EMPLOYER LOCATION: Wisconsin - OSHA Region 5
BUSINESS TYPE: Food manufacturer
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Complaint
EVENT: Follow-up resulting from a previous inspection in which the company was found to have exposed workers to numerous hazards related to heavy machinery.
RESULTING FINE: $782,526
MAJOR CITATIONS: This firm was cited for seven serious, six willful, three ‘other’ repeat violations. Five willful egregious violations – result from failure to enact worker training on lockout/tagout procedures. Additional inspectors found the firm did not install machine guarding or comply with forklift regulations. OSHA placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Today many businesses rely on lift trucks and forklifts to move heavy loads; OSHA includes these vehicles as a larger group of Powered Industrial Trucks. To limit the number of accidents that occur on this equipment OSHA requires that all operators be certified; rule 1910.178 requires removal of vehicles with defects be removed from service following an inspection or audit.
2019 saw a total of 2,093 powered truck citations issued. In Fiscal Year 2018, powered trucks violations totaled 2,347. The message here is that companies never think they need to follow OSHA protocols and ensure their equipment is frequently inspected and audited … “They think it will never happen to them.” These violation numbers are real! OSHA’s 2021 regulations appear to be more stringent than ever with higher citations and fines promised!
Don’t ignore the messages now coming from OSHA. They do intend to broaden their scope of forklift and heavy equipment incident citations and have indicated that they will impose big fines for failure to follow their guidelines. Your forklift fleet needs regular inspections and audits to prevent unplanned and costly fines.