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Long Beach Worker’s Death Prompts Federal Inspection of Dock Company

California dock loading services company SSA Marine was recently cited by federal safety regulators for health and safety violations that resulted in a worker’s death. The worker was fatally crushed in January when a shipping container became dislodged from a stack of containers at the Port of Long Beach.

The accident occurred during unloading operations on the ship Cosco Japan and was the result of several safety violations such as allowing workers to work underneath suspended shipping containers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the employer’s actions after the employee’s wrongful death and found that the employer disregarded federal health and safety requirements and warranted a fine of $70,000.

“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.”

Other fines include proposed penalties of $21,000 for failing to train cargo handling supervisors on accident prevention techniques during the appropriate timeframe and exposing workers to crushing injuries. The total proposed fines against the company amount to $92,100 and the company has about two weeks to pay the penalties or challenge them.

Source: OSHA, “US Labor Department’s OSHA cites SSA Marine after Long Beach, Calif., worker crushed to death by shipping container,” Region 9 News Release: 12-1442-SAN (SF-150)