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Company fined $46k after San Jose workplace death

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The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal/OSHA, has issued GreenWaste Recovery four citations totaling $46,270 in proposed penalties for a workplace accident in which a driver was fatally struck by his own vehicle earlier this year in San Jose.

Jose Terriquez died at the scene of the crash on Camden Avenue at El Paseo Drive just before 8 p.m. on March 2, according to police.

Terriquez, 45, was driving a waste collection truck from the right-hand side of the cab when he fell out while making a turn. Investigators later determined that a safety chain across the opening to the cab could not be used at the time of the crash because there allegedly was a part missing.

Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum said Thursday in a statement:

“Collection vehicles with the option to operate the truck from the right-hand side must be equipped with an occupant restraint system such as a door, locking or latching bar, safety chain or strap.”

GreenWaste Recovery had an obligation to ensure that occupant restraint systems were working properly and being used by their workers, according to Sum. They were issued two serious accident-related citations for failing to do so. They were also issued two general citations for failing to maintain vehicle safety equipment.

GreenWaste Recovery has been doing business for more than 25 years, and said this is their first employee fatality. Cal/OSHA conducted safety inspections involving three worker injuries in 2016 and 2017.

Statewide, they’ve conducted 186 inspections of solid waste collection and material recovery employers over the last three years.

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