A total of 36 citations totaling $38,895 in penalties to American Reclamation, Inc., a solid waste company in Los Angeles, as well as its recycling subsidiary, South Coast Fibers, Inc. and their staffing agency, Steno Employment Services, Inc. have been issued by the California Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).
The investigation was triggered last November after workers had reported unsafe conditions to a Southern Calfornia advocacy group.One of the key violations, resulting in one citation issued to American Reclamation, Inc. and two to South Coast Fibers, Inc., were for violations of Cal/OSHA standards on confined space entry procedures. Cal/OSHA has a special focus on confined space hazards this year. Seven workers died in California workplaces last year due to succumbing after entering confined spaces.
Other serious violations included:
- a failure to follow a written program to prevent workers' entry into machinery before the energy is shut off
- an unsafe work platform raised on a forklift
- various unguarded pieces of machinery that could lead to amputations and other serious injuries
The investigation also revealed multiple violations related to not having a heat illness prevention training program, no drinking water for drivers and helpers in the field, and an inadequate injury and illness prevention program.