Felony Charge in Workplace Injury

In August 2013 a 61-year-old truck driver was crushed by a 35,000-pound earth mover at a large recycling plant near Los Angeles. After an investigation by CalOSHA, RePlanet LLC was charged with two felony counts in connection with the fatality.

The employer was found guilty earlier this year. In a plea agreement to two misdemeanor violations of Labor Code Section 6425, rePlanet will be placed on probation for three years and must pay $500,000 to the victim’s family. If the firm does not successfully complete the probation, they will face a $400,000 fine. RePlanet also faces a $21,000 fine payable to the court, and will pay $90,000 to CalOSHA for fines and training costs and $140,000 to the California District Attorney’s Association Worker Safety Training Fund.

The plea agreement was made following an overhaul of RePlanet’s worksite including equipment upgrades, traffic controls, and safety personnel, all of which are estimated to have cost rePlanet over a million dollars.

The takeaways in this case can be found in some of the actions the firm took prior to the plea agreement:

  • Ensure equipment in is safe working order with regularly scheduled inspections and maintenance.
  • Provide proper training in traffic control practices.
  • Maintain effective traffic control equipment.
  • Assign personnel to assume responsibility for ensuring safe work practices throughout the facility.