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Region 9 News Release: 12-1442-SAN (SF-150)
July 19, 2012
Contact: Jose A. Carnevali     Deanne Amaden
Phone: 415-625-2631     415-625-2630
Email: carnevali.jose@dol.gov     amaden.deanne@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites SSA Marine after Long Beach,
Calif., worker crushed to death by shipping container

LONG BEACH, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration 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. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The citation carries a proposed penalty $70,000.

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. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known