OSHA Files Complaint Over Equipment Hazards Faced by Workers at Shipping Company Operating in Massachusetts and Elsewhere

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission regarding a shipping company that operates 170 freight terminals across the country. According to the complaint, a number of OSHA inspections revealed that the company failed to properly maintain forklifts at 11 shipping terminals in nine states, including Massachusetts.

OSHA claims that inspections revealed the company failed to maintain its forklift equipment according to established safety standards since at least 2006. As a result, workers risk being struck, crushed, or otherwise injured by the equipment. In its complaint, OSHA has asked the Review Commission to order the unsafe and defective machines to be removed from service.

The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels, stated the shipping company appears to have a systemic problem with safety. Michaels said widespread safety hazards have consistently been ignored by business safety managers despite numerous OSHA inspections. He added that company employees currently risk suffering disabling harm every day.

OSHA filed its complaint with the Review Commission because the shipping company apparently failed to respond to prior agency citations in a proactive manner. In the past, the shipping business received 11 OSHA citations and final orders requiring it to remove the damaged machinery from service. Despite this, OSHA stated a 2014 inspection revealed that a shipping terminal in Billerica, Massachusetts as well as two others located in Illinois continued to knowingly utilize defective forklifts. According to OSHA, a Review Commission order is required to ensure the shipping business corrects the hazards that are currently faced by the company’s 4,300 employees.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created OSHA in an effort to decrease workplace injuries and fatalities across the U.S. Under the Act, employers are required to comply with certain safety-related laws and regulations such as providing workers with adequate training, information about safety hazards, and copies of safety test results. Employers must also supply employees with a working environment that is reasonably free of preventable safety hazards. When a serious workplace accident occurs, OSHA will typically investigate whether an employer complied with established safety standards at the work site.

If you were injured in a Massachusetts workplace accident, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The experienced lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. are available to help you recover the damages your work-related injuries merit. To discuss your rights with a hardworking Boston workers’ compensation lawyer today, do not hesitate to contact Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. through our website or give us a call at 800-367-0871.

Additional Resources:

Central Transport LLC shipping exposes terminal employees in multiple states to injuries and death from defective forklifts US Labor Department files complaint as company repeatedly ignores safety needs, OSHA Region 1 News Release dated February 12, 2015

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