Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 1


March 11, 2024

Employer might have prevented fatal forklift incident at Logan International Airport by ensuring proper safeguards, Department of Labor finds

OSHA cites Rochester, New York employer for failing to ensure safeguards

 

BRAINTREE, MA — The Aug. 29, 2023, fatal injury of a forklift operator at Boston’s Logan International Airport may have been prevented if his employer, a Rochester, New York-based maintenance firm, had ensured proper safeguards for operating and maintaining forklifts, a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection has found.

An Oxford Airport Technical Services’ employee was attempting to drive a forklift into a building when the vehicle’s forks and mast struck the overhang of the entrance, causing the forklift to tip over. The operator, who was not wearing a seatbelt, fell to the ground, and the tipping vehicle fatally struck him.

OSHA inspectors found that the company failed to ensure the worker wore a seat belt while operating the forklift, exposing him to rollover and crushing hazards. The agency also determined the following:

  • The forklift’s forks and mast were not raised only as far as necessary to clear the road surface.
  • All forklift operators were not properly trained and certified.
  • A damaged forklift was not examined before being placed in service.
  • A damaged forklift was not taken out of service.

These violations resulted in OSHA issuing four serious citations with $46,096 in proposed penalties.

View the citations.

“Every workplace fatality is tragic, especially when there are well-known safety measures that could have prevented the loss of person’s life,” said OSHA Area Director James Mulligan in Braintree, Massachusetts. “In this case, the employer failed to train and certify their forklift operators on critical safety requirements. It’s simply inexcusable.”

Oxford Airport Technical Services has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Learn more about OSHA and protecting workers against forklift and powered industrial truck hazards, including an interactive eTool.

 

Media Contacts:

James C. Lally, 617-565-2074, lally.james.c@dol.gov
Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075, fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

Release Number: 24-463-BOS