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Safety is consistently a top priority for innovative port logistics companies, while name brand retailers generally shy away from logistics providers with poor safety records because of potential negative impacts on supply chain performance. Industry leaders agree, basic, professional safety standards are a perquisite to operating in the supply chains of global retailers, due to the direct and indirect cost of accidents and hazards. Research, including a comprehensive study by the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Cornell University, is correlated with hundreds of dollars in increased productivity and savings per worker. An updated report sheds light on port drayage behemoth California Cartage’s deteriorating safety record on both coasts.

California Cartage faces investigation into industrial accident:

A recent industrial accident at one of the Port of Long Beach marine terminals led to the death of a driver who worked for one of California Cartage’s subsidiaries. The fatal accident triggered an investigation by the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, which could uncover additional safety and health shortcomings of the company.

Cited for serious health and safety violations at Los Angeles and Savannah warehouses: In two separate government investigations, California Cartage was recently cited for a total of 10 serious violations of federal workplace safety and health rules at a warehouse located on Port of Los Angeles property and at a warehouse located near the Port of Savannah and leased from the Georgia Port Authority. The company was cited for a total of $43,325 in fines for the violations — $21,325 in fines at its LA warehouse and $22,000 in fines at its Savannah warehouse. Violations discovered from these investigations include not providing steel-toe-boots, not providing parking brakes for forklifts, having unprotected machines and equipment, lack of eye and face protection, unsafe truck/forklift equipment, unsafe storage of liquefied petroleum gas, and unprotected floor hole openings. The detailed Cal/OSHA citation is available here.

Safety violations at both of these warehouses have become more serious since the previous times OSHA had conducted investigations. While previous investigations at the company’s warehouse facilities across the country have turned up some serious safety violations in the past, including after when one worker had been hospitalized because of an accident several years ago in the LA warehouse which the company has occupied since the 1940’s, the amount of penalties in the new citations may reveal a deterioration of safeguards and indicate greater corporate risk on the horizon.