Contractors Cited for Fatal Injuries in SF Tunnel Facility

San Francisco—Cal/OSHA has cited a joint venture formed between two contractors $65,300 for multiple serious safety violations after a worker was fatally struck by a steel beam last August while working on a light rail tunnel project in San Francisco.

Shimmick Construction Co., Inc. of Oakland and Con-Quest Contractors Inc. of San Francisco formed a joint venture to work on the Twin Peaks Tunnel Rehabilitation & Rail Replacement project, which included refurbishing infrastructure, replacing rails and upgrading signal systems and other parts  of the over 100-year-old tunnel.

On August 10, 2018, employees were using heavy equipment and tools to work in and around the tunnel. One worker was operating a rail crane to push two flat railcars loaded with equipment into the tunnel.

The crane’s boom was in an upward vertical position when it struck an overhead steel beam. The beam was dislodged from its support brackets and fell approximately 13 feet, fatally crushing an employee walking nearby.

Cal/OSHA investigators learned the two employers did not identify the potential hazards presented by pushing two loaded flat railcars into the tunnel and did not control the crane’s travel to avoid collisions.

Investigators discovered the crane operators had not been trained to safely operate the equipment, and workers had not been trained on safe procedures when the crane was being operated near them.

Cal/OSHA cited the joint venture $65,300 in proposed penalties for two serious and two serious accident-related violations.

The serious accident-related violations were cited for the employer’s failure to implement an effective injury and illness prevention plan and failure to control the crane while it was moving.

The serious citations were issued for violations related to the employer’s failure to safely transport workers while in the tunnel.