An investigation into the death of a man killed when a steel beam fell on him during construction on the Twin Peaks Tunnel in San Francisco earlier this month uncovered a history of serious violations with the company the man worked for.
Patrick Ricketts was a signal technician for Shimmick Construction. According to records, the company had been cited for almost 50 safety violations in the workplace over the past decade, including six violations related to the 2016 death of a forklift operator. In that incident, the laborer lost control of the forklift he was driving. The forklift went into a trench and ejected him from the cab and crushed him. He fractured his pelvis and suffered internal injuries that proved fatal four days later.
In 2011, Shimmick and another company, Obayashi Corp., were fined $197,373 after they were found in violation of serious and general safety hazards after a worker punctured a natural gas line with a backhoe on two separate occasions during a job in Yorba Linda, California.
Yet, in a November 2017 questionnaire from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Shimmick Construction and its current partner responded “no” when asked if either had been cited by California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) for any serious and willful violations in the past 10 years.
The most recent Shimmick worker who was killed on the job and others working in the Twin Peaks Tunnel were reportedly under a time crunch when the beam fell and crushed Ricketts. The Twin Peaks Tunnel is a 100-year-old, 2.27-mile-long light rail/streetcar tunnel that runs under the Twin Peaks and is used by the Muni Metro system. The most recent incident remains under investigation. A full report isn’t expected for several months.
Source: San Francisco Examiner