OSHA Cites Idaho Steel Tank Manufacturer

Caldwell-based Superior Steel Products Inc. did not protect employees from hazards related to the use of forklifts, and OSHA investigators also discovered confined space, flammable liquid, and respiratory hazards, according to an agency news release.

OSHA's Region 10 office announced an enforcement action against Caldwell, Idaho-based Superior Steel Products Inc. after conducting a fatality investigation. A 30-year-old welder named Ernesto Paramo was in an unsecured basket raised improperly by a forklift, about 9 feet off the floor, when the basket fell to the concrete floor.

According to the OSHA announcement, investigators concluded the company did not protect employees from hazards related to the use of forklifts, and they also discovered confined space, flammable liquid, and respiratory hazards. It says nearly one in four Idaho workplace fatalities during the past year resulted from improper forklift use, and there has been a Local Emphasis Program in Region 10 for powered industrial trucks since Nov, 26, 2013.

OSHA has proposed fines of $38,780 for these violations in this case.

"We send our condolences to the family and friends of Ernesto Paramo. They lost someone they loved because Superior Steel Products did not ensure basic safety procedures for dangerous heavy equipment," said Galen Blanton, acting OSHA regional administrator in Seattle.

Superior Steel Products manufactures steel and aluminum storage tanks, such as crude oil tankers, aviation fuel storage, fuel transportation tanks, fertilizer storage tanks, and chemical transportation tanks.

To contact the OSHA Boise Area Office, call 208-321-2960.

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