For new proof of the importance of paying attention to crew members when they raise concerns about workplace safety, consider the plight now faced by Jiaxi Liu, owner of WSC Group, and company foreman Wilson Garcia.
The two men were just found guilty of criminal offenses for their roles in the death of Luis Sanchez Almonte at a job site in Brooklyn, NY, in September 2018.
According to the criminal indictment, Liu and Garcia were repeatedly warned that a retaining wall alongside a trench was shifting forward and needed to be supported. But the supervisors ordered the crew members to keep working.
Their decision proved tragic when a 15,000-pound pile of dirt that was 30 feet high by 20 feet wide collapsed and fatally buried Almonte, 47.
Local prosecutors filed criminal charges against the two managers, and a judge just declared Liu guilty of criminally negligent homicide and Garcia guilty of criminal mischief. Liu faces up to 16 years in prison, and Garcia could spend one year in jail.
(From the May 22, 2023, issue of Safety Alert for Supervisors. To start your no-obligation trial subscription to the publication right now, please click here.)