Central Transport truck terminal faces $145,420 in penalties for safety violations

By Land Line staff | Friday, October 24, 2014

Central Transport LLC has been cited for 16 safety and health violations, including five repeat, one willful and two serious safety violations, at its trucking terminal in Hillside, Ill., according to a release from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

An OSHA inspection found “repeat and willful violations” involving defective powered industrial vehicles and lack of fall protection. The proposed penalties total $145,420.

“Central Transport has been repeatedly cited for unsafe conditions and equipment,” Angeline Loftus, OSHA’s area director for the Chicago North Office in Des Plaines said in the release. “Companies that repeatedly violate basic safety standards consistently put their employees at risk of serious injury and death.”

The inspection was opened on March 28 in response to a complaint the agency received. The citations, which can be viewed here, include one willful violation for failing to remove forklifts from service that needed repair. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health, according to the release.

Five repeat violations were issued and included failure to have platform guardrails in place on platforms, which exposed workers to falls of more than four feet, and maintain terminal dock and bay floors clean and dry. Additionally, the company failed to train workers on chemical hazards before assigning them to work with the substances, did not provide eye-drenching facilities for areas where corrosive chemicals were in use and failed to maintain the yard and terminal roadway free of potholes and hazards.

In September, the company was cited for similar violations at its Rock Island terminal that involved defective powered industrial vehicles and lack of fall protection, with proposed penalties of $108,020. Central Transport is reportedly contesting those violations.

The company was previously cited in 2009, 2010 and 2013 at locations in Georgia, Ohio and Mississippi for similar violations. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Two serious violations were issued for failing to have handrails on stairs with four or more risers, not installing slip-resistant treads on stairs and failing to guard the floor opening on a pit to prevent falls. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Central Transport is based in Warren, Mich., and employs about 4,300 workers at 170 locations nationwide. The Hillside terminal has about 100 employees. The company has contested the findings and will appear before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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