March 16, 2015
USPS cited for using defective forklift at main post office in Des Moines
Employer name: United States Postal Service
Investigation site: Main Post Office, 1165 2nd Ave., Des Moines, Iowa
Date investigation initiated and what prompted inspection: On Oct. 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated an inspection of the main post office in Des Moines after receiving an employee complaint alleging that unsafe forklifts were being used at the facility.
Investigation findings: OSHA issued one repeated and two serious safety violations involving standards for powered industrial vehicles, tugs and forklifts being the most commonly used.
"The Postal Service has a responsibility to make sure equipment is maintained in good working order," said Larry Davidson, OSHA's area director in Des Moines. "Each year hundreds of workers are injured after being hit by forklifts. Having operating lights and other safety equipment helps to prevent such incidents."
OSHA's investigation found one forklift and two tugs were operating without such functioning flashing lights. OSHA previously cited the same facility for this violation in 2010. OSHA issues repeated violations when an employer has been previously cited for the same or a similar violation in the past five years.
Two serious violations were cited for failing to make repairs on a forklift and to remove it from service until fully functioning.
Proposed Penalties: $49,500.00
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities 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 Des Moines Area Office at 515-284-4794.
Release Number: 15-389-KAN
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