Food Warehouse Pays Price for Ignoring Safety Standards

April 13, 2000
Ameriserve Food Distribution Inc., Burlington, N.J., has been cited by OSHA and proposed penalties of $109,500 for alleged safety violations.

According to OSHA area director Gary W. Roskoski, the action resulted from an investigation conducted Oct. 7 to April 7 at the company's warehouse under an OSHA program that focuses on workplaces with higher-than-average rates of injuries or illnesses.

OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA's powered industrial truck standard by not training employees in the safe operation of forklift trucks and not evaluating or certifying their ability to operate them safely.

The company was also charged with for alleged repeat violation for permitting access to fire extinguishers to be blocked, failing to mark routes to exits, failing to properly wrap and stack stored material, and failing to provide training in the hazardous materials workplace.

Ameriserve was previously cited for these conditions in Milwaukee, Wis., in March 1998 and Forth Worth, Texas, Albany, N.Y., and elsewhere in April 1999.

The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:

  • failure to mark doors "not an exit" as required;
  • improper installation of an exit door;
  • failing to inspect industrial powered trucks before placing into operation; and
  • failing to provide properly operating emergency eye-wash facilities.

The company has until April 28 to contest the citations.

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