BEFORE THE
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH APPEALS BOARD
DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA

In the Matter of the Appeal of:

COCA-COLA ENTERPRISES
COCA-COLA BOTTLING CO. OF CALIF.
1551 Atlantic Street
Union City, CA 94587

                                          Employer

 

Docket No. 93-R1D4-1339

 

 

      DECISION AFTER
      RECONSIDERATION

The Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (Board), acting pursuant to authority vested in it by the California Labor Code and having granted the petition for reconsideration filed in the above-entitled matter by Coca-Cola Enterprises (Employer), makes the following decision after reconsideration.

JURISDICTION

On May 13, 1993, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (the Division) conducted a complaint investigation at a place of employment maintained by Employer at 1551 Atlantic Street, Union City, California (the site). On May 19, 1993, the Division issued to Employer Citation No. 1, Item 2, alleging a general violation of section 3664(a)(22) [chocking trailers entered by forklifts], and proposing a civil penalty of $885.

Employer filed a timely appeal, contesting the existence of the violation. After a hearing on the matter, an administrative law judge (ALJ) of the Board issued a decision on May 5, 1994, finding a general violation and assessing a penalty of $885.

On June 8, 1994, Employer filed a timely petition for reconsideration. The Division filed an answer to the petition and on July 1, 1994, the Board granted the petition for reconsideration.

EVIDENCE

In making this decision, the Board relies upon its independent review of the entire evidentiary record in this case, including the tape recordings of the hearing. The Board has taken no new evidence. The Board adopts and incorporates by this reference the summary of evidence set forth on page 4 of the decision of the ALJ.

Employer operates a sales distribution warehouse in Union City, California. Trailers are backed into loading docks where loaded forklifts drive into the trailers from the dock. All of Employer’s trailers have, since 1974, been equipped with coil spring brakes that automatically set when the trailer is disconnected from the tractor.

The citation was issued because, while Employer’s safety program required the secure blocking of trailers, its practice had been to use a single chock to block one wheel of the trailer. The ALJ concluded that Employer’s chocking practices had failed to assure that trailers were securely blocked.

FINDINGS AND REASONS
FOR
DECISION AFTER RECONSIDERATION

Section 3664(a)(22) provides:

(a) Every employer using industrial trucks or industrial tow tractors, shall post and enforce a set of operating rules including the appropriate rules listed below:

    1. Vehicles shall not be driven in and out of highway trucks and trailers at loading docks until such trucks or trailers are securely blocked or restrained and the brakes set. (Emphasis added.)

On July 23, 1999, the Board issued its Decision After Reconsideration in Yellow Freight System, Inc., OSHAB 94-2565, adopting the holding of the ALJ in that case finding that where trailers are equipped with functioning spring brakes, the trailers are securely blocked or restrained once the parking brake is actuated. (Id., at 12-13, 25.) The evidence establishes that all of Employer’s trailers are equipped with spring brakes, and there is no evidence to indicate that any of them had brakes which were out of adjustment or otherwise impaired. Consistent with the holding in Yellow Freight, the Board finds that no violation has been established.

DECISION AFTER RECONSIDERATION

The decision of the ALJ dated May 5, 1994, is set aside, and Employer’s appeal from Citation No. 1, Item 2, is granted.

JAMES P. GAZDECKI, Chairman
BILL DUPLISSEA, Member
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH APPEALS BOARD
SIGNED AND DATED AT SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – August 10, 1999