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OSHA cites fabricator in forklift operator’s death

Thursday, 14 Apr 2011 ( #509 ) - Cleveland, MS, United States
News Story
Regulators have cited Quality Steel Corp in Cleveland for 19 safety violations stemming from the 16 October, 2010 death of Robert Mason, 34, who was ejected and crushed after the forklift he was operating overturned.

"Operating a powered industrial truck can quickly turn deadly when a load shifts unexpectedly" as in this case, says Clyde Payne, area director in Jackson, Mississippi for the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). "Employers must ensure operators are utilizing seat belts to protect them from harm that can result in tragedies such as this one."

OSHA is calling for penalties totaling USD46,935.

The company faces one serious safety violation related to the fatality for the seat-belt infraction and 13 other serious violations including failure to have an adequate lockout/tagout program and procedures regarding energy sources; not conducting required frequent and periodic inspections on lifting equipment; having a lack of machine guarding on rotating shaft and inclined belts; not ensuring electrical equipment was properly installed; allowing forklift modifications to be made that are not approved by the manufacturer; and not correctly identifying electrical branch circuits.

Five other violations involve having  stairs lacking standard rails, allowing welders to not wear a shade filter lens, not capping compressed gas cylinders, blocking access to a disconnect switch and outlets, and damaged electrical cords.

Quality Truck has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA, a unit of the US Department of Labor, disclosed the citations on 4 April.

Privately owned Quality Steel fabricates propane tanks and metal plates in Cleveland, a city within an alluvial plain in the Mississippi Delta region of the state.
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