California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has taken action against a marine cargo handler following a fatal accident at the Port of San Diego.
In January 2018, a dock worker died after he was thrown from a forklift after a collision with a concrete support column.
Because of its investigation, Cal/OSHA discovered that the driver was not wearing a seatbelt and that the forklift’s safety mechanisms were faulty.
The seatbelt warning buzzer was also disabled, and a mast interlock system malfunctioned, which was designed to disconnect power when the operator is unseated.
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In light of their findings, Cal/OSHA have sanctioned SSA Pacific Inc, a division of cargo handler SSA Marine, to penalties totaling US$ 205,235.
Violations listed include their failure to ensure forklift drivers wear seatbelts, failing to train operators in the correct use of forklift safety features, and failing to certify that appropriate safety checks were undertaken before each shift.
Commenting on the penalties, Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum said: “Forklift safety and training of operators must be taken seriously.
“Employers must ensure that seat belts are used and that safety devices such as warning systems to ensure seat belt use are not altered.”