There have been 17 safety violations in the past five years committed at Virginia International Terminals. This may not look like a large amount, but consider 10 of those violations were considered “serious” which means they had a “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and where the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard,” according to the Virginian-Pilot. In fact, six of these violations resulted in the loss of life of an employee.
The most recent fatal industrial accident occurred in December when David B. Weiland, a longshoreman who worked at Norfolk International Terminals, was killed after a worker slammed a straddle carrier into a light pole which fell onto Mr. Weiland’s car. Our firm wrote about this terrible accident when it first occurred and wondered what could have been done to prevent this incident from occurring.
It turns out actions could have been taken by Virginia International Terminals. They were fined $7,000 by OSHA (the maximum allowable penalty) after they found egregious violations, including the fact that the at-fault worker was involved in multiple accidents but was still allowed to operate the potentially dangerous equipment.
The officials at Virginia International Terminals need to take a serious look at their safety regulations and potentially make some dramatic changes. Again, 17 safety violations in five years may not sound like a lot, but even a single serious industrial accident is one too many, especially considering there were six lives lost in these tragic incidences.