Issue #23  •  Spring 2006

 

The Newsletter of the

Web Sling & Tie Down Association

Board & Committee Reports

President's Message

Vice President's Message

Legal Corner

Roundsling Technical Committee Report

Testing Committee Report

Tie Down Technical Committee Report

 

2006 WSTDA Annual Meeting Set for

San Francisco

The Web Sling & Tie Down Association is headed for San Francisco, California for its 2006 Annual Meeting. This meeting provides educational and networking opportunities, as well as opportunities to participate in committee meetings that shape the future of the industry. It will be held May 6-11, 2006 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in San Francisco, California

Schedule details, speaker information and information about the hotel and optional events are on WSTDA's web site. DETAILS

Significant New Jersey Case Could Set Precedent

In Gonzalez v. Ideal Tile Importing, 184 N.J. 415, 877 A.2d 124 (NJ, Case No. A-53-04, decided July 27, 2005), the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that an OSHA regulation (which was really an adopted ANSI regulation) on warning devices on forklifts took precedence over a state tort claim. The ruling was a victory for the forklift manufacturer, which had been sued by an injured employee in a products liability case.

However, this word of caution is in order: the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling in Gonzalez is a narrow one. The Court held that in the case of one single OSHA standard, the OSHA standard -- the ANSI one -- preempted state law. But the Court expressly said that it was not holding that OSHA standards provide a universal, blanket pre-emption of all state regulation. In fact, the Court said exactly the opposite: that Congress did not intend OSHA always and necessarily to preempt state law. Thus, even the New Jersey Supreme Court leaves it wide open to other courts to say: Yes, we agree with the decision, but our facts, our case is distinguishable, and therefore we reach a different result.

The plaintiff, Gonzalez, was seriously injured when he was struck by a forklift operated by a co-worker. He sued the forklift’s first-stage manufacturer (defendant Komatsu), contending that it should have installed additional warning devices on the machine in order to make its operation safe. Komatsu moved for summary judgment on the ground that state tort claims for workplace injuries are preempted when the allegedly defective product was manufactured in compliance with federal OSHA standards. The motion was granted. The plaintiff appealed, claiming that OSHA only applies to employers and not to manufacturers. The Court disagreed, holding that the plaintiff’s product liability suit was preempted because it was in conflict with the federal OSHA standard. However, the holding is limited, as noted above: “Although a state tort action involving a third party and a work place injury could survive an Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) conflict analysis, this one simply does not.” Some third-party claims arising in the workplace may not be preempted by OSHA.

The standard in question had to do with warning horns on forklifts. There were actually two ANSI standards involved: The first requires that forklifts be equipped with an operator controlled horn, while the second declares that “other devices (visible and audible) suitable for the intended area of use may be installed when requested by the user.” As the New Jersey Supreme Court interpreted these standards: “As can be seen, ANSI does not leave open an area where the States may regulate with regard to ‘other’ warning devices. Instead, ANSI specifically creates a standard for ‘other’ warning devices, requiring the user to determine their need, dependent upon the ‘intended area of use.’”   This demonstrates, the Court said, that “OSHA requires that such additional warning devices should not be installed absent a contrary determination by the user.”  DETAILS

Why Soldiers Make Good Employees

Tens of thousands of troops will probably be coming home from Iraq in 2006 and most of them will likely be looking for work in the civilian sector. There are excellent reasons why former and current military personnel make excellent employees. DETAILS

Industry Updates

Here is the latest from CVSA and ASME. DETAILS

WSTDA Welcomes New Members

WSTDA welcomed five new members since the last issue of Uplifting News. DETAILS

WSTDA Staff

Fred Stringfellow, CAE

Executive Director

443-640-1070 ext. 102

Diane Vaughnley

Director of Meetings & Membership

443-640-1070 ext. 108

WSTDA Events

WSTDA 2006 Annual Meeting

May 7 - 10

Pan Pacific Hotel

San Francisco, California

WSTDA 2006 Mid-Year Meeting

November 12-14

Radisson Hotel City Centre

Indianapolis, Indiana

WSTDA 2007 Annual Meeting

May 6-9

Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort

Scottsdale, Arizona


© 2006 Web Sling & Tie Down Association

 

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Web Sling & Tie Down Association

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