The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has secured a settlement agreement with Central Transport to tackle forklift hazards at over 100 sites in 26 states, the agency announced Wednesday.
“These widespread, recurring hazards required a comprehensive solution,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, in a statement. “This settlement includes detailed steps and a timetable for Central Transport to systematically review, assess, and improve safety for its employees at all its locations that come under OSHA’s jurisdiction. Other employers with hazards at multiple worksites should take heed of this settlement and recognize the value of implementing comprehensive and effective corrective action to protect the workers, life and limb.”
OSHA lodged a complaint with the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in 2015 in an effort to secure an order requiring Warren, MI-based Central Transport to remove damaged, defective, and unsafe forklifts and powered industrial trucks from its facilities.
“We stated when we filed the complaint that safety cannot be addressed in a piecemeal fashion when employees are exposed to hazards at multiple company worksites. With this settlement, Central Transport has committed to taking proactive, ongoing, and effective action to identify and eliminate these hazards and improve safety for its workers across the country,” said OSHA regional solicitor of labor in Boston, Michael Felsen, in a statement.
Central Transport must also:
- Assign a corporate internal monitor to facilitate effective implementation of the settlement agreement, conduct random, unannounced visits of at least 20 terminals and work with the third party monitor to prepare and submit reports for each terminal assessed, send employee feedback and monitor progress.
- Work with the third party monitor to assess and monitor compliance with the agreement and send feedback from employees. This will include unannounced monitoring visits of at least 10 terminals by the third party monitor, including two terminals assessed by the internal monitor.
- Submit written compliance reports to OSHA and allow OSHA to conduct monitoring inspections to measure compliance.
- Remove any damaged, defective, and unsafe powered industrial trucks from service.
- Pay a total of $165,400 in penalties.
Central Transport terminals in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin are covered under the settlement. OSHA said it will notify states where Central Transport has terminals that have authority for enforcing the agency’s standards and will “encourage them to honor or agree to the terms of this settlement.”