Three businesses have been cited and fined by the state after an investigation of a deadly Hendersonville wall collapse in January.
Thirty-seven-year old Marcelino Godofredo Rendon Hernandez died and four others were injured in the accident, WLOS-TV reported, based on a North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) news release. They were working on the 12-foot retaining wall at the Hajoca Company on Spartanburg Highway.
The Labor Department cited Robert Crawford Masonry and Hajoca Corp. each with one alleged willful serious violation and one alleged serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina.
The total penalty for each company is $30,800.
The Labor Department also cited Pinnacle Grading Co. Inc. with one alleged serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina. Pinnacle Grading was penalized $2,800.
Civil penalties for violations are included in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina in the General Statutes, the NCDOL statement says. The maximum penalty for each willful violation is $70,000 and for each serious violation is $7,000. The Labor Department can take into consideration various factors such as the seriousness of the violation, the size of the business, an employer’s previous record.
- The Department of Labor considers the employer’s information and decides to issue amended citations. The employer retains all of its appeal rights if this happens.
- The department issues a “no change” letter, meaning that the citations will remain as they were originally issued. The employer has 15 working days from the day it receives the no change letter to file a notice of contest with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission of North Carolina or pay the penalty.
- The department drafts an informal settlement agreement if it is determined that an agreement would be beneficial to employee safety and health or to expedite abatement or to resolve the case. The informal settlement agreement may include penalty reduction, modifying citations, mandating the establishment of safety and health guidelines, or requiring the correction of similar hazards at all company locations. The agreement will also include a statement that the employer waives the right to contest the citation issued and penalties agreed upon. The company has 15 working days to decide if it wants to sign the informal settlement agreement or file a notice of contest with the OSH Review Commission.