Region 1 News Release: 08-1284-BOS/BOS 2008-258
Wed., Sept. 17, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
FleetPride Inc. cited for similar hazards in 2006 and 2007
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited FleetPride Inc. for alleged repeat, serious and other-than-serious violations of health and safety standards following an inspection at its North Haven, Conn., distribution facility.
The distributor of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts faces a total of $108,000 in proposed fines following an inspection conducted under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting program, which focuses inspections on workplaces reporting higher than average injury and illness rates. The citations and fines address deficiencies involving respirators and other personal protective equipment, fall protection, electrical safety, exit access, powered industrial trucks, hazard communication and recordkeeping.
"The sizable fines proposed here reflect the recurring nature of several hazards for which the company previously had been cited," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "It is imperative that this employer take prompt, effective and lasting action to address these issues and prevent them from happening again."
Specifically, FleetPride was issued five repeat citations, with $92,500 in fines, for elevated work areas not guarded against fall hazards; untrained forklift operators; storing a forklift in front of a marked exit; exposed wiring in a heater and an electrical junction box; and not providing hazard communication training to new employees. OSHA had cited Fleet Pride in 2006 and 2007 for substantially similar hazards in North Haven and/or at the company's Willowbrook, Ill., location.
Five serious citations, with $12,500 in fines, were issued for lack of a respiratory protection program, information and medical evaluations for employees who wear respirators; lack of personal protective equipment; uncertified personal protective equipment hazard assessment and training; and not protecting energized fluorescent light fixtures against damage. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Finally, three other-than-serious citations, with $3,000 in fines, were issued for incomplete, incorrect or uncertified injury and illness logs, and for not posting the OSHA 300A injury and illness summary. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have an immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
FleetPride has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and fines to meet with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office; telephone 203-579-5581
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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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