US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Hondo, Texas, beverage distributor
more than $52,000 for failing to provide forklift training to workers
HONDO, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Frio Distributing Co. with one alleged willful, nine alleged serious and two alleged other-than-serious violations following a safety and health inspection at the company's facility in Hondo. Proposed penalties total $52,250.
"This company jeopardized the safety of its workers by failing to provide forklift training," said Jeff Funke, OSHA's area director in San Antonio, Texas. "It's imperative that employers adhere to OSHA's safety and health standards to prevent injuries and fatalities by properly training their workers."
OSHA began its inspection on Sept. 10 at the company's facility at 509 Carter and cited the employer with a willful violation for failing to properly train workers in the use of forklifts. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The serious violations pertain to failing to provide guardrails on elevated working areas; failing to provide proper housekeeping by placing miscellaneous items on the stairway, creating a trip hazard; and electrical deficiencies, including lack of enclosures or guards to prevent damage to electrical components, exposed live conductors, and blocked and unlabeled electrical disconnects. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Other-than-serious violations were cited for failing to record injuries in the OSHA 300 log and to keep fire exits clear. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA San Antonio Area Office director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's San Antonio Area Office at 210-472-5040 or the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
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 these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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