An OSHA investigation into a New Jersey workplace fatality found numerous safety violations at the facility. The agency issued one willful, one repeat and six serious violations against the man’s employer, Wei-Chuan U.S.A. Inc.
The 60-year-old supervisor died in Jersey City on December 27, 2015 after falling 24 feet from a top-tier rack. Inspectors learned the company knowingly allowed forklifts to elevate employees on pallets as they conducted inventory at the food distribution warehouse.
A preventable fatality
"Wei-Chuan U.S.A. failed to provide required fall protection and ensure its forklift practices were safe, resulting in a preventable fatality,” said Brian Flynn, acting director at OSHA's Parsippany Area Office.
OSHA cited the company with a willful violation for its failure to use an approved platform for raising employees on forklifts, and failure to provide fall protection. Hazard communication training deficiencies resulted in the repeat citation, for which OSHA cited Wei-Chuan previously in February 2011.
PPE, electrical, HazCom violations
The agency found the serious violations were due to employees being allowed to improperly climb warehouse racks, lack of hand protection while handling hazardous materials, electrical hazards, hazard communication deficiencies and lack of forklift training.
Proposed penalties: $107,000
Wei-Chuan U.S.A. Inc. is a food manufacturing and distribution company that produces frozen food products and is headquartered in Bell Gardens, California.