State workplace regulators have issued close to $50,000 in fines against one of California’s oldest and largest construction companies, a subcontractor and Caltrans in connection with the death of a worker on Highway 17 in Santa Cruz County after one of last winter's strong rainstorms.
A dump truck backed over and killed 54-year-old Robert Gill and seriously injured 33-year-old Stephen Whitmore near Scotts Valley on Feb. 9. Both men were employed by Watsonville-based Graniterock, a 117-year-old construction materials and services company, which holds offices and does work in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas.
Caltrans hired Graniterock to remove the mud from a closed section of the highway. It was one of several areas throughout the region hit with flooding after a storm brought several inches of rain.
In August, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) fined Graniterock more than $32,000 for several violations.
The company failed to ensure that hauling and earth-moving operations were controlled in such a manner that the driver of the dump truck, run by subcontractor Hildebrand & Sons Trucking Inc., knew that Gill and Whitmore were in the area, according to Cal/OSHA.