IR # 96-35
Friday, August 30, 1996

Rick Rice
Troy Swauger
(415) 972-8835

Cal/OSHA Cites Schuff Steel After Fatal San Diego Crane Accident

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) today issued two citations to Schuff Steel Co., for violations of state workplace safety regulations related to an incident June 4 at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego. A steel worker was killed in the 6 a.m. occurrence when a steel column fell while being transported by a mobile crane.

Four other violations to workplace safety regulations not related to the accident were also issued at the time against the company.

The two accident-related citations, which were designated serious by Cal/OSHA inspectors and carry penalties of $6,250 each, were issued to Schuff Steel for violations specifically of:

Cal/OSHA Deputy Chief of Field Operations Mark Carleson said the investigation showed mechanical error was likely the largest contributor to the accident. Carleson said inspectors found the crane used at the mall was out of adjustment.

"What we have is a mobile crane operating on that day which had deficiencies," Carleson said. "While there may have been other factors involved in this accident, it appears the prime focus of responsibility can be directed at the machinery."

Additionally, as part of its two-month investigation, Cal/OSHA inspectors found the company failed to provide proper safety measures on the machinery and employed improper operating practices. Cal/OSHA cited the company for one willful violation for not having an inoperative crane horn. The violation carries a $5,625 penalty.

Other citations include:

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.