- California recycler rePlanet, headquartered in Ontario, has been charged with two felony counts and a potential $1.5 million fine for the death of an employee in 2013.
- Salvador Garcia, 61, was crushed by a 35,000-pound front-end loader at the company's Rancho Cucamonga, CA facility.
- One charge alleges that rePlanet didn't have sufficient warning methods for its equipment and the other alleges that they didn't have a proper injury-prevention program.
While associations like NWRA and SWANA are making efforts to promote safety across the industry, efforts are wasted if companies do not follow the procedures set out to keep employees safe. According to a report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Garcia was filling in for someone who was sick on that day. While walking toward his truck, Garcia was run over by a Caterpillar front-end loader and pronounced dead on site. OSHA identified two serious violations at the time and fined rePlanet $36,420.
Arraignment is expected to take place on Aug. 18 at San Bernardino Superior Court. The charges were announced by District Attorney Mike Ramos.
"We believe very strongly in the law that requires employers to provide a safe and healthful place of employment. This case reflects District Attorney Ramos’ ongoing commitment to protect workers from illegal and dangerous practices," said Douglas Poston, a lead deputy district attorney, in a statement.
This news comes after rePlanet closed 191 recycling centers and laid off 278 employees in February. The company cited low commodity prices and rising labor costs as the main factors behind this decision.