The Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission has filed a lawsuit and $19,114 in fines against a California contractor following the death of a painter who was crushed by a heavy gate at a casino loading dock.
In a decision filed March 6 and made public Thursday, the commission ruled that OSHA failed to prove that San Diego
–based Raymond-San Diego Inc. did not perform required inspections of the heavy gate prior to Painter’s death on December 7, 2020.
The deceased worker was part of a four-person team tasked with painting the large gate used to control access to the loading dock at the Agua Caliente Casino, located in Cathedral City, California, and owned and operated by Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, a Native American tribe.
Raymond subcontracted with the general contractor, Las Vegas-based PENTA Building Group LLC, to provide painting and other services on the casino site.
After the death, OSHA inspectors concluded that the company had not adequately inspected the gate and failed to instruct its crew on how to safely open the gate, and it issued a corresponding citation for serious violations.
In filing the lawsuit, the Review Commission determined that, in addition to finding that the company properly performed inspections of the gate, the deceased worker̵7;s supervisors “acted with reasonable care so that they did not have constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition of the gate.”
OSHA had argued that supervisors knew the gate posed a hazard to the painters because it was not in full working order at the time the workers were assigned to paint it.