April 12, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
Michigan-based company had been cited for similar hazards at terminals in three other states
BRAINTREE, Mass. -- A Seekonk, Mass., freight terminal faces $109,500 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor¿s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Central Transport Inc., which is headquartered in Warren, Mich., was cited for alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards following an OSHA inspection of the 1761 Fall River Ave. terminal begun Oct. 12, 2006.
OSHA¿s inspection identified several hazards for which the company had previously been cited at other Central Transport locations. These included fall hazards from unguarded loading docks; lack of eye and face protection for employees filling batteries; blocked access to an emergency eyewash station located next to a battery charging area; no training in fire extinguisher use and forklift operations; failing to inspect forklifts for defects; and failure to remove defective forklifts from service. As a result, the company was issued six repeat citations, carrying $102,500 in proposed fines.
¿These citations focus on hazardous conditions that could result in burns, falls, crushing and other serious injuries or even death if left uncorrected,¿ said Brenda Gordon, OSHA¿s area director for southeastern Massachusetts. ¿The size of the fines reflects this company¿s history of violations at other sites. It¿s imperative that it effectively and expeditiously address these issues in all of its workplaces.¿
OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has previously been cited for a substantially similar hazard and that citation has become final. In this case, the repeat citations stem from prior violations in 2005 and 2006 at company terminals in Cheshire, Conn., Peoria Heights, Ill., Du Bois, Pa., and York, Pa.
The company also was issued four serious citations, with $7,000 in proposed fines, for lack of an emergency response plan; improper distribution of fire extinguishers; improperly installed electrical wiring; and allowing pigeon guano to accumulate on the terminal floor and other surfaces. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Central Transport has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA¿s area director or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA¿s area office in Braintree, telephone (617) 565-6924.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA¿s role is to assure the safety and health of America¿s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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