OSHA cites Detroit company with 9 violations for fatal forklift incident

OSHA also proposing $168,700 fines against Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co.

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DETROIT - A Detroit company has been cited with nine violations by OSHA following the death of a worker last fall near the Port of Detroit Marine Terminal.

The 62-year-old victim was killed Nov. 19 when he was run over by a 62,000-pound-capacity forklift carrying a 40,000-pound steel coil at Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co.

View: OSHA statement on Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co.

A willful citation was issued for modifying a forklift without obtaining manufacturer approval. A second willful citation was issued for failing to establish vehicle routes, traffic rules and to post signs indicating pedestrian traffic where employees work. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Seven serious safety violations were cited. Five of those involve forklift safety, including failing to train employees on operating instructions, warnings and precautions listed in the operator's manual; maintain vehicles in safe working order; and direct employees to sound the horn when visibility was obstructed. Other citations involved failing to conduct monthly crane inspections and test cargo gear for load capacity.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $168,700. Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co. employs about 75 workers and has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Slideshow: Images from the scene of the industrial accident

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