Dallas Employers Face $97K in Penalties Following Forklift Deaths

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Georg Fischer Central Plastics LLC and Nationwide Plastics Inc. for 16 safety and health violations at the plastic manufacturing facility on Joseph Hardin Drive in Dallas, after a worker and a self-employed truck driver were struck and killed by a forklift in June. Proposed penalties total $97,200.

When they were fatally injured, the Georg Fischer employee and the truck driver were caught between a forklift and a flatbed trailer being loaded with plastic pipe. Georg Fischer and Nationwide Plastics occupy the same commercial space.

The 16 serious safety violations for both companies include failing to ensure that the manufacturer-provided safety latch was intact on the hook of the overhead hoist; ensure that buildings or other structures used for storage purposes had load ratings; guard platforms with standard railing; provide a lockout and tagout program to control energy sources; and ensure all workers complete required forklift training.

Other safety violations include failing to block wheels of powered industrial trucks parked on inclines; plainly mark the rated loads on each side of the crane; provide tongue guards on bench grinders; and train workers and ensure familiarity with safety-related work practices and lockout or tagout parts of fixed electrical equipment or circuits.

One serious health violation was cited for failing to administer a continuing and effective hearing conservation program.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Dallas area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA