Motel Owner Faces Willful Violation for Ignoring Cal/OSHA Red-Tag

FLASH REPORT!

Cal/OSHA has cited a Santa Barbara motel owner for willful and other violations after it discovered that he had removed a reg-tag on what the agency says was a hazardous scaffold and ordered employees to continue working from it. The agency also cited the employer for failing to report a serious injury last summer stemming from fall protection deficiencies at the motel expansion project.

Dario Pini, principal of DP Investments, faces more than $72,000 in potential penalties in the case. He previously pleaded no contest in Santa Barbara County Superior Court for the stop-work violation and is on three years of probation.

The story begins in October, when a complaint about the scaffold at an expansion project at the motel brought out inspectors from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health. They determined that the scaffold was unsafe because it lacked base plates to establish a firm foundation, guardrails to prevent falls and even a ladder to provide safe access.

They slapped a red-tag on the scaffold and warned Pini that employees could not use it until the hazardous conditions were corrected. But when safety officers returned to re-inspect 11 days later, they saw that those conditions still existed, the stop-work order had been removed from the scaffold and employees were working on it. Cal/OSHA also learned that the previous August, a worker had fallen from a second-story window because a window grate had been removed. The almost 12-foot fall left the carpenter with multiple fractures, but DP Investments never reported the incident.

While DOSH was conducting its investigation into all of this, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney filed charges against DP, and this March Pini plead out, receiving probation and a $1,000 fine.

The willful violation was cited under Construction Safety Orders §1644, and it comes with a $54,000 proposed penalty. Pini also faces two other serious violations for failing to erect the scaffold under the supervision of a qualified person, and for allegedly exposing a laborer to a potential 18-foot fall by having him work at the perimeter of the project’s roof without fall protection.

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2016 Safety Expo in the History Books: A Success!

Thank you to all our 2016 Safety Expo sponsors, exhibitors, trainers, our event partner: PEMA, and attendees that represented the construction and building trades; state; county and city municipalities for making the 2016 event a resounding success!  And thank you to those firms that sent their staff for training and certifications, and for choosing the Safety Expo for their training needs.

Because of your support, the Expo was able to provide opportunities to help you develop safety competencies through seminars, workshops, and visiting the trade show vendors. It is our goal, that those of you who attended were able to bring back new innovations and more economical ways to help keep you safe and compliant.

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Work force and Trade Worker Development – On-going safety training is beneficial to everyone regardless of experience or tenure.  This applies to general, specialty and sub-contractors alike.  Educating trade workers is crucial to work force development, particularly now that construction continues to recover and companies are seeking trained employees to meet today’s construction demands.  Construction workers engage in many activities that will expose them to serious hazards.  Expo sessions are designed to assist those in the industry – whether employee or employer – to identify, reduce, and eliminate construction-related hazards.  Worker health and safety needs to get in the fore front and applied to every aspect of construction, at all times.  This event brings attendees to the Expo to receive the necessary and regulatory required training,  Whether your specialty is residential or commercial construction, current and new staff must be trained in the correct safety disciplines.  Your sponsorship contributions will enable the Expo to train workers on an even keel, so that the pool of trained staff and trades is greater, and equally important, with your sponsorship Expo can continue to offer this vital training at a reasonable and affordable cost!

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