Not an “accident”: Kenneth Schultz, 56, suffers fatal work-related injury in Oceanside, CA

Kenneth Schultz, 56, suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Tuesday, October 13 while  working on a commercial construction project in Oceanside, CA. The Seaside Courier reports:

  • The construction site will be the site of a new FedEx distribution center.
  • The deceased worker “…was using a hand-held hydraulic machine to compact dirt in a drainage channel” at about 9 am local time.
  • A retaining wall “fell on him.” It was a 3 X 12 foot slab of concrete.

NBC San Diego quotes a police spokesperson who said

  • “Workers moved a crane near the worker and lifted the cube off of him.”

Construction of the $50 million FedEx building is being managed by Scannell Properties. The project was approved by the Oceanside CA Planning Commission in November 2014.

Each year, more than 300 workers in California are fatally injured on the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 334 work-related fatal injuries in California during 2014 (preliminary data, most recent available.) Nationwide, at least 4,679 workers suffered fatal traumatic injuries in 2014.

The AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job report notes:

  • California OSHA has 196 inspectors in the State to cover more than 864,000 workplaces.
  • The average penalty for a serious violation in California is $5,733.
  • The average penalty for citations related to a work-related fatality occurring in California is $16,567.

California-OSHA has until mid-April 2016 to issue any citations and penalties related to the incident that stole Kenneth Schultz’s life. It’s likely they’ll determine that his death was preventable. It was no “accident.”