Worker killed in PG&E demolition disregarded safety orders, report says.
A Los Angeles man who died last year while working on a Bakersfield demolition job failed to fix safety problems his supervisor had pointed out just before the accident, according to an apparent state investigative report.
The document, a copy of which was obtained by The Californian, reiterates calls for stronger oversight of contractors by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., owner of the Coffee Road plant where the worker died and where another demolition accident last month severely injured a Bakersfield man.
The June 19, 2012, accident occurred as 51-year-old Luis Roberto Minjarez was torch-cutting sections from an old, 3-million-gallon fuel tank at the plant. The employee of Covina-based Cleveland Wrecking Co. was performing the work while suspended in a man lift.
After calling for a work break at about 9 a.m., a supervisor noticed Minjarez’s lift was parked parallel to the tank’s wall and that its carriage was positioned too close to the tank, the report states. “He instructed (Minjarez) to reposition his lift before stepping away,” it reads.
The report implies that Minjarez might have avoided the accident had he followed the supervisor’s orders. But instead, the man and his co-workers resumed work on the tank before the boss returned. That’s when the 40-foot-high wall Minjarez was working on collapsed, knocking over his man lift and throwing him to the ground.
“The collapsing uncut wall struck the man lift, which did not roll back as its wheels were parallel to the wall,” the report states.
Although he was wearing a safety harness and protective equipment, Minjarez died of his injuries after being transported to a local hospital.
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