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Jan. 27, 2015

OSHA cites Idaho steel manufacturer following last year's
death of welder who fell from misused forklift
Serious safety violations found at Superior Steel

BOISE, Idaho – Ernesto Paramo never knew his shift on August 4 would be his last, leaving his family and friends to grieve his untimely death. The 30-year-old welder clocked in as he had many times before and then went to work at Superior Steel Products Inc. Paramo was in an unsecured basket raised improperly on a forklift about nine feet off the floor when the basket fell off a forklift onto the concrete floor below. Sadly, Paramo is not alone; in the past year, nearly one-in-four Idaho workplace fatalities were a result of improper forklift use.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found Superior Steel did not protect employees from numerous hazards related to the use of forklifts, including training, modifications and operation. Investigators also discovered confined space, flammable liquid and respiratory hazards. OSHA has proposed fines of $38,780 for these violations.

"We send our condolences to the family and friends of Ernesto Paramo. They lost someone they loved because Superior Steel Products did not ensure basic safety procedures for dangerous heavy equipment," said Galen Blanton, acting OSHA regional administrator in Seattle.

OSHA's Boise Area Office has developed a Local Emphasis Program for the Powered Industrial Trucks enforcement program* to target many of the hazards found during their investigation.

Based in Caldwell, Superior Steel Products is a manufacturer of steel and aluminum storage tanks, such as crude oil tankers, aviation fuel storage, fuel transportation tanks, fertilizer storage tanks and chemical transportation tanks.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities, amputations, loss of an eye or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Boise office at 208-321-2960

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 ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit


Media Contacts:

Leo F. Kay, 415-625-2630,
Jose A. Carnevali, 415-625-2631,

Release Number: 15-9-SAN

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