

For the lack of training, OSHA issued Con-Way Freight one willful citation, with the maximum proposed fine of $70,000. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. The company also was issued one repeat citation, with a $35,000 fine, for allowing the forklift to be operated in a defective condition. OSHA cited the company's Bridgeview, Ill., facility for a similar hazard in May 2007.

In addition, OSHA issued three serious citations, with $14,500 in fines, for the lack of seatbelt use, not having the forklift maintain a safe distance from the edges of the loading dock, and not marking aisles and passageways for forklift use. OSHA defines a serious violation as a condition that exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result.

Detailed information about OSHA's powered industrial truck requirements is available online at www.osha.gov/SLTC/poweredindustrialtrucks/index.html. Con-Way Freight has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Product Showcase

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi-gas detector that runs continuously for three years without needing to be recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Additionally, it is durable enough to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, which is why it has an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as Gas Clip Technologies’ new GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. 3

  • Magellan X Pte Ltd

    Hesitate No More with SOL-X Connected Worker Health & Safety Solution

    According to the National Safety Council, work-related medically consulted injuries total 4.26 million in 2021 in USA alone. SOL-X solution prevents “human factors” safety issues by anticipating incidents and improving compliance workflows. Leverages digital technologies (IIoT, AI and analytics) to predict patterns from occurring and make informed decisions. Control Of Work - gets rid of tedious paperwork and experience digital workflows. Crew Protect - maximises safety and situational awareness with health trackers and situational indicators. Award-winning Intrinsically Safe SmartWatch – innovative features that enable near real-time visibility and connected well-being. Works well with major connectivity protocols like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Long-Range Bluetooth! 3

Featured