News story

Regulators cite violations in forklift-related death

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 ( #569 ) - Huntersville, NC, United States
North Carolina regulators have proposed fines of USD9,800 against lumber processor Huntersville Hardwoods Inc, following a 30 March forklift-related fatality.

Following a man's death, a two-month investigation by a state safety agency led to identification of four serious violations at the business in Huntersville. The maximum penalty for a serious violation is USD7,000.

First, a Hyster 250XL forklift was not equipped with a seatbelt for the operator, resulting in a proposed penalty of USD1,400.

Second, the facility's permanent aisles or passageways were not marked for safe passage by employees walking from various warehouses to the break area. The proposed penalty is USD2,800.

Third, a forklift operator was not utilising a seatbelt and was travelling with his forward view obstructed by the load. Again, the proposed penalty is USD2,800.

Fourth, the operator did not travel with the load trailing when his forward view was obstructed - another proposed USD2,800 penalty.

The Occupational Safety & Health Division (OSH) of the North Carolina Department of Labor cited the alleged violations in a notification on 29 May.

The company has until 22 June to request an informal conference with the department, to file a notice of contest with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission of North Carolina or pay the penalty.

The commission is an independent board appointed by the governor to hear appeals of OSH citations.
OSH is withholding details about the industrial fatality until conclusion of the informal conference.
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