Forklift Maker Faces Safety Fines

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 @ 05:10 PM gHale

Hoist Liftruck Mfg. Inc. in Bedford Park, IL, is facing $82,170 in fines for 25 safety and health, including four repeat, violations, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

A safety inspection opened in April and a health inspection opened in May under OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces with high injury and illness rates.

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Hoist Liftruck, which manufactures and markets forklifts and similar vehicles, employs about 150 workers at its Bedford Park facility.

The repeat violations involve failing to implement a hearing conservation program, provide welding curtains, and conduct fit testing and medical evaluations for workers required to wear respirators. A repeat violation exists when an employer had previous citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company faced similar violations in 2007.

“Hoist Liftruck is failing to protect the health and safety of its workers by allowing previously cited deficiencies to continue without correction,” said Gary Anderson, OSHA’s area director in Calumet City. “Providing hearing and respiratory protection is vital to the long-term safety and health of workers. OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job.”

Eighteen serious safety violations involve failing to develop and implement a confined space program, train forklift drivers and evaluate them every three years, properly store flammable containers, provide personal protective equipment and adequately train workers on hazard communication. A serious violation occurs 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 exists.

Three other-than-serious violations involve failing to inspect forklifts prior to use, repair damaged floors and provide employees with information on OSHA’s respirator standard. 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.

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