The California Working Party on Occupational Safety and Health has cited an agricultural worker and a farm worker who has over $ 100,000 combined in proposed penalties after a worker was killed by a garbage can at a walnut processing and packaging plant in Los Molinos, California, announced on Thursday.
On October 6, 2018, the forklift operators at the factory filled Crain Walnut Shelling Inc. fillings with walnuts, which were then dumped in a container for processing. A Cal North Farm Labor Inc. worker was instructed to clean the area around the equipment. The worker was under an 800 pound bin dumper when it emptied its cargo and was automatically lowered to the ground and crushed him according to a statement.
Cal / OSHA's investigation determined that the employer did not evaluate workplace risks and the worker did not receive safety training from Crain Walnut Shelling or Cales North Calcium Laboratory Inc., before Calcium was assigned to clean concrete and machinery at the walnut processing plant, the statement said.
"Working close to large moving parts of equipment and machines can be fatal," said Cal / OSHA Chief Juliann Sum in the statement. "Employers need to identify and evaluate workplace risks and uncertain conditions and provide effective employee training before starting a new job."
Investigators found that Crain Walnut Shelling failed to ensure that walnut pile dumps the designed including proper machine guards or lockout / tagout procedures to protect workers who maintain the machine. Crain also failed to provide an extension tool for cleaning the area, which would have significantly minimized potential crushing risks. Cal / OSHA identified four serious infringements and issued four quotes with proposed penalties totaling $ 67,500, according to the statement.
Tenders and fines totaling $ 33,750 were also issued to Cal North Farm Labor for their failure to ensure workers are educated on risk-related cleaning and servicing of the garbage can, according to the statement.
Companies could not be immediately reached for comments.