The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Hilti Inc.—a hardware merchant wholesaler—for exposing employees to struck-by hazards after an employee was injured while operating a forklift at a distribution center in Atlanta, Georgia. The Plano, Texas-based company faces penalties of $164,802.
OSHA inspectors determined that Hilti failed to provide forklift operator training and instructions to employees operating the vehicles, and ensure that employees performed daily forklift inspections. The company also exposed employees to corrosive materials; failed to provide eyewash stations and showers in the work area; failed to develop a written hazard communication program and data sheets for forklift battery electrolytes; and failed to notify OSHA within 24 hours of any incident that leads to an employee's hospitalization, as required.
"Developing, implementing, and maintaining a safety and health program, and ensuring safety standards are followed can significantly reduce the chance of unfortunate incidents such as this one," said OSHA Atlanta-East Area Director William Fulcher.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance.