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A distribution warehouse for beverage manufacturer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA willfully put workers at risk of serious injury and is now facing a fine of $162,500, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

Doing business as Anheuser-Busch Sales of New Jersey, the company exposed permanent and temporary workers to hazards that involved powered industrial trucks and other dangers at its Jersey City facility, according to an OSHA investigation on June 4.

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Initiated as part of the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program that directs enforcement resources to workplaces with the highest injury and illness rates, the OSHA investigation found two willful and eight serious violations.

“These employees faced the risk of serious injuries due to Anheuser-Busch’s failure to provide appropriate training, properly working equipment, and safe exit routes, which is unacceptable,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “This company is fully aware of the safety hazards in its Jersey City facility and should immediately take corrective action.”

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OSHA investigators determined that powered industrial truck operators did not end up trained by Anheuser-Busch, and defective trucks were not removed from service. These willful violations have a $121,000 penalty. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or with plain indifference to the law.

The Anheuser-Busch warehouse also had obstructed exit routes, damaged storage racks and additional powered industrial truck hazards. The company also failed to provide chemical hazard communication and powered industrial truck training. These violations carry a $41,500 penalty. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

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