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The death of a 51-year-old Winthrop man crushed by a forklift last August at Boston’s Logan International Airport This could have been avoided if his employer had “provided proper safety precautions” for operating the vehicle, federal officials said said Monday.

“OSHA inspectors found that the company failed to ensure that the employee was wearing a seat belt while operating the forklift, exposing him to a rollover and crush hazard,” when the machine fell on top of the man near the airport’s JetBlue terminal, the Occupational Safety & Health, the board reported in a statement.

At a 14page report released Feb. 27, OSHA said Oxford Airport Technical Services, a Rochester, NY-based maintenance company contracted by JetBlue, violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and listed five “serious” citations, with $46,096 in “proposed fines.”

Oxford Airport Technical Services and JetBlue did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

“Any workplace accident is tragic, especially when there are known safety measures that could have prevented the loss of someone’s life,” James Mulligan, OSHA area director in Braintree, said in the statement. “In this case, the employer failed to train and certify its forklift operators on critical safety requirements. It’s just inexcusable.”

Besides not demanding that the man wear anything a seat belt, Oxford Airport Technical Services “ensured that the forks” of the vehicle were “raised only as far as necessary,” the report said. The company also failed to “ensure that every electric truck driver is competent to operate an electric truck safely,” the report said.

The report said the forklift had “significant wear and damage to the tires” and should have been “removed from service” before the man, whose name has not been released, operated the vehicle.

Oxford Airport Technical Services has 15 business days to pay the fines, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the fines, according to the statement. The company will meet with OSHA’s Braintree office on Friday to “discuss the citations and penalties,” said Ted Fitzgerald, an OSHA spokesman.

The man, who died after being injured while doing maintenance work for JetBlue through Oxford Airport Technical Services, was operating a Komatsu forklift in an outdoor cargo area when he tried to drive through the entrance to a baggage service, state police said in August.

“An awning over the entrance contained a metal beam on the side with a sign indicating the 8-foot clearance,” state police said. “The extended backrest of the forklift was too high to clear the side beam above the service entrance. The extended backrest collided with the beam, causing the forklift to tip over and land on top of the victim, who was thrown onto the sidewalk.”

A JetBlue employee who heard the crash and several colleagues rushed to help, state police said. They used an aircraft tow bar to lift the forklift enough to pull the worker out, and troopers were attempting life-saving measures when they arrived moments later, state police said.

The man was then rushed to Boston Medical Center, where he later died.

This story uses information from previous Globe reports.


Ava Berger can be reached at ava.berger@globe.com. follow her @Ava_Berger_.

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