Contractors ordered to pay $64,000 after worker crushed to death by 3,000-pound gate

Three contractors in Southern California have been hit with $64,169 in combined penalties after a 41-year-old construction worker was crushed to death by a 3,000-pound metal gate that collapsed near the loading dock of a newly-built casino.

The fatal accident happened on 7 December last year, just a month after the Agua Caliente Casino opened in Cathedral City.

An investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that the project’s three contractors had failed to conduct inspections to discover hazards, instruct employees on how to recognise workplace dangers, and install caution signs to warn workers about potential hazards.

"Required oversight and communication related to workplace safety and health could have prevented this tragic loss of life," said OSHA Area Director Derek Engard in San Diego. "This case is a painful reminder of why employers must make complying with workplace safety standards a priority." 

The three contractors are Penta Building Group, a general contractor operating in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Palm Springs and Reno; the Raymond Group, which provides wall and ceiling construction services in Southern California; and No Limit Steel, a contractor based in Los Angeles.

They have 15 working days to contest the findings or request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director.

Image ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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