SANTA CLARA, Calif. – California safety officials have issued $54,000 in fines against an elevator company whose employee was killed while working at the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium in Santa Clara.
Mechanic Don White, 63, was killed June 11 by an elevator counterweight.
The state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health cited Schindler Elevator Corp. on Tuesday for three serious violations, including its alleged failure to enclose counterweights in freight elevators with required guards.
State officials also said Schindler Elevator failed to ensure that the elevator wouldn’t activate while a worker was in the danger zone.
In a statement, Schindler said it intends to vigorously contest the citations, noting that the state had initially found no violations in connection with the incident.
“It is important to note that no additional facts were solicited by Cal-OSHA from Schindler prior to its reversal of findings,” the company said. “We believe that Cal-OSHA’s initial notice of no violation was an appropriate conclusion.”
California safety officials said in October that they had rescinded their “no violation” decision and were reopening their investigation. The announcement came after a second worker, Edward Lake Jr., 61, was killed at the stadium site when a load of rebar fell on him.
The agency did not explain its decision. Spokesman Peter Melton said Wednesday that Cal-OSHA reevaluated its initial findings within the six-month deadline it had to issue citations and impose penalties for violations.
The investigation into Lake’s death continues, Melton said.
The $1.2 billion stadium is slated to open next year.