Company, Ex-Foreman Face Charges in 2015 Deadly Construction Accident

construction worker in protective gear standing in trench

According to The Press Democrat, an engineering firm and an ex-foreman face charges in a fatal workplace accident dating back to 2015 in Petaluma, California.

About the Deadly Construction Accident

On April 15, 2015, Jared Overfield was working on replacing water pipes on Kastania Road near Highway 101 with another employee. The other man was operating a forklift, unloading 40-foot-long and 7,800-pound concrete pipes onto sloping land. One of the pipes rolled off the forklift and down the incline, crushing Overfield underneath.

Overfield, 28, who was standing in front of the forklift when the pipe began to roll, died from injuries sustained in the construction accident, reports The Press Democrat. Sonoma County prosecutors allege that the company, Maggiora & Ghilotti Inc., and the managing foreman, Mark Greving, failed to use proper safety devices when moving the concrete pipes.

The company and foreman have been charged with misdemeanor violations of state labor laws, reports The Press Democrat. The fines from such violations total more than $2.5 million. In addition, Maggiora & Ghilotti were cited by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

According to The Press Democrat, Greving and the engineering firm have plead not guilty and are appealing the citations. Their defense team claims Overfield and the forklift operator did not follow the safety training that they were provided.

On the Job Accident Statistics

The following information regarding on the job accidents is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

  • A total of 4,836 fatal workplace injuries occurred in 2015.
  • The overall rate of fatal work injury for workers in 2015 was lower than the previous year.
  • 937 workers in the private construction industry died on the job in 2015.
  • In 2015, there were 722 fatal workplace injuries due to contact with an object or equipment.

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