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OSHA News Release – Region 4
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 01-82
Thurs., May 24, 2001
Contact: Luis Santiago
PHONE: (954) 424-0242
OSHA FINES MEDLEY, FLA., FIRM $92,650 FOLLOWING FATAL ACCIDENT
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Trusscorp International Inc. and proposed penalties totaling $92,650 following a fatal accident at the company's Medley, Fla., plant.
OSHA inspectors found evidence that the November fatality occurred when an employee checking oil in a lift truck started the engine while standing outside the vehicle. The worker died of injuries sustained when the forklift rolled over him crushing his lower torso.
OSHA cited one willful violation for failure to train employees about safe operation of forklifts. Two additional hazards were cited as serious -- not withdrawing a defective forklift from service and failing to examine the trucks before putting them in service.
Luis Santiago, OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale area director, said, "Although there were no witnesses to the accident, the evidence indicated that the forklift's parking brake was faulty and the gear appeared to be in reverse before the engine was started."
A comprehensive inspection that grew out of the initial response to the accident revealed 13 additional serious violations. These included machine guarding violations, electrical hazards, and lack of personal protective equipment and eye protection.
"If the employer in this case had inspected forklifts and removed damaged or faulty equipment from service, this tragic accident could have been avoided," said Santiago. "OSHA cites a willful violation, as in this case, when an employer exhibits intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations."
The area director explained that a serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Trusscorp International employs 30 workers at the Medley facility to manufacture roof trusses. The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspections of the Trusscorp plant were conducted by OSHA's area office located at Jacaranda Executive Court, 8040 Peters Rd., Building H-100, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33324; telephone: (954) 424-0242.
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