Two contractors were cited by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) for numerous safety violations during a job at the Twin Peaks Tunnel in San Francisco that led to the August 2018 death of a signal technician.
Shimmick Construction Co. Inc., of Oakland, and Con-Quest Contractors Inc., of San Francisco face $65,300 in fines for violations that led to the death of Patrick Ricketts, 51.
Ricketts and others working in the Twin Peaks Tunnel were reportedly under a time constraint the day Ricketts was killed. According to the report, a worker was using a rail crane to push two flat railcars loaded with equipment into the tunnel when the crane’s boom struck an overhead steel beam, dislodging it from its support brackets. The beam fell 13 feet, crushing Ricketts to death.
Shimmick Construction and Con-Quest were cited for failing to identify the potential safety hazards posed when pushing the loaded flat railcars into the tunnel without controlling the crane as to avoid a collision.
According to records, Shimmick had a history of violations, having been cited more than 50 times in the past decade, including six violations related to the 2016 death of a forklift operator who was crushed when he lost control of a forklift. In 2011, the company was fined nearly $200,000 for serious and general safety violations after a worker punctured a natural gas line with a backhoe.
However, in a November 2017 questionnaire from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Shimmick and its current partner responded “no” when asked if either had been cited by Cal/OSHA for any serious violations in the past decade.