Safety Fines at NY Recycling Facility

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 07:11 AM gHale

A worker suffered a broken leg at Tomra NY Recycling LLC’s Schenectady, NY, recycling facility when he was operating a baler on May 14 and struck by a forklift that was attempting to pass by.

The inspection found the aisle was not wide enough to allow safe passage by the forklift, and the driver drove the forklift too close to the employee, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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In addition, four forklifts, including the one that struck the worker, were defective and not taken out of service as required by OSHA’s Powered Industrial Truck standard. Deficiencies included defective lights, horns, tires and safety equipment, and oil leaks.

OSHA fined the company $84,000 for one willful violation for the defective forklifts and two serious violations for the other hazards.

“This injury could have been prevented, and the employer’s failure to properly maintain forklifts and ensure adequate clearance exposed all facility workers to unnecessary dangers,” said Amy B. Philips, OSHA’s acting area director in Albany. “Allowing defective forklifts to operate in a workplace puts employees at risk of being struck or crushed by these vehicles. For the well-being of its employees, Tomra must correct these hazards and ensure they do not occur again.”