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Two California Contractors Fined for Confined Space Fatality

Worker drowns in one foot of water

May 10, 2017

General contractor Tyler Development Inc. and subcontractor D&D Construction Specialties in southern California have been fined $352,570 by California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health for 10 serious safety violations and three willful neglect violations.

On October 21, 2016, a construction worker stood inside a bucket attched to a mini crawler and was lowered into a 50-foot drainage shaft while working on a residential project. After descending 10 feet into the shaft, the worker was not getting enough oxygen and lost consiouness. With no personal fall protection to keep him safe, the worker fell 40 feet and drowned in one foot of water at the bottom of the shaft.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health cited two construction firms a total of $352,570 for multiple workplace safety and health violations, including 10 serious and three willful category violations, following an incident in which a worker lowered into a 50-foot drainage shaft fell to his death, according to a press release.

Cal/OSHA said D&D Construction and Tyler Development failed to follow permit-required procedures to work in confined spaces and in 2012 D&D Construction was cited for violating similar safety orders at a different construction site.

“Cal/OSHA launched a confined space educational program to bring attention to the dangers and preventable deaths that occur in confined spaces,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum, in a press statement. “The program helps employers identify hazards and create effective safety plans that include air monitoring, rescue procedures and training before work begins.”

In 2011, there were seven confined space fatalities in California, according to Cal/OSHA. 

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