CWS 3.0: January 25, 2012

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News: Client, Staffing Firm Cited for Safety Violation

A staffing buyer and a staffing firm in Southern California both received $265,445 in citations for unsafe working conditions, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reported Jan. 18.

The firms receiving the citations were National Distribution Centers and Tri State Staffing, according to Cal/OSHA. The citations cover more than 60 violations at four warehouses in the Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles, an area in the southern part of the state with a high concentration of warehouses. Violations included lack of fall protection from high-rise pickers, unstable storage stacking and unguarded machinery.

“When employers use a contractor for their staffing needs, they are not released from their responsibilities to provide a safe workplace,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess. “As dual employers sharing responsibility for training and worker safety, both National Distribution Centers and Tri Sate Staffing were responsible for ensuring that all employees are protected on the job.”

The warehouse inspections followed a worker suffered a heat-related illness in August 2011 as well as complaints from Warehouse Workers United. In the heat-related injury, a 49-year-old warehouse worker who had become dizzy and nauseous while working in 90-degree temperatures inside the building.

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