Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn about an investigation into unsafe forklift operations that was conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Inspectors for OSHA recently determined that a large-scale problem with unsafe forklifts has been putting workers at risk for years. Every year, around 85 people are killed and 34,900 people are injured in forklift accidents.
OSHA determined that Central Transport LLC, a shipping company with 106 terminals in 26 states, allowed forklift operators to drive forklifts with known safety problems. The company would reportedly conduct forklift inspections, find problems like leaking fluid or broken lights and then send the defective forklifts back to work without repairing them. Adding to the danger, forklift operators would often be working on icy floors or loading docks where visibility was limited.
The scope of the unsafe forklift problem was so large that OSHA decided to use enterprise-wide enforcement measures to protect workers from potential hazards. OSHA used its enterprise-wide enforcement power to take action at all terminals that are under federal jurisdiction, not just the terminals where safety violations were observed. The case was settled, and Central Transport agreed to remove unsafe forklifts and hire a third-party to conduct forklift inspections and repairs.
When a company is negligent about its safety obligations, workers and customers can be injured as a result. Such victims may decide to sue the negligent party or employer. An attorney may be able to help an accident victim to calculate how much their injuries have cost them and then pursue a financial award for those damages.