Cal/OSHA Cites Equipment Company, Refers Contractor for Prosecution in Confined Space

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health cited Meeder Equipment Co. of Rancho Cucamonga and referred D&D Construction Specialties Inc. of Sun Valley for criminal prosecution in two separate cases of workers’ deaths related to confined spaces.

Meeder and its successors were cited a combined $272,250 for serious safety violations following a confined space death of a worker who suffocated in a 10,000-gallon propane gas tank.

In a separate case, D&D faced criminal prosecution for the 2016 death of a worker who lost consciousness and fell 15 feet while cleaning a 50-foot-deep drainage sump. Cal/OSHA’s Enforcement branch also issued citations to D&D, including a serious accident-related citation for failure to conduct a hazard inspection before this work was performed.

In 2022, a mechanic employed by Meeder reportedly entered a tank to spray a valve inside and was later found unresponsive inside the confined space.

The Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department rescued the employee and transported him to a nearby hospital where he died.

In a separate and unrelated investigation, Cal/OSHA’s Bureau of Investigations referred for criminal prosecution to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office a worker’s 2016 confined-space death.

The victim in the D&D case was employed by a contractor as a laborer and was assigned to clean the bottom of a 50-foot-deep drainage sump.

The victim reportedly stood on a metal bucket attached to a small crane that lowered him into the shaft opening. After 15 to 20 feet, he became unresponsive and fell head-first to the bottom of the shaft. The victim drowned.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office in 2019 filed a felony criminal complaint against D&D.

Workers’ Compensation

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