Cal/OSHA Issues $256K in Citations to Warehouse Operators

January 20, 2012

Cal/OSHA has issued $256,445 in fines to two companies in Chino, Calif. for over 60 safety violations discovered during warehouse inspections that found unsafe working conditions.

The California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issued citations to warehouse owner National Distribution Centers and its temporary staffing contractor, Tri State Staffing, for more than 60 violations at four warehouses in San Bernardino County. The violations include lack of fall protection for high-rise pickers, unstable storage stacking and unguarded machinery.

“California law requires all employers to identify and mitigate safety risks in the workplace,” DIR Director Christine Baker said in a statement. “In the warehouse industry, low-wage workers are particularly vulnerable to unsafe working conditions where work is often hidden from public view. Hazards include moving vehicles, precariously stacked goods and unguarded equipment.”

Cal/OSHA found a dual-employer relationship—where one employer hires workers and provides them to another employer—at three of the four warehouses inspected. In this situation, both employers are potentially liable for violations of safety and health regulations that are meant to prevent workers’ injuries or illnesses, according to DIR.

The warehouse inspections were prompted by complaints received from Warehouse Workers United and a worker’s heat illness injury in August, 2011.

The four warehouses cited are all in the region east of Los Angeles known as the Inland Empire, which has the largest concentration of warehouses in the United States, according to DIR. Goods shipped through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are sent to Inland Empire warehouses for storage before being distributed throughout the country.

Topics Workers' Compensation

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