EDCO fined $112K for accident that seriously injured employee - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

EDCO fined $112K for accident that seriously injured employee

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LEMON GROVE (CNS) - EDCO Waste and Recycling Services Inc. was hit with seven citations, carrying a total penalty of nearly $112,000, stemming from an accident at its Lemon Grove facility, the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health announced Monday.

The EDCO employee suffered crushing injuries last New Year's Eve when he was struck by a hydraulic cylinder being installed by workers inside a refuse truck, according to the state.

A spokesman for EDCO did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The agency said it had previously cited the company for similar problems and alleged willful violations of its orders. According to Cal/OSHA, the company has a history of safety violations and employee injuries.

"EDCO Waste and Recycling Services Inc. failed to provide vital safety training, leading to dangerous accidents and serious injury," said Christine Baker, the director of the state Department of Industrial Relations, which oversees Cal-OSHA. "Proper workplace safety training is critical because it reduces severity of harm following accidents and, more importantly, prevents accidents from occurring in the first place."

Ellen Widess, the head of Cal-OSHA, said EDCO failed to heed prior orders to fix problems that resulted in the worker's injuries. Inspectors had been at the plant just two months earlier to investigate another accident that injured a truck mechanic.

"This preventable accident caused a devastating worker injury," Widess said. "EDCO, on full notice, still failed to provide adequate training on their job hazards and failed to have good written procedures and conduct internal inspections to ensure worker safety."

The citations were handed down against the Lemon Grove-based company on Friday. The firm collects waste from 450,000 residential customers and 25,000 businesses throughout Southern California.

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