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Cargo Company Cited for Fatal Forklift Accident

  • State: California
  • Topic: WEST
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The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health fined SSA Pacific Inc. $205,235 for willful and serious safety violations uncovered during an investigation into a Jan. 9 fatal forklift accident at the Port of San Diego.

A longshoreman was driving a forklift to a transit shed Jan. 3 when he collided with a concrete support column. He suffered fatal injuries after being thrown from the forklift.

Workplace safety regulators said the driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. The seatbelt warning buzzer had been disabled on the forklift, Cal-OHSA said in a statement. A system designed to disconnect power from the hydraulic lift when no one is sitting in the forklift was also disabled.

Cal-OSHA said SSA Pacific Inc. failed to train forklift operators or ensure they used seatbelts. The company was also cited for failing to properly maintain and inspect its forklifts, and for improperly altering forklift safety features.

SSA Pacific was also cited for failure to perform a forklift safety check at the start of each shift. The company was cited for the same violation in 2015.

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