California cracks down on construction site hazards
Oakland, CA – More than 80 worker safety violations were identified during an enforcement blitz that took place Aug. 27 at construction sites across California.
“Operation Underground” featured 10 investigators from the state’s occupational safety and health agency – known as Cal/OSHA – and the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.
Hazards spotted during the crackdown included saws without safety guards and scaffolding and stairways without guardrails. Additionally, four stop-work orders were issued for failure to maintain workers’ compensation coverage.
The operation was carried out by the state’s Labor Enforcement Task Force, a multi-agency team working to combat “underground” industries and employers that deal in cash to cover up tax liability.
In addition to safety violations, the crackdown uncovered wage theft violations. In total, inspectors issued employers 81 citations with more than $135,000 in penalties.
“These citations serve as a reminder that underground employers who commit wage theft and intentionally put their workers at risk will not be tolerated,” Christine Baker, director of California’s Department of Industrial Relations, said in a press release. DIR administers the Labor Enforcement Task Force and oversees Cal/OSHA and the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.