Charges in Fatal CA Pipeline Mishap
A California construction company and a foreman it employed are facing trial on misdemeanor charges related to a 2015 incident in which a worker was crushed to death by a 4-ton length of pipe.
The firm, Maggiora & Ghilloti, and former employee Mark Greving both face charges of violating workplace-safety laws on April 15, 2015, the day 28-year-old Jared Overfield was killed on a water-pipe replacement jobsite.
Family id the victim in this AM construction accident in #petaluma as 28yr old Jared Overfield of #novato #KTVU pic.twitter.com/w8Yw55SgSg— Paul Chambers (@PaulChambersTV) April 15, 2015
According to reports, an employee on the site was unloading the 40-foot, 8,000-pound steel pipe encased in concrete onto sloping ground near Highway 101 in Petaluma, California, when the pipe fell and rolled, and Overfield fell underneath it.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) cited the contractor in July 2015 for failing to plan for the hazard of transporting the pipe on uneven ground, and for failing to secure the pipe during transport. The company was fined $38,250.
"This fatality could have been avoided had the required safety measures been in place for working at a hazardous location," Christine Baker, director of the California Department of Industrial Relations, said at the time.
San Rafael-based Maggiora & Ghilloti, according to the company’s website, was founded in 1964 and performs concrete, grading, paving, underground pipeline work, as well as marine transport of construction equipment.
According to The Press-Democrat, the company and Greving face fines of more than $2.5 million.
The newspaper reports that an attorney for Maggiora & Ghilloti argues that the forklift operator and Overfield himself did not follow company safety training, and therefore they, and not the contractor, were responsible for the incident.
“They made a couple of bad choices and they knew better,” attorney Chris Andrian reportedly said last Tuesday (Jan. 17).
Charges were originally filed against both the company and Greving in Feburary 2016. Both pleaded not guilty in April 2016. A hearing to set a trial date was scheduled for Tuesday (Jan. 24); the date was not public at press time.