Unsafe Forklifts, Chemical Hazards Carry $114,000 Penalty for Freight Firm

OSHA's Omaha Area Office initiated its inspection as part of a local emphasis program on the handling of motorized equipment, such as powered industrial trucks, skid steers, and cranes.

OSHA has cited Central Transport International Inc. for two repeat safety violations at the company's Omaha, Neb., facility, including allowing workers to operate unsafe forklifts and failing to provide proper eyewash facilities for workers exposed to corrosive chemicals. Proposed penalties total $114,000.

OSHA's Omaha Area Office initiated its inspection as part of a local emphasis program on the handling of motorized equipment, such as powered industrial trucks, skid steers, cranes, man lifts, front-end loaders, and aerial lifts in general industry and in construction.

The first violation was cited for exposing workers to hazards by allowing them to operate forklifts that remained in service even after deficiencies were noted. The second violation was cited for exposing workers' eyes, faces, and hands to corrosive chemicals without providing suitable eyewash facilities. The company was cited for the same violations at numerous facilities between 2006 and 2010.

"Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to workplace safety and health standards. Deficient forklifts and improperly handled chemicals can lead to serious injuries and death," said Charles E. Adkins, the agency's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "All employers, especially those in high-hazard sectors, must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."

Central Transport International Inc. is a national freight company based in Warren, Mich.

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