The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the US Department of Labor regularly monitors the safety of employees and workplace safety environment of many US businesses to ensure that no one has to sacrifice their life. Today, US employees in many sectors of industry risk their lives while on the job. Although the number has fallen substantially over the latter half of the 20th century, in 2013, there were still just over 4,400 workers who died as a result of their work, according to OSHA.
It is through the use of citations that OSHA gets its message across, particularly when a company has disregarded several notices of its violations. The recent news have pointed out one of the newest culprits of this brutal problem and it turned out to be a trucking company known as Central Transport LLC. They were recently cited for not one, but five (!) safety violations this year (2014), including 3 that were repeat violations and 1 “willful” violation, which was done in complete disregard to previous accusations.
The price tag for just one of these willful violations reached $60,500 for serious defects found in the operating conditions of forklifts. For example, one headlight and tires from one of the forklifts were entirely damaged and had not been taken out of service. There were a host of other problems with other forklifts, including problems with brakes and battery cables. Other problems stemmed from the terminal dock itself, where hazardous working conditions included uncleanliness, leaking roofs and a lack of overhead doors.
No doubt, the company had been aware of these problems for quite some time now, yet nothing was ever done to resolve them, as is evidenced by the repeat violations. Exposing employees to such conditions are indeed hazardous and could have resulted in serious injuries due to slips and falls or other forms of physical harm.
Overall, the total sum of all citations for CentralTransport LLC came out to $145,420, a large penalty to pay for problems that could have been resolved much sooner. The company is currently in the process of contesting these penalties and we shall await and see how much they will have to pay in the end.
OSHA regularly protects US citizens from hazardous working conditions and asks the public to inform them upon finding anything suspicious in their working environment that may warrant further inspection. They can be reached toll-free at (800) 321-OSHA (6742).