Courting danger: NJ workers ride on forks of forklifts
No hazcom program either
OSHA has cited Continental Terminals Inc., based in Jersey City, with 18 alleged safety and health violations at the company's warehouse in Kearney. OSHA initiated an inspection upon receiving a complaint. Proposed fines total $162,400.
Citations carrying $98,000 in penalties have been issued for two willful violations that involve permitting employees to ride on the forks of forklifts and a failure to provide fall protection on platforms.
Fifteen serious violations include locked or sealed emergency exit doors, improperly labeled doors, the improper storage of liquid propane tanks, unsanitary restrooms, unsafe material storage, unauthorized personnel being allowed to ride on powered industrial trucks, powered industrial trucks left unattended with a load raised and the engine running, not taking power industrial trucks out of service when in need of repair, permitting employees to operate a compactor without guards or an interlock in place and exposing employees to live electrical parts. The violations also include failing to implement a hazard communication program, provide training or material safety data sheets to employees handling hazardous chemicals, have a continual and effective hearing conservation program for employees exposed to noise at 85 decibels or greater as a time-weighted average, have a noise monitoring program for employees exposed to 85 decibels or greater, have an audiometric testing program for employees exposed to noise and provide auxiliary directional lighting on powered industrial trucks for areas where the general lighting was less than two lumens per square foot.
OSHA’s Kris Hoffman said that violations reveal the company’s “lax attitude” toward workplace safety and health.