$164,800 Fine Issued to Transport Firm for Unsafe Forklifts, Repeat Violations

OSHA's Chicago North Area Office initiated an inspection after receiving a complaint alleging that employees were not provided with forklift training and a hazardous material spill had occurred due to a forklift incident.

OSHA has cited Central Transport International Inc. for 17 safety violations, including four repeat, at the company's Hillside, Ill., facility. The violations involve allowing workers to operate unsafe forklifts and failing to provide proper eyewash facilities for workers exposed to corrosive chemicals, among others. Proposed penalties total $164,800.

OSHA's Chicago North Area Office initiated an inspection after receiving a complaint alleging that employees were not provided with forklift training and a hazardous material spill had occurred due to a forklift incident. No injuries were reported.

"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 or death," said Diane Turek, director of OSHA's Chicago North office in Des Plaines. "All employers must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."

Four repeat violations with proposed penalties of $132,000 have been cited, including exposing workers to hazards by allowing them to operate forklifts that remained in service even after deficiencies were noted; exposing workers' eyes, faces, and hands to corrosive chemicals without providing suitable eyewash facilities; and failing to develop an emergency response plan and conduct fire extinguisher training. The company was cited for the same violations at numerous facilities between 2006 and 2011.

Central Transport also has been cited for eight serious violations with proposed penalties of $30,800, including failing to train and evaluate forklift drivers, maintain forklift name plates in legible condition, label hazardous material containers, maintain the mechanic shop maintenance area in a dry condition, provide workers with training on hazardous chemicals, and provide material data safety sheets for workers' reference.

Finally, the company has been cited for five other-than-serious violations with $2,000 in proposed penalties for failing to maintain the OSHA 300 injury and illness log, maintain fire extinguishers, illuminate exit signs, and unlock a fire exit door.

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