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Ca. marine worker crushed to death by shipping container

July 31, 2012
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OSHA has cited stevedoring services company SSA Marine with five safety violations – including one willful – following an investigation into the Jan. 19 death of a worker at the port of Long Beach. OSHA's investigation determined that the worker was fatally crushed when a 40-foot-long shipping container was dislodged from the top of a stack of containers during unloading operations aboard the vessel Cosco Japan.

The willful violation involves failing to prohibit employees from working beneath a suspended container.

Three serious violations include exposing workers to crushing hazards when they were permitted to pass near or around the deck loads, failing to provide accident prevention courses to immediate supervisors of a cargo handling operation of more than five persons and failing to provide supervisors who oversee five or more machinery operators with training on accident prevention within 90 days of their appointments.

One other-than-serious violation involves failing to record workplace injuries and illnesses as required in the OSHA 300 log.

Proposed penalties total $92,100. The employer has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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