Kenneth Schultz work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings of California OSHA (Cal/OSHA) in the agency’s recent citations against his employer, Labor Ready.
The 56 year-old was working in October 2015 at a construction project in Oceanside, CA. It’s the site of a new FedEx distribution facility. The initial press reports indicated that Schultz
‘…was using a hand-held hydraulic machine to compact dirt in a drainage channel’ when a retaining wall ‘fell on him.’
I wrote about the incident shortly after it was reported by local press.
A Cal/OSHA spokesperson reported to me that Labor Ready
“is a temporary agency that provides workers for ARCO National Construction.”
Cal/OSHA conducted an inspection at the worksite following the fatal incident. The agency issued a citation against Labor Ready for a violation of its Injury and Illness Prevention Program standard. Specifically, for not having documentation that Mr. Schultz had received training. The penalty assessed was $375.
The spokesperson indicated
“Cal/OSHA determined that no citations would be issued” to ARCO National Construction.
A $375 penalty?
No violations against ARCO National Construction?
I have to see for myself how that is possible. I’ve made a request under California’s Open Records law for the investigation file.
When some local press initially reported Kenneth Schultz’s death, they called it an accident. An “accident” suggests the circumstances were unforeseen or could not have been avoided. A retaining wall falling on a worker could not have been prevented? Was the company cutting corners or rushing to meet a deadline? Was their poor coordination between contractors on the site?
I’m confident that Schultz’s death could have been prevented, it was no accident.
A retaining wall collapsed and all Cal/OSHA could get them on was not documenting training? That's nuts.