Penalties Filed in Port Worker's Crushing Death

OSHA cited stevedoring services company SSA Marine with five safety violations, including one classified as willful, after investigating the Jan. 19 death of a worker at the port of Long Beach.

OSHA announced it has filed five safety violations, including one classified as willful, and $92,100 in proposed penalties against Seattle, Wash.-based stevedoring services company SSA Marine after investigating the Jan. 19 death of a worker at the port of Long Beach. The longshoreman, identified by local media at the time of the fatality as Steven Nicholas Saggiani, was fatally crushed when a 40-foot-long shipping container was dislodged from the top of a stack of containers during unloading of a ship named the Cosco Japan.

The container fell about 200 feet to the deck of the ship while being moved by a crane, according to news report.

The willful violation with a proposed $70,000 penalty involves allegedly failing to prohibit employees from working under 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 people, 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 properly. "SSA Marine failed to prevent this worker from being in harm's way," said Jay Vicory, OSHA's area office director in San Diego. "It's critical that employers make workplace safety a priority so that every longshore worker returns home safely at the end of the day. Losing one worker is one too many."

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