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Companies Cited for Failing to Stop Work

Monday, October 19, 2015

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Two California contractors are facing more than $300,000 in fines after they allegedly failed to stop working on a construction site after they were ordered to fix cave-in hazards.

San Mateo, CA-based EMI Design & Construction Inc. and Oakland-based Salt Light Investments Inc. were issued citations in September, according to a statement released Wednesday (Oct. 15) by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

EMI received 10 citations, including two for willful and three for serious violations, with penalties totaling $164,465. Salt Light Investments received three citations, including two for willful violations, with penalties totaling $140,000.

April Insepection

According to Cal/OSHA, the companies were working on a building site in April when the agency discovered 11-foot walls that were not shored correctly. The agency said it issued a stop-work order, but discovered three weeks later that the employers had ordered workers to return to the site without correcting the hazard.

©iStock.com / ChiccoDodiFC

According to Cal/OSHA, the agency issued a stop-work order, but discovered later that the employers had ordered workers to return to the site without correcting the hazard.

“Excavation collapses and cave-ins cause serious workplace injuries and fatalities,” said Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations, of which Cal/OSHA is a part. “These citations remind employers to abide by Cal/OSHA stop work orders that are issued to protect workers from unsafe conditions.”

EMI Citations

EMI received one of its willful-serious citations for failing to build a shoring system on an excavation site that complies with state and federal regulations and the other willful-serious violation for not having the system the company did build designed by a professional engineer. For the willful-serious violations, Cal/OSHA assessed penalties of $67,500 each.

In addition to those penalties, Cal/OSHA cited EMI for:

  • One regulatory violation for digging an excavation deeper than 5 feet without a permit, with a fine of $625;
  • Four general violations, including failing to post a Code of Safe Practices ($375), failing to build a support system that was approved by a registered professional engineer and in stable rock ($625), using an extension ladder as a scaffold frame ($465), and failing to have a qualified person inspect the structural integrity of a home before beginning a partial demolition ($375); and
  • Three serious violations, including failing to guard a hole in the floor of the house ($11,250), failing to guard wall openings having a drop of more than 4 feet and a bottom opening less than 3 feet above the working surface ($6,750), and failing to protect against possible impalement by allowing employees to work at a grade where they were exposed to raw foundation anchor bolts along a new continuous footing ($9,000).

Salt Light Citations

Salt Light Investments received one of its willful-serious violations for not having an adequate protective system to prevent cave-ins at a site and the other willful-serious violation for not having a protective system that was designed by a professional engineer for an 11-foot-deep excavation. For the those citations, Cal/OSHA assessed penalties of $70,000 each.

Cal/OSHA also cited Salt Light Investments for a general violation. In that citation, the agency said the company did not have an injury and illness prevention program. For that violation, the agency cited the company $260.

Company Information

EMI does not appear to have a website. On Salt Light Investment’s website, the company says it specializes in “full cycle real estate services,” including due diligence and acquisition; planning and design; and construction management.

A review of the federal Occupational and Safety Health Administration’s inspection data revealed only the most recent citations for each company.

Neither company answered phone calls placed Friday (Oct. 16) seeking comment.


Tagged categories: Government; OSHA; OSHA; Residential; Residential Construction; Residential contractors

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