Confined Space Death Reveals $350,000 in Violations

Los Angeles, CA – Cal/OSHA has issued fines of $352,570 for ten serious and willful health and safety violations following an investigation into a confined space death. Cal/OSHA reports that neither Tyler Development or D&D Construction Specialties Inc. were in compliance with required confined space procedures.

An employee of D&D Construction entered a drainage shaft in October 2016 to clean out mud and debris. No personal fall protection was utilized as the worker descended via bucket 10 ft. into the shaft. Reports state that the shaft was 4.5 ft. in diameter and lined with concrete. The worker lost consciousness due to the oxygen deficient atmosphere in the confined space, fell 40 ft., and then drowned in one foot of wconfined space deathater.

According to Cal/OSHA, Tyler Development was the general contractor constructing a single-family residence in the Bel Air area. They had subcontracted D&D Construction to install and service reinforced concrete posts known as caissons1 on the property.

These violations have been classified as willful because D&D Construction was cited in 2012 for similar safety violations at a different job site. In total, D&D has to pay a proposed $337,700 for 13 violations, including two willful serious accident-related, one willful serious, one serious accident-related, six serious, and three general in nature.

According to Cal/OSHA, the D&D Construction failed to ensure safe entry into the confined space; failed to have an effective method for rescuing the worker in the confined space in an emergency; and failed to test the environment to determine if additional protective equipment, such as a respirator or oxygen tank, were required to work safely in the shaft.

For their part, Tyler Development was cited $14,870 for five violations, three of them serious, for a failure to evaluate the worksite for possible permit-required confined spaces and failure to ensure that the subcontractor meets all requirements to comply with a permit space program.

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