IR # 97-25
Tuesday, May 6, 1997

Rick Rice
Troy Swauger
(415) 972-8835

Cal/OSHA Cites Metro Rail Contractor After Investigation of Fatal Incident

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) on Tuesday, May 6, cited Tutor-Saliba/Perini for 14 alleged violations of state workplace safety regulations as a result of its investigation of the February 15, 1997 fatal accident at the company's Metro Rail subway project. One employee died as the result of the incident.

"As a result of our investigation our inspectors determined that certain safe operating practices were not followed which might have prevented this tragic accident," Deputy Cal/OSHA Chief Mark Carleson said. "Eleven of the violations are classified under the serious category, with seven of them relating directly to the death of Tutor-Saliba/Perini's employee. The total amount of penalties was $70,500."

Each of the serious violations carry penalties between $5,000 and $6,500. Specifically, Cal/OSHA found serious violations for:

Additionally, Tutor-Saliba/Perini was cited for three non-serious violations: the company failed to maintain clearly designated and unobstructed walkways; failed to construct proper ramps or runways; and failed to construct stairways and landings in compliance with safety regulations. The three citations totaled $5,500.

California law provides that a company may appeal Cal/OSHA citations and penalties within 15 working days to the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board in Sacramento.

The division has a concurrent criminal investigation underway through its Bureau of Investigation. The findings from that investigation, which focuses on possible criminal liability involved in the accident, will be handed over in a confidential report to the local district attorney's office for a determination as to whether charges are appropriate.