A company has been fined $128,945 for safety violations after a worker was buried and killed at a construction site.
Cal/OSHA has fined Dave Shaw Concrete & Block in connection with the death of 29-year-old worker, Alejandro Valladares at a work site in Hermosa, CA.
The fatality occurred when Valladares plunged head-first into a hole in the ground, coming to rest with only one foot exposed as loose soil collapsed around him.
Valladares died quickly of suffocation, despite efforts by his co-workers to free him.
Cal/OSHA investigators say the company endangered Valladares by placing him on a wooden platform atop the loading forks of a tractor, where he was directed to use a soil-tamping machine as a pile driver, and then fell into a hole that wasn’t properly covered or protected.
Owner Dave Shaw said the worker wasn’t driving a pile into the ground but was using the tamping machine to adjust the position of the pile. Shaw said Valladares was standing on the forks of a tractor. Using the tamping machine that way and standing on the forks “probably wasn’t a good idea,” Shaw said.
However, the owner also told local media, “Unfortunately I wasn’t there. I wouldn’t have let anyone do that anyway. What your guys do, you can’t control everything.”
Shaw says he’s appealing the fine because some conclusions by state investigators were inaccurate or painted a misleading picture. He says he expects to get the fine lowered substantially.
Shaw’s company received praise from other local businesses for its professionalism and regard for safety.
What do you think about Shaw’s remark that, when it comes to employees and safety, “you can’t control everything?” Let us now in the Comments Box below.