OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 2 News Release: NY 133
April 11, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
ALLEGED WILLFUL SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $109,500 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Ameriserve Food Distribution, Inc, of 600 Commerce Drive, Burlington, New Jersey, and proposed penalties of $109,500 against the firm for two alleged willful violations, four alleged repeat violations, and nine alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until April 28 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Gary W. Roskoski, the action results from an investigation conducted from October 7 to April 7 at the company's warehouse under an OSHA program that focuses on workplaces with higher-than-average rates of injuries or illnesses.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA's powered industrial truck standard by not training employees in the safe operation of forklift trucks and not evaluating or certifying their ability to operate them safely. The willful violations carries a proposed penalty of $55,000.
OSHA charged the firm with four alleged repeat violations, carrying a total proposed penalty of $30,500, for permitting access to fire extinguishers to be blocked, failing to mark routes to exits, failing to properly wrap and stack stored material, and failing to provide training in the hazardous materials in the workplace. A repeat violation is one for which an employer has been previously cited for the same or a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Ameriserve was previously cited for these conditions in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in March, 1998; and Fort Worth, Texas, Albany, New York, and elsewhere in April, 1999.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
- failure to mark doors "not an exit" as required;
- improper installation of an exit door;
- blocking an aisle with loaded pallets;
- dismounting and leaving unattended a fork-lift truck with the load in the raised position;
- failing to inspect industrial powered trucks before placing into operation;
- failing to provide properly operating emergency eye-wash facilities.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $24,000.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA act and regulations. A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Marlton area office, located at Marlton Executive Park, 701 Route 73 South, Building 2, Marlton, New Jersey, telephone (856) 757-5181.
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