A $62,000 fine will not bring Ruan Qiang back to life, but it will hopefully serve as some deterrent to other companies cutting the same corners as the Good View Roofing and Building Supply Co. The fine was administered by California Division of Occupational Health and Safety on April 17th, 2017. Mr. Qiang was operating a fork lift on November 21, 2016, when a bag of construction material became lodged under the front wheel. While attempting to back up the fork lift, he veered slightly off the loading ramp, causing the forklift to tip.
Blaming operator error is simple in a situation like this. After all, Mr. Qiang was steering the vehicle when it went off the ramp. But, as investigators for OSHA made clear, the accident could have been avoided or the injuries mitigated if any of the following had been in place:
- Mr. Qiang had been properly trained to always wear his seatbelt when operating a forklift
- There were properly installed 8-inch safety curbs on the loading ramp
- All fork lift operators were required to undergo specialized training and certification before operating industrial machinery
Operator error is always a potential problem, but the potential is magnified when operators are not properly trained. Too many businesses rush their employees to the floor instead of investing proper time and money to ensure proper safety practices are learned. A fine will act as some deterrent to these practices, but many companies might just factor the fines into the cost of doing business.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a fork lift or other workplace accident, ensuring other people are not put at the same risk is important. A substantial fine might not be enough to sway a company from their business practices. Please contact an experienced attorney who can help you hold the business accountable for their negligence.