The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited FKI Logistex of Olivette, Mo., for 45 alleged serious, willful, and repeat safety and health violations. OSHA proposed a $237,200 penalty against the company, a subsidiary of FKT plc., headquartered in the United Kingdom.

FKI is a global supplier of automated material handling products and employs more than 13,000 workers worldwide. The Olivette plant primarily manufactures palletizers with approximately 400 employees.

“An April 24 OSHA inspection found employee exposure to several severe safety and health hazards and a lack of employer commitment to ensuring the safety of its workers,” said Charles E. Adkins, CIH, OSHA regional administrator in Kansas City.

The 33 serious safety citations addressed such hazards as lack of fall protection; blocked exit doors; improper storage of flammable and combustible liquids; inadequate emergency response plan; inadequate lockout/tagout training; deficiencies in overhead crane operation, inspection and use; general electrical deficiencies including the absence of electrical safe work practices and use of personal protective equipment.

Included among 10 serious health citations were such violations as failure to provide a mechanical exhaust ventilation system for inside storage rooms; quantity of flammable liquids maintained in the paint spray booths exceeded the minimum required for operation; and employees were permitted to consume food and beverages in areas that contained toxic materials.

Employee exposure to struck-by or crushing hazards from a deficient overhead crane was the basis for the single willful citation. The repeat violations cited the absence of a work rest for employees operating an abrasive wheel grinder and path to ground was not permanent and continuous. OSHA previously issued a citation for violation of the same standard and the company certified corrections were made on October 15, 2004.

 

Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 and regulations. Serious violations are those which could result in death or serious physical harm, about which the employer knew or should have known. Repeat violations involve hazards for which the company was previously cited.

One other-than-serious citation was also issued to FKI Logistex. The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.