Prison Term for Employer Following Death of Construction Worker


SAN JOSE, CA – A criminal investigation by Cal/OSHA into a 2012 cave-in death of a worker in Malpitas, Calif., has resulted in a prison sentence for his employer and his project manager, according to an Aug. 3 news release from the agency.

Richard Liu, owner of U.S. Sino Investment, and project manager Dan Luo have been sentenced to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. The charges stem from a Jan. 28, 2012, incident in which a worker was installing a concrete foundation for a retaining wall at a residential construction. The 12-foot-high wall collapsed, burying him alive before rescue workers could arrive at the scene.

Three days prior, a building inspector had issued a stop-work notice for failure to provide shoring on the excavation, according to the agency.

According to Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations, “California employers must provide workers with the necessary protection and training so they can do their jobs safely. When our investigations uncover negligent behavior by employers, we exercise our full jurisdiction to protect workers – including referrals to district attorneys for prosecution.”

“When preventable deaths occur on the job, employers must be held accountable,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Cal/OSHA worked closely with the Santa Clara District Attorney to ensure that criminal behavior in the workplace is addressed.”