A Napa Valley grape company is contesting the violations that OSHA issued to it after the death of a worker in a field in October 2018.
Following an investigation into the death of 49-year-old Leon Marcelo Lua, OSHA issued citations for five safety and health violations – three of them serious - against De Coninck Vineyards in American Canyon. Proposed penalties: $38,000.
How it happened
Lua, who’d been employed by De Coninck Vineyards for 24 years, reached into a rotating shaft while attempting to unclog a grape harvester. The shaft caught his sweatshirt and pulled him into the machine. News sources say a co-worker turned off the machine and rendered first aid, but was unable to save Lua.
OSHA cited the company for:
- failing to guard a revolving shaft
- failing to turn off an engine before trying to unclog, clean or otherwise service a piece of equipment
- not having a program to prevent injury and illness
- failing to have a heat illness prevention plan and
- failing to provide effective training about heat illness
De Coninck Vineyards, which does business as Beaucanon Estate, filed an appeal to the violations earlier this month.