Safety First News
Two Forklift Violations Bring $250k in Penalties to Employer
May 6, 2018
For employers who do not immediately correct powered industrial truck (aka “forklift”) deficiencies noted in pre-shift inspections, this story will hopefully change that behavior.
Acting on an employee complaint, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued proposed penalties of $258,672 in connection with a citation issued to Rural King Supply, Inc. of Xenia, Ohio for allowing workers to operate defective forklifts.
OSHA issued two Willful violations of $129,336 each for the alleged forklift operation deficiencies. According to OSHA, Rural King Supply, Inc. did not repair a forklift that had been repeatedly inspected and reported to have defective brakes. OSHA also claims Rural King Supply, Inc. did not at least remove the forklift service until effective repairs could restore the truck to a safe operating condition.
Employers should be reminded that any issue that is noted on a pre-shift forklift inspection should be taken seriously, and if the finding is something that could affect the safe operation of the forklift, repairs should be made immediately or the forklift must be taken out of service until repairs can be made. Remember, “safe” means different things to different people, so if in doubt, consider what “safe” would mean to and OSHA Compliance Officer when determining if the deficiency could affect the safe operation of the forklift.
Rural King Ranch, Inc. is permitted 15 business days from the receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to pay the penalty and comply with the citation’s directives, schedule an informal conference with OSHA’s Area Director, or contest the findings in front of the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.