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December 12, 2016 9:50 AM, EST

OSHA Orders Central Transport to Improve Safety

Trucking freight company Central Transport has been ordered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to improve safety after finding hazards that could crush and injure workers.

Central Transport has been ordered to remove damaged, defective and unsafe forklifts and other powered industrial trucks from service at all the company's locations. Now the department has secured a settlement agreement that commits the company to improving forklift safety at more than 100 terminals in 26 states.

"These widespread, recurring hazards required a comprehensive solution," said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "This settlement includes detailed steps and a timetable for Central Transport to systematically review, assess and improve safety for its employees at all its locations that come under OSHA's jurisdiction. Other employers with hazards at multiple worksites should take heed of this settlement and recognize the value of implementing comprehensive and effective corrective action to protect the workers, life and limb."

The agreement requires Central Transport to hire an independent third-party monitor to evaluate, update and improve the company's existing procedures for preventive maintenance repairs, operator inspections and safe operation of powered industrial trucks.

Central Transport must also:

• Assign a corporate internal monitor to facilitate effective implementation of the settlement agreement, conduct random, unannounced visits of at least 20 terminals and work with the third-party monitor to prepare and submit reports for each terminal assessed, seek employee feedback and monitor progress.

• Work with the third-party monitor to assess and monitor compliance with the agreement and seek feedback from employees. This will include unannounced monitoring visits of at least 10 terminals by the third-party monitor, including two terminals assessed by the internal monitor.

• Submit written compliance reports to OSHA and allow OSHA to conduct monitoring inspections to measure compliance.

• Remove any damaged, defective and unsafe powered industrial trucks from service.

• Pay $165,400 in penalties.