A Canyon County steel manufacturer has been cited in the wake of the death of a welder who fell from what federal investigators said was a misused forklift.
In August 2014, 30-year-old Ernesto Bemal was pronounced dead at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center after he fell approximately 8 feet off of a forklift and landed on his head on create. The Ada County Coroner said Bemal died from blunt force trauma to the head.
This week, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Superior Steel had not protected its employees from numerous hazards related to the use of forklifts, including training, modifications and operation. OSHA has proposed fines of $38,780 for the alleged violations.
“We send our condolences to the family and friends of Ernesto Paramo [Bernal]. They lost someone they loved because Superior Steel Products did not ensure basic safety procedures for dangerous heavy equipment,” said Galen Blanton, acting OSHA regional administrator in Seattle.
OSHA, in a press release issued Jan. 27, said sadly Paramo was not alone. In the past year, OSHA reported nearly one in four Idaho workplace fatalities were a result of improper forklift use.