Two employers have been cited by California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, after two plumbers were poisoned by carbon monoxide at San Francisco International Airport.
The plumbers, from Gladiator Rooter & Plumbing, were replacing underground sewer pipes for airline caterers Gate Gourmet Inc. in a crawlspace in December at the airport. The plumbers were using a gasoline-powered saw to cut through concrete when they were overcome by carbon monoxide gas emitted by the equipment, and one of them lost consciousness.
Emergency crews assisted the workers. One of the workers was hospitalized for two days.
According to Cal/OSHA, Gate Gourmet did not inform Gladiator Rooter & Plumbing that the crawl space was a permit-required confined space. Gate Gourmet Inc. also did not provide information on the potential hazards posed by entering the space. Cal/OSHA cited Gate Gourmet $18,000 for failing to communicate the hazards to the plumbing company.
Cal/OSHA also cited Gladiator Rooter & Plumbing $50,850 for eight violations.
The violations included failure to implement a permit-required confined space program, failure to train its employees on working safely in confined spaces, failure to develop and implement a written permit space program and failure to obtain information about the permit space hazard and provide that information to workers.
According to Cal/OSHA, all employers in California are required to have an effective written injury and illness prevention program and a safety program to identify, assess and control hazards in the workplace.