Cal-OSHA Fines Kiewit in 405 Freeway Construction Fatality

Investigation leads to two citations against construction company for unsafe work practices that led to fatal industrial accident in West Los Angeles.

State workplace regulators issued two cituations and fines totaling $36,000 against Kiewit Infrastructure West Company following an investigation after one of its workers was fatally crushed by a steel beam while working on the 405 Freeway in West Los Angeles on Oct, 11 2012.

The penalties were issued April 4.

In its report, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) blames Kiewit for to failing to secure steel "I" beams on a flatbed trailer, where one 3,000-pound beam fell off and instantly killed worker Adolfo Figueroa.

His work shift that night included the rigging and loading of the steel beams onto flatbed trailers on the closed southbound 405 Freeway off ramp at Santa Monica Boulevard, according to Cal-OSHA. The off ramp was surrounded by concrete "K" rails on both sides.

Cal-OSHA claims the "I" beam was pushed off the flatbed trailer due to contacting the rotating counterweight of a nearby excavator. Its operator was rotating the excavator to travel north on the freeway off ramp to pickup another steel beam. According to Cal-OSHA, the rotating counterweight of the excavator contacted one steel "I" beam on the trailer that was pushed to one side and then contacted the another "I" beam, pushing it off the trailer.

Additionally, the report claims Kiewit did not correct an unsafe work practice of allowing employees to work within a designated exclusion zone between the truck trailers and the "K" rails.

Kiewit had 15 days to pay the penalties from the issuance date or file an appeal.

The company is contracted by Caltrans to work on the freeway during the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project.


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