Fall Hazards, Lack of PPE Lead to $108,000 in Fines for Truck Parts Distributor

OSHA has cited FleetPride Inc., a distributor of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts, for alleged repeat, serious, and other-than-serious violations following an inspection at its North Haven, Conn., distribution facility. The company faces a total of $108,000 in proposed fines for deficiencies involving respirators and other personal protective equipment, fall protection, electrical safety, exit access, powered industrial trucks, hazard communication, and recordkeeping. The inspection was conducted under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting program, which focuses inspections on workplaces reporting higher than average injury and illness rates.

"The sizable fines proposed here reflect the recurring nature of several hazards for which the company previously had been cited," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport, Conn. "It is imperative that this employer take prompt, effective, and lasting action to address these issues and prevent them from happening again."

Specifically, FleetPride was issued five repeat citations, with $92,500 in fines, for elevated work areas not guarded against fall hazards; untrained forklift operators; storing a forklift in front of a marked exit; exposed wiring in a heater and an electrical junction box; and not providing hazard communication training to new employees. OSHA said it has cited FleetPride in 2006 and 2007 for substantially similar hazards in North Haven and/or at the company's Willowbrook, Ill., location.

Five serious citations, with $12,500 in fines, were issued for lack of a respiratory protection program, information, and medical evaluations for employees who wear respirators; lack of PPE; uncertified PPE hazard assessment and training; and not protecting energized fluorescent light fixtures against damage.

Finally, three other-than-serious citations, with $3,000 in fines, were issued for incomplete, incorrect, or uncertified injury and illness logs, and for not posting the OSHA 300A injury and illness summary. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and fines to meet with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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