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Cal/OSHA fines SSA Pacific over death


Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 ( #880 ) - San Diego, CA, United States
News Story
SSA Pacific's San Diego facility.
Cal/OSHA has issued citations to marine cargo handler SSA Pacific Inc. for wilful and serious safety violations following the investigation of a 2016 fatal forklift accident at the Port of San Diego.

On January 3, a longshoreman was driving a forklift into a transit shed when he collided with a concrete support column and suffered fatal injuries after being thrown from the forklift. Cal/OSHA's investigation found that the employee was not wearing a seatbelt and that the forklift had multiple safety devices disabled, including a seatbelt warning buzzer and mast interlock system designed to disconnect power from the hydraulic lift when the operator is unseated.

"Forklift safety and training of operators must be taken seriously," says Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. "Employers must ensure that seat belts are used and that safety devices such as warning systems to ensure seat belt use are not altered."

Cal/OSHA issued six citations totalling USD205,235 in proposed penalties to SSA Pacific, a division of Seattle-based international marine cargo handler SSA Marine.

The citations issued included four serious violations for the employer's failure to ensure that forklift operators use seatbelts, properly maintain and inspect forklifts, ensure operators were effectively trained and for improperly altering forklift safety features. A general violation was cited for the employer's failure to establish and maintain an effective heat illness prevention plan.
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